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Ybarra v. Los Altos Hills, City of

Citation: 4 ELR 20743
No. No. 73-2070, 503 F.2d 250/(9th Cir., 09/06/1974)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a lower court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the large-lot zoning ordinance of a California suburban community. Plaintiffs, a group of Mexican-Americans wishing to construct a low-income multifamily housing project on certain land within the town on which they hold an option, failed to show that low-cost housing was unavailable elsewhere in Santa Clara County. The court finds that the ordinance does discriminate against the poor, but holds that given plaintiffs' failure to demonstrate the unavailability of alternative low-income housing in the vicinity, the town need not show a compelling interest to justify the zoning ordinance. A showing that the ordinance is rationally related to the legitimate governmental interest of preserving the town's rural environment is held sufficient to demonstrate that it does not violate the equal protection clause. Nor does the ordinance represent a denial of due process. California law requires the town to provide housing for its residents, but not for non-residents, even if they live in the broader urban community of which the town is a part.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Grace M. Kubota
Stephen Manley
Community Legal Services
330 N. Market Street
San Jose, Cal. 95110

Counsel for Defendant
Robert T. Anderson
Sturgis, Den-Dulk, Douglass & Anderson
1322 Webster Street
Oakland, Cal. 94612