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McAllister v. Monterey, County of

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20029
Nos. No. H028813, (Cal. App. 6th Dist., 01/31/2007)

An appellate court upheld the dismissal of an individual's lawsuit against a county for approving a coastal development permit on his neighbor's property. In administrative proceedings conducted by county officials and later by the California Coastal Commission, the real parties-in-interest—developers—won approval to construct a large single-family dwelling on the Big Sur coast. The developers and the county then successfully demurred to the individual's complaint before a trial court, which then dismissed the case. The individual now appeals. Yet there is no merit in the individual's jurisdictional claims that the county's action was a legal nullity, since those allegations conflict with judicially noticed documents and represent bare legal conclusions. Nor can the individual state a valid cause of action against the county under the California Environmental Quality Act because the county's determinations were superseded by the coastal commission's environmental review. And procedurally, the trial court acted within its discretion in entertaining a second demurrer to the individual's complaint after the conclusion of coastal commission proceedings.