Advisories October 22, 2018

Land Use Advisory: Court of Appeal Rules Los Angeles Can Continue to Amend Its General Plan for Individual Project Sites

Executive Summary
Minute Read
California Court of Appeal allows the Martin Expo Town Center project to move forward. Our Land Use Team examines this major ruling with wide-ranging implications for development in Los Angeles.

In a case with wide-ranging implications for development in the city of Los Angeles, the Second District Court of Appeal recently upheld the city’s general plan amendment for a mixed-use, transit-oriented project in the Westside of Los Angeles in the case Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (Case No. B285458). The court’s decision will allow the project known as the Martin Expo Town Center project to move forward at the corner of South Bundy Drive and West Olympic Boulevard, only 500 feet from the new Expo/Bundy station on the LA Metro Expo Line. The project will include over 500 residential units and office, retail, and restaurant space. The project’s opponents argued in part that the Los Angeles city charter did not allow for a general plan amendment for the project on an individual project site. The court disagreed in its published decision, holding that the charter contained no such restrictions and, consistent with long-standing practice, the city can amend its general plan for an individual site provided the site has “significant social, economic or physical identity.” The lawsuit raised arguments similar to those surrounding the failed Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (Measure S), and the court’s decision reflects another victory for the city’s authority to amend its general plan when the characteristics set forth in the city charter are met.

Alston & Bird was proud to represent the project’s developer in defending the legal challenge both before the trial court and court of appeal.

Further coverage of the Martin Expo Town Center project and this legal victory can be found here:

LA City: “Court of Appeal Affirms Trial Court’s Decision on Martin Expo Town Center Project

The Real Deal: “Judge Rules Martin Expo Project Can Move Forward Once Again

Urbanize LA: “Appellate Court Clears Path for Martin Expo Town Center Development

Curbed LA “New Timeline for West LA’s Martin Expo Town Center, Construction Now Set for 2019

Media Contact
Nicholas Clarke
Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 212.210.1222
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