California Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Inclusionary Zoning as Land Use Regulation and Not an Exaction
38 California Real Property Law Reporter 116, 2015
7 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2015
Local governments, housing advocates, and people who need affordable housing won a solid victory in the California Supreme Court's unanimous opinion in California Bldg. Indus. Ass'n v. City of San Jose. In a complex 64-page opinion that is clearly drafted and rigorously argued, the court held that inclusionary zoning is a constitutionally permissible strategy to produce affordable housing and to promote economic integration that is subject to rational basis review and not heightened scrutiny.
This article outlines the factual and legal background of the case and discusses the court's reasoning in reaching its decision, including the court's refusal to find the unconstitutional conditions doctrine applies to the target ordinance because it does not constitute an "exaction." The article also identifies existing issues left open following the decision and considers what effect it will have on cities interested in enacting inclusionary zoning ordinances in the future.
Keywords: Local governments, housing advocates, affordable housing, California Supreme Court, California Bldg. Indus. Ass'n v. City of San Jose, inclusionary zoning, constitutional, economic integration, rational basis review, unconstitutional conditions doctrine, exaction, ordinances
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