Measure R Victory Affirmed on Appeal

News Headlines

Hueston Hennigan prevailed in the California Court of Appeal on behalf of clients The Park at Cross Creek and Malibu Bay Development Co., obtaining affirmance of a lower court judgment that invalidated Measure R, a land use ordinance enacted by Malibu voters in 2014. The ruling was immediately hailed by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as "a major appellate win in a high-profile legal and political battle...."

The ordinance, known as “Measure R,” required voter approval of all development projects in Malibu larger than 20,000 square feet and imposed stringent restrictions on formula retail establishments. Backed by actor Rob Reiner, the measure had been described by the New York Times as “one of the most stringent anti-development measures ever attempted in the country.”

In December 2015, Hueston Hennigan secured a lower court judgment declaring Measure R invalid under the California Constitution and state land use law.

A panel of California’s Second District Court of Appeal affirmed that judgment in full. The Court wrote in a unanimous opinion “that Measure R exceeds the initiative power and is illegal.” The Court agreed with Hueston Hennigan’s arguments that the measure’s voter approval requirements unlawfully limit the administrative land use authority of city agencies, and that the formula retail restrictions improperly condition use permits on the identity of a retail establishment rather than the use of property.

The Hueston Hennigan team included Marshall CampPadraic Foran and Leanne Vanecek.

Additional news coverage:

L.A. Times
L.A. Business Journal

Prior case coverage:

L.A. Times
New York Times