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Contact: Larry G. Salzman
Principal Attorney
Pacific Legal Foundation
(619) 569-8062

Damien M. Schiff
Principal Attorney
Pacific Legal Foundation
(916) 419-7111

PLF forces Coastal Commission to halt assault on family’s seawall

SAN CLEMENTE, CA;  February 9, 2017:  Prodded by a court ruling obtained by Pacific Legal Foundation last year, the California Coastal Commission today withdrew its assault on a San Clemente family’s right to protect their beachfront mobilehome with a seawall.  The commission approved a permit for Eric Wills and his family to replace their aging mobilehome at Capistrano Shores Mobilehome Park, while withdrawing its previous demand that they agree not to maintain or replace the seawall that protects their property.

Larry G. Salzman
Principal Attorney

Damien M. Schiff
Principal Attorney

Today’s action by the commission came after a decision by the Orange County Superior Court last August, which set aside the anti-seawall condition.  Orange County Superior Court Judge Theodore R. Howard wrote that “it appears to be overreaching to have the [property owners] give up any rights to possible repair or maintenance of” the seawall that protects their home, and the commission’s demand “seems unreasonably broad and contrary to” U.S. Supreme Court precedent. 



  View photo gallery

Created with flickr slideshow.

  Read PLF’s litigation backgrounder  

“This case demonstrates an important lesson that property owners who test abuses of power by the commission can win,” said PLF Principal Attorney Larry Salzman, who represents the Wills family in the litigation that yielded last year’s court victory.  “Coastal homeowners have a right to protect and preserve their property against storms and tides, and the commission can’t leverage its permitting power to take away those rights simply because it prefers to see less development along the beach.”

“It is a great relief to finally have this long struggle with the Coastal Commission over with,” said Eric Wills.  “My family and I are extremely happy that the agency has finally ended its attempt to wash away our right to protect our home and our property.  We are grateful for PLF’s fine work in bringing about this victory.”

The lawsuit is titled, Capistrano Shores Property, LLC v. California Coastal Commission.  More information, including a video, photo gallery, blog post, and backgrounder, may be found at:

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Pacific Legal Foundation, America’s most powerful ally for justice, litigates in courts nationwide for limited government, property rights, individual liberty, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.  PLF represents Eric Wills free of charge, as with all its clients.

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