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California Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: We live on a private road I put a fence along the road in 2002. Neighbor wants me to move the fence. what are my options

private road in a community with an hoa that does not collect dues or enforce ccr's, road has a not a county maintained road sign on it. Fence went up in 2002 and the posts have not been moved since along with landscaping and improvements retaining walls and concrete.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 31, 2021

Dear HOA Member: My best recommendation in these situations is to obtain the names and email addresses of all the members of the HOA. Then notify them that you would like to call a Special Meeting (or, alternatively, ask the Board to call a Special Meeting if a Board is in place). The agenda for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Is a formal eviction necessary to be removed from a motorhome being stored on a commercial property.

Would the eviction process be used to remove tenants from unlawful residency..?

If code enforcement were involved would it be necessary for them to evict tenants..?

Alexander C. Safarian
Alexander C. Safarian answered on Jul 10, 2021

We need more facts to give you a certain answer but it is likely that you will need to file an unlawful or forcible detainer action to remove the dwelling if it is occupied as a residence.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: neighbor issue

Weeds were growing in a drainage ditch; seeds from the weeds invaded the neighboring property and those owners brought an action to abate them as a nuisance. Must the owner of the drainage ditch remove the weeds?

William Stanger
William Stanger answered on May 11, 2021

Nuisance claims require that a plaintiff prove the defendant acted (or failed to act) unreasonably, and as a result the plaintiff suffered some kind of harm/annoyance or interference with the use and enjoyment of their property, and that an ordinary person would be annoyed or disturbed by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: My friend is interested in donating a piece of land to my nonprofit organization. How would we go about this?

Would he receive any benefits from this, tax write offs etc? Also he owes taxes on the property, I am willing to pay those off to make this happen. I plan to use this as a nonprofit headquarters, Art/Yoga/Event Space. Its already zoned for 4 residential structures

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Apr 20, 2021

Real estate transfers and planning for the tax consequences are never do-it-yourself tasks. Tax benefits cannot be calculated without information about the property and the taxpayer. You say that you want a nonprofit HQ in a space zoned for residences. This by itself should be a red flag. If you do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Hi We live in Saratoga, CA and are having problems with our neighbors across the street.

The neighbors put up bright lights on the front door, gates etc and the glare is coming into our kitchen and front bedrooms. We tried to talk to them and requested to use softer lights or direct back toward their house but they refused to talk. We went to the city, but the code does not have any... Read more »

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Apr 12, 2021

IF THIS: "We went to the city, but the code does not have any light-trespassing/pollution laws"

is true, it may be tough to sue them? Perhaps you can find a way to limit that intrusion?

Higher hedges? Some shades?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Can I enter a park against mandatory county time rules if they don’t specify time zone on the official page.

Sacramento/ranch county parks website states that no one can access/trespass on park property past 10pm to 6am. That’s quoted on their official page. Nowhere in that sentence or anywhere else do they state a time zone. Somewhat of a ridiculous unimportant question, unless you’re a libertarian.... Read more »

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Feb 9, 2021

Yes you can be fined. The time zone is obviously the time zone where the park is located.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: We bought a condo but the downstairs neighbors blast their bass. The seller never disclosed this. What can we do?

We just bought a condo and prior to placing an offer, we asked the seller's agent who were the neighbors downstairs and if it was quiet. He said yes it's quiet and didn't know who was downstairs. Turns out the neighbors are musicians and have a studio set up where they record... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on Dec 12, 2020

File a complaint with you Home Owners Association and demand that the Association stop it. Make it the Association’s problem to solve.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can someone who owns a Big property, with many code violations , reel many volunteers on a lie and make them fix it?

This lady owns about 45 acres and rents the houses on it to about 3 tenants. She also rents its it out to campers on the weekends. But the property has many housing code violations. She uses volunteer websites and sells this place as a “free meditation experience, with monks who can teach you... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Dec 1, 2020

Volunteers by definition are people who do something without the expectation of payment or receiving something in return. It is the choice of the volunteer to volunteer or not. A volunteer can always leave and hence has no real damages. Lying in and of itself is not generally a violation of law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My mother-in-law owns land with her house on it. One daughter has a mobile home on her property that's not livable and

It has been on my mother-in-law's land for over 20 years. My mother-in-law's other daughter has two vehicles that is rusted and doesn't work; been on her property for over 14 years. My mother-in-law has expressed that she doesn't want the mobile home or vehicles on her property... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 28, 2020

Contact the local PD to report these vehicles as abandoned property and ask for advice about disposal and notification to owners of the property. I think you usually have to give 30-90 days notice then you can call a company to come out and remove them as salvage. There may be a company that will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I am looking to purchase a small business auto repair shop, primarily to get the lease for the location. Is it possible

Ideally I do not want to purchase the business name etc I will change it to a smog check station. Also if you can go over the lease it would be great.

Shawn R. Jackson Esq.
Shawn R. Jackson Esq. answered on Oct 25, 2020

Yes, what you are requesting is possible ... and, as you might imagine, there are a number of other issues to consider. I would recommend that you schedule a few initial free consultations, by video call or telephone call, with two or three different attorneys ... Shawn Jackson - Business... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: What is stopping me from sharing about a private nuisance issue on social media.

Neighbors are illegally dismantling autos and trucks day and night. And we are trapped with loud drive by's of people helping to hide dismantling sound. Would I get in trouble if I share these facts on social media???

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 24, 2020

Wow, Shingle Springs and San Raphael are having major outbreaks of bootleg auto dismantlers operating under zoning variances in residential neighborhoods. You need to hire a Land Use attorney to look into getting you an injunction against this, because this is the 4th post on this subject. As for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Is a legal nonconforming auto service station required to comply with business regulations such as hours, tow yard ?

the neighborhood that I live in has been having ongoing issues with an auto service station. Neighbors have contacted the Code Enforcement unit because of various activities that we believe should not be allowed at that property, including:

painting vehicles outdoors and releasing chemical... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Oct 22, 2020

Even though it may not be a code enforcement issue, it may still constitute a "nuisance". Private parties, with very limited exceptions, can not bring a legal action for a "public" nuisance, but they may bring an action for a private nuisance. If you can't get the City... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: landlord want to evict me and my kids in 5 days I cant find anything in 5 days what can I do she gave us court papers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 20, 2020

You need to go to a Tenant's rights attorney immediately. I don't know what "court papers" means. Usually it takes longer to get a trial and then a judgment, so I don't know how much time you really have. Do not wait on this and don't rely on this forum to give you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My mother has land that she is trying to get placed into her name. The property is in my deceased grandmothers name

The land was left to my mom and her other two siblings. The two other siblings are deceased now and my mom wants to put the land in her name now to write her will. what documents and paperwork does she need to get this process going? Also she has more land that she has that is in my brother's... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 15, 2020

To begin with you will need to gather together the testamentary documents (wills, trusts, and property deeds), pertaining to your deceased Grandmother and Uncle, and hire an attorney to review the documents, organize the information, and write a report on the current ownership of the properties,... Read more »

Q: Hello, I have large company interested in a five year option to either purchase or ground lease a property I co-own.

The terms to lease the property are really appealing but the company plans to use the lease to secure funding for a green energy project. If I were to lease the property, as a land owner Is there anyway to protect the property from foreclosure in the event company goes bankrupt and creditors go... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 5, 2020

You need the advice of a Real Estate Transaction attorney in your local area to assist you to draft a lease that has forfeiture provisions in the event the lessee goes bankrupt. The creditors cannot go after the property, as you do not transfer title to the property to the lessee, except for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I had 3 tenants one moved out are the other 2 tenants that share room lodgers now?

This is in san bernardino california also they are keeping chickens and ducks in my front yard and dug a pond without permission

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 1, 2020

Well, is a pond with chickens and ducks in the front yard common in San Bernardino where your property is? What does the lease say about animals? You have a written lease, correct? If you want them out you can give them a 3 day notice to correct or quit- that is fill in the pond and get rid of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Ticketd 22101 6 cvc but have a pic4evidence that the posted sign was not visible due to road construction sigh infront

infraction for 22101 6 cvc disobeying posted sign no lft turn 7 a.m. -9 p.m. & 4 p.m.-9 p.m. but I mad a left turn w signal @3:52 p.m .seen cop from smll intersection in a business/residence Street I turned onto after he waves me down to go to the side right behind the car he was ticketing ,... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 22, 2020

Take photos of sign condition before it changes. Plead not guilty, go to trial, present paper copies of the photos showing the sign was blocked. You may have a chance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Insurance Bad Faith, Intellectual Property and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Question, if this property belongs to the Indian reservation and the individual took it out unauthorized with a deed,

It would be considered fraud or no?

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 1, 2020

Consider contacting a local pro bono attorney group related to the issue. The specific facts would need to be reviewed to understand what happened and any possible wrongdoing.

This answer includes generalizations and there are many caveats. This answer does not form an attorney client...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Q: Can I be Fined by HOA Board in 2019 for Not Obtaining a Bldg. Permit to build a Room Addition approved by HOA in 2013

I added a Utility Room to my Mobile Home completely Un-Attached and Free Standing. I received HOA Board Approval and was NEVER Told in 2013 I also needed a State Building Permit.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 27, 2020

It is possible that the construction without obtaining all necessary permits could violate a HOA rule or regulation and could result in their imposition of a fine. You should consult with the City building department regarding issuance of a permit or whatever they would want after the fact. This... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Constitutional Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: recently sited for a few things on a property my problem because opandemic I wasn't Able to take care of it what can I
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 11, 2020

If you have a citation that requires a court appearance, you need to contact the court about your situation either in person or in writing, include a copy of the citation. Failing to respond could subject you to additional penalties and be considered an FTA- failure to appear. If the citation is... Read more »

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