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Community Rights Counsel
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895

CRC News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 28, 2005
CONTACT: Timothy Dowling, 202-296-6889


In 1981, San Francisco responded to the progressive loss of residential hotel rooms, which contributed to a city-wide affordable housing crisis, by enacting an ordinance that restricts the ability of hotels to convert residential rooms to tourist use. In San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco, the Supreme Court will address a long-running regulatory takings challenge to that ordinance, a challenge already considered and rejected by the California courts. The National Association of Home Builders and other development interests are urging the Supreme Court to ignore those state court rulings.

As the case proceeds to oral argument, Community Rights Counsel expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will finally put an end to this baseless lawsuit by paying proper respect to the rulings of the California Supreme Court, just as the federal trial court and federal appeals court have done.

According to Timothy J. Dowling, Chief Counsel of Community Rights Counsel:

"The national developers lobby calls litigation threats a 'hammer to the head' of local officials that can be used to extract favorable permit terms at the expense of neighboring landowners and the public. Incredibly, they now seek two hammers by asking the Supreme Court to ignore state court rulings and allow everything to be re-litigated in federal court. One of the oldest laws on the books prevents this outrageous result."


Community Rights Counsel is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm in Washington, D.C. that helps local governments defend against challenges to land-use controls and other community protections. It filed an amicus brief in support of San Francisco on behalf of California municipalities and the American Planning Association. For further comment on the case and the oral argument itself, contact Mr. Dowling at 202-296-6889.

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