Kassouni Law represents Lockaway Storage, a Bay Area storage facility company which has been at odds with the County of Alameda for almost ten years over its conditional use permit (Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda). In 2000 Lockaway bought a parcel of land which had a preexisting conditional use permit for the construction and operation of a storage facility in Dublin, California. Shortly after the sale, the voters of Alameda County passed Measure D, a growth control initiative which banned the operation of a storage facility on the property. After Lockaway spent over $400,000 in development costs, in 2002 the planning department decided to halt all construction in light of Measure D.
Lockaway successfully challenged the planning department’s decision, and in 2004 the trial court issued a writ commanding the planning department to issue building permits. Lockaway has built the facility and it has been in operation for over five years. However, Lockaway lost significant income and had to pay increased construction costs in light of the delays. In 2008 the trial court also awarded Lockaway $1.0 million for these damages, as well as an additional $725,000 in attorney’s fees. The trial court in Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda concluded that Lockaway’s Fifth Amendment constitutional property rights were violated, and that the County had ignored provisions in Measure D which protected property owners who had obtained discretionary permits prior to Measure D, such as Lockaway.
The County of Alameda has appealed the trial court rulings, and a decision is anticipated later this year.
Update: Lockaway prevailed in the Court of Appeal with representation by Kassouni Law. Read the Appellate Court’s decision in Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda here.