California Court of Appeal Clarifies Application of Statute of Limitations Under Subdivision Map Act
Alisha Winterswyk and Abraham Galvan Sanchez Discuss Conditions of Approval and Takeaways in Daily Journal Article
In a recent Daily Journal article, Best Best & Krieger Partner Alisha Winterswyk and Associate Abraham Galvan Sanchez discuss the California First District Court of Appeal’s opinion clarifying when a Subdivision Map Act 90-day statute of limitations begins to accrue. The authors specifically address takeaways for project applicants and cities.
The question before the court was whether the 90-day limitation barred a suit challenging implementation and interpretation of a condition of approval many years after the condition was imposed. According to the authors, the court’s holding emphasizes two important considerations: the short limitations period applies when a claim makes a facial challenge to a condition of approval and, even if the limitations period applied in a non-facial challenge situation, it may not begin to run until there is a dispute about how a condition is satisfied or implemented. This makes a legal challenge possible for years after approvals are given.
“The takeaway from this case is that project applicants and cities should look carefully at conditions of approval,” the authors write. “If a condition of approval requires future action, it is possible that a claim regarding implementation of the condition could be maintained years after the original approval is given and that the quick 90-day statute of limitations may begin running once the dispute about implementation arises, not when the condition was imposed.”
The article is available to subscribers here.