Case Study – Building Industry Association of San Diego

Case Study

Precedent Setting Case Challenging Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

Client: Building Industry Association of San Diego

Background: The City of San Diego’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance required that homebuilders either set aside and then make available for purchase some homes at artificially low prices as established by the City, or that they pay the City a fee as a condition of selling these same housing units at normal market rates.

Challenge: HechtSolberg was hired to argue the case on behalf of the Building Industry Association of San Diego against the City of San Diego, represented by the City Attorney. HechtSolberg claimed that the City’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance was defective for not allowing homebuilders the right to challenge the application of the Ordinance to their individual projects.

Solution: The trial court agreed with HechtSolberg’s argument and invalidated the Ordinance. While the client later decided to settle the lawsuit on favorable terms, this court ruling continues today to be the only successful facial challenge to an entire Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance in the State of California.