Big Wave attorney warns of Beachwood-style lawsuit if property is not developed

David Byers, in a November 5th letter to Lisa Grote, the Director of Planning and Building, warns the County that it may be subject to an “inverse condemnation” lawsuit if the Big Wave property is not allowed to be developed.

David Byers is a partner in the law firm McCraken, Byers & Richardson who represent the Big Wave developers.

The warning takes issue with the environmental report prepared by Christopher A. Joseph and Associates and now in a public comment period with further processing similar to the GM lawsuit. Byers writes that the consultant made an “inappropriate determination of certain restrictions on development” and that “any development restrictions on the site are caused by the County’s failure to maintain its own drainage channel and, of course, would subject the County to inverse condemnation if that land is subsequently not permitted to be developed.”

Byers’ warning sounds nearly identical to the Beachwood case where the City of Half Moon Bay eventually lost an inverse condemnation suit to developer Charles “Chop” Keenan over the development of wetland on the property and was subject to a $41 million judgment, later settled at $18 million.

Photo by Darin Boville

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