First Appellate District Rejects City’s Lease of Public Street Located on Reclaimed Tidelands for Private Use Without Notice and Comment

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The First District concluded that a 1957 statute granting all tidelands within Sausalito to the City prohibited the City from granting or selling the tidelands to private parties, but expressly permitted leasing such tidelands for purposes consistent with the public trust. According to the Court of Appeal, although boat storage was not specifically mentioned in the 1957 statute, the City had implied authority to lease the former tidelands for boat storage, even after the property had been designated as a public street. However, the Court of Appeal went on to conclude that the 1957 statute did not exempt the City from the requirements of general state statutes regarding street closures. As a result, before it could close the street to public use, the City was required to issue public notice and to conduct open hearings pursuant to the provisions of the state’s Streets and Highway and Vehicle Codes. The First District reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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