Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Update: Challenge to Maui Workforce Housing Ordinance, J. Ezra hears Motions for Summary Judgment from County of Maui and Kamaole Pointe et al.

This is an update of the ongoing case, Kamaole Pointe Development LP v. County of Maui, Case No. 1:2007cv00447, U.S. Dist. Ct. Haw., filed August 23, 2007, wherein the plaintiffs claim that Maui’s Workforce Housing Policy is unconstitutional on its face and therefore void. I previously discussed the complaint in Maui's Workforce Affordable Housing Bill: Unconstitutional?.

On June 2, 2008, J. Ezra at the US Federal District Court Hawaii heard oral argument from the parties on their respective motions for summary judgment. Although Kamaole’s claim appears to include equal protection, due process, and taking challenges, J. Ezra’s primary concern was ripeness of the 5th Amendment takings claim.

J. Ezra noted that Kamaole’s claim is essentially a takings claim; therefore, Kamaole needs to avail itself of state court jurisdiction before filing in federal court. Kamaole referred the court to the recent post-Lingle decision in Crown Point Development, Inc. v. City of Sun Valley, No. 06-35189 (9th Cir., Nov. 1, 2007). Crown Point reversed the U.S. 9th Circuit Court’s long held position, based on Armendariz v. Penman, 75 F.3d 1311 (9th Cir. 1996) (en banc), that the 5th Amendment’s Takings Clause subsumes or “preempts” substantive due process claims.

J. Ezra noted that the Maui ordinance might be “terrible” in its present form, but that his charge is to determine the constitutional issues.

His order will be available in 2-3 three weeks.

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