WASHINGTON, DC/Oct. 16, 2015: Southeastern Legal Foundation today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the unconstitutional mandate by the City of San Jose, California requiring builders to sell 15% of their housing developments below market value or face stiff fines and denial of permits - the same law requires homeowners who purchase the below-market housing to sell at below-market prices, too. The City of Nashville, Tennessee and a host of other cities are following suit. California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, et al., No. 15-330.
The city's policy is an unconstitutional "takings," placing the entire burden of the cost on the property owners rather than the "just compensation" required under the Constitution. "The bottom line is that, if society in the form of government decides that a social policy is a good thing, then the government should pay for it - not place the burden on the property owner," said Kim Hermann, SLF Deputy Counsel who co-authored the brief with John J. "Jack" Park, former assistant Attorney General in Alabama and of counsel with Atlanta law firm Strickland, Brockington & Lewis, and Linda Carver Whitlow Knight at the Nashville, TN-based Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin law firm.
SLF is joined by SLF is joined by a former member of the Metropolitan Nashville Council, a number of highly experienced real estate professionals, including REALTORS®, developers, builders, and mortgage bankers, as well as an additional non-profit, public interest entity. Two members of SLF's Board of Trustees are among the clients represented.
"In addition to flying in the face of Supreme Court case law precedent, the city's policy of mandating affordable housing in this way doesn't work, as we point out with analysis in our brief - it's ineffective and fails to meet the affordable housing need," Hermann added. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the appeal this term.
California Building Industry Assn. v. City of San Jose, et al. - pdf version of amicus brief filed Oct. 16, 2015