Land use license stuck in slow lane

Law of the Land

In the case Triumph Transport Inc. v. City of Bellflower, et al., Edwin Soto was in contract to buy a property to house his trucking company office and store the company’s trucks. The property was located in an area zoned "light industrial." Soto notified the city of his intended use of the property and was advised that the use might or might not require a conditional use permit; later (but prior to Soto closing escrow on the property) the City Planning Commission voted to require Soto to obtain a conditional use permit.

The day after the commission voted, Soto submitted an application for a business license. More than a month later, Soto was told by city staffers that he should resubmit the application and that it would be granted (without a conditional use permit), as his proposed use had been determined to be allowed. In fact, the city never processed either application.