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Law School Case Brief

Los Angeles v. Gage - 127 Cal. App. 2d 442, 274 P.2d 34 (1954)

Rule:

The police power is not restricted to the suppression of nuisances. It includes the regulation of the use of property to the end that the public health, morals, safety, and general welfare may not be impaired or endangered.

Facts:

Plaintiff, the City of Los Angeles, brought suit for an injunction to command defendants, Gage and others, to discontinue their use of certain property used to conduct their plumbing business and to remove various materials. When Gage began the business, the zoning laws authorized the property for such use. Subsequently, the city council of Los Angeles passed an ordinance that did not allow that the lot be used for the conduction of a plumbing business due to noise and disturbance. The court found in favor of Gage, reasoning that he could not relocate his business without substantial loss and that he had a vested right to use the property as a business. The City appealed.

Issue:

Is a city ordinance prohibiting the use of a lot for plumbing business unconstitutional?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state appellate court reversed and found the ordinance was a constitutional exercise of the police power and the ordinance was not unreasonable or arbitrary where it gave defendant sufficient time to relocate and was substantially related to the public's health and general welfare.

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