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GOING COASTAL!
The Peggy Ann Buckley Story.


 Peggy Ann Buckley purchased a 2.75-acre parcel of property in Malibu, California in 1988 to build a house. But after spending more than three years getting the required development permits from the County of Los Angeles, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) ordered her to stop all further work citing alleged environmental concerns.

When Buckley purchased the property, it was zoned as single-family residential which exempted it from the regulatory authority of the CCC. The CCC is charged with managing certain types of development on California's coasts. But Los Angeles county was ostensibly the only governmental entity that had authority over Buckley's site.

The county approved Buckley's proposed house and by 1991 had issued most of the development permits so construction could begin. But the CCC did not want to cede any authority to the county over coastal development and blocked her building plans at every turn.

Things reached a crisis in March 1991 when a landslide started to develop on part of the lot. The county issued Buckley abatement orders allowing her to repair the landslide by grading the site. But when she started the grading work, the CCC issued several stop-work orders. As a result, the landslide ruined about half her land. Tired of what Buckley called CCC's harassing tactics, she went to court to get relief from the agency. The CCC then filed a countersuit claiming Buckley owed thousands of dollars in fines for illegal development work - development that the CCC did not even have authority to regulate.

A state trial court ruled that the CCC had no jurisdiction over Buckley's land and awarded her thousands of dollars in damages. On appeal, however, the state courts reversed the damages award while still ruling that the agency had wronged Buckley. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her case.

A state trial court ruled that the CCC had no jurisdiction over Buckley's land and awarded her thousands of dollars in damages. On appeal, however, the state courts reversed the damages award while still ruling that the agency had wronged Buckley. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her case.

Currently living on her property in a trailer, Peggy Ann Buckley will continue to seek compensation for the $2 million in damages the state inflicted on her and the $1 million in legal bills she has accrued. Says Buckley, "This is absolute tyranny. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone."
Source: Peggy Ann Buckley

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