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Housing and Homelessness

Federal Court Denies Huntington Beach's Request To Block The State From Enforcing Housing Laws There

Aerial view shows the ocean in the foreground with a long pier with a red-roofed building at the end. Beyond the beach you you see homes and buildings.
Huntington Beach has been fighting state laws regarding new housing.
(trekandshoot/Getty Images
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Huntington Beach's temporary restraining order against the state — an attempt to pause the enforcement of state housing laws — was denied this week in federal court.

The ruling comes after California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed opposition Tuesday to the city's request for the temporary block, arguing that the city doesn't have the standing to sue in federal court.

The backstory

This is the latest move in a legal duel between Huntington Beach and the state. The state alleges in a lawsuit, filed earlier this month, that Huntington Beach is in violation of multiple housing laws after banning the processing of applications for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) last month.

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“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Local governments don’t get to pick and choose which state laws they want to follow. Huntington Beach’s lawsuit is another baseless and obstructionist attempt by the city to defy state housing laws,” Bonta said in a statement from the state attorney general's office Tuesday.

For its part, Huntington Beach responded to that earlier lawsuit with one of its own, which challenged the state’s authority to establish local housing goals.

“[The] mandates brought down by the state to Huntington Beach are not mandates at all,” said Michael Gates, Huntington Beach’s city attorney, earlier this month.

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