San Diego Law Review


Cindy Y. Dobler

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In Southwest Diversified, Inc. v. City of Brisbane, the California Court if Appeal held that a city ordinance which changed the zoning of originally designated wildlife habitat to another location within the proposed development was an administrative act and therefore not subject to referendum. Although local citizens groups had collected the requisite signatures to put the ordinance on the ballot for repeal by referendum, the appellate court upheld the lower court's decision ordering the city to desist from holding the election on the issue. The appellate court, narrowly focusing on the perceived intent and wording of a habitat conservation plan, determined that because the plan had a provision for future modifications, the ordinance which changed the zoning within the project was administrative and exempt from repeal by referendum. This Casenote explores the impact of the decision's expansion of exemptions from the referendum process upon citizens groups as well as the problems and potential for municipal abuses.

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