Answers to Summer 2014
California Bar Exam Questions

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Summer 2014 Performance Test

Question: PT-A: Tehama County v. Tepee Campground

Instructions, File and Library: Tehama County v. Tepee Campground pdf icon442 kb


Analysis: PT-A: Tehama County v. Tepee Campground

You are asked for an objective memo, analyzing the issues raised by the Notice to Abate. We represent the owner of Tepee Campground. We are converting the same number of RV pads to “residential part trailer” (RPTs). These units are towed to the campground by light trucks and remain at the park. Campers drive to the park in their autos and rent the RPTs by the night. This is luxury camping, with full amenities, but the footprint of the RPTS is actually less than RVs, in terms of size, traffic, noise, energy use and pollution.

The issues break into three:
1. Are residential park trailers (RPTs) structures, not permitted in campgrounds?
2. If not structures, should RPTs come under existing nonconforming use permit since they neither
            a. enlarge nor expand the structures or land occupied nor
            b. materially increase the intensity of use.
3. Are RPTs a change to a different nonconforming use, but one which should be permitted because it is materially less intense than the existing nonconforming use?

The library contains land development regulations governing campgrounds and nonconforming uses. It also contains two cases.

Both cases give factors, but no ruling on the factors. So this PT is entirely factual analysis.

The first case, Tall Timbers Resort, gives factors for why an RPT is not a structure.
Whereas, a  structures is constructed, erected or attached to something with a fixed location on the ground, RPTS are not due to:
1. RPTS have a fifth wheel for hauling
2. RPTs have mobility
3. RPTS are not manufactured to HUD specifications for houses
4. RPTS are a maximum of 400 sq ft
5. RPT’s wheel not removed when placed on pad.
6. RPTs are not on a permanent foundation
7. The design of RPTs objectively determines their intended use as temporary.

The second case, Leskiewicz, concerns whether a change in use is within the original nonconforming use and whether intensity of use has decreased. The factors are:
(1) to what extent does use reflect the nature and purpose of the prevailing nonconforming use?
 (2) is it merely different manner of utilizing the same use, or does it constitute a use different in character, nature and kind?
 (3) does use have substantially different effect on neighborhood?

So in this PT it was not challenging to find the issues. You are being graded—as always—on the quality of your reasoning.


  Answers © 2014 Vivian Dempsey, The Writing Edge™ All rights reserved.

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