Nuisance Actions

Your recent articles on dairy farmers in San Diego County who are forced to build holding compartments in response to the needs of developers and new area residents brings to mind an interesting case rendered by the Arizona Supreme Court.

In Spur Industries vs. Del E. Webb Co., a developer brought a nuisance action against a large feedlot operation. The court found that, "It does not seem harsh to require a developer, who has taken advantage of the lesser land values in a rural area as well as the availability of large tracts of land on which to build and develop a new town or city in the area, to indemnify those who are forced to leave as a result." As a result of the court's holding, Del Webb was ordered to pay to move the feedlot to a less offensive location, since Del Webb had "come to the nuisance."

Although this decision has little precedential value in California courts, I hope to bring it to the attention of San Diego County dairy farmers who will face a hardship as a result of the Water Quality Board's decision concerning their farms.

Developers who build in rural areas must realize the consequences lest they pave over the rights of longstanding residents and businesses. I hope the dairy farmers benefit from this letter from one who thinks developers stink more than cows.


Del Mar

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