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Friends of Oceano Dunes, Inc. v. San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

April 6, 2015

FRIENDS OF OCEANO DUNES, INC., Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT et al., Defendants and Respondents.

[As modified Apr. 23, 2015.]

Superior Court County of San Luis Obispo No. CV120013 Charles S. Crandall, Judge

Page 958

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 959

COUNSEL

Thomas D. Roth for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Page 960

Adamski, Moroski, Madden, Raymond A. Biering and Jeffrey A. Minnery for Defendants and Respondents.

Michael C. Ghizzoni, County Counsel, and William M. Dillon, Deputy County Counsel, for Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendants and Respondents.

Babal Nafici for Sierra Club as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District.

OPINION

YEGAN, J.

Consistent with the laudable goal of safeguarding the public health, the trial court "stretched" to find a dictionary definition of the word "contrivance" to describe a state park. As Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes said: "A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; It is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used." (See Almar Limited v County of Ventura (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 105, 106 [65 Cal.Rptr.2d 70].) This appeal "turns" on the meaning of the word "contrivance." (Id., at p. 107.) Neither the trial court nor an appellate court is at liberty to pick a dictionary definition to reach a desired result (See People v. Arno (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 505, 514, fn.2 [153 Cal.Rptr. 624].) As we shall explain, the time-honored rule of ejusdem generis requires that in the context of construing Health and Safety Code section 42300 subdivision (a) a state park is not a "contrivance." Thus, the trial court erroneously ruled that a local air pollution control district has the power to regulate air emissions emanating from a state park by a permit requirement.

Friends of Oceano Dunes, Inc., a California non-profit corporation and voluntary association, appeals the dismissal of its writ of mandate petition (Code Civ. Proc., ยง 1085) and complaint for declaratory/injunctive relief. Appellant contends that the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (District) exceeded its authority in adopting rule 1001 of Regulation X, Fugitive Dust Emission Standards, Limitations and Prohibitions (Rule 1001), which requires that California Department of Parks and Recreation obtain an air emissions permit to operate the Oceano Dunes States Vehicular Recreation Area. The trial court found that Health and Safety Code ...


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