Pismo Beach accused of attempting to swindle developer

July 3, 2023


Pismo Beach officials are accused of attempting to swindle a developer by overcharging for fees on one property, and then running off a buyer of another parcel the city wants to buy from the same developer at a reduced cost.

In this David versus Golaith style battle, the court has repeatedly sided with William Kendall, the proposed developer of a storage facility. After losing a court case and an appeal for charging excessive development impact fees, the city was ordered to reimburse Kendall for the excess fees with interest.

On March 17, the city sent Kendall a reimbursement check for $1,224,304. Less than a week later, the city issued a new demand for impact fees for the same project, this time wanting $1,383,760.

“It is hard to not view this latest fee demand as a form of retaliation for winning our previous lawsuit,” Kendall said. “Our company has built many self-storage facilities throughout California and has never had to pay this much or deal with such a problematic city. Now that we won our lawsuit and received our reimbursement, they seem to have doubled down just to punish us.”

In the city’s defense, interim City Manager Jorge Garcia said Kendall should “bear all the costs to mitigate the community impacts.”

“And he must also pay the costs of building permits, plan check fees and other fees associated with development, which he still has refused to do for the majority of his project,” Garcia said. “The city has an ordinance that prevents consideration of additional development projects when a developer is delinquent in paying required fees, and the city has informed Mr. Kendall of this fact.”

Garcia does not believe the court’s decision to invalidate the prior fee study means that the city’s taxpayers are required to “subsidize” Kendall’s business.

“The city takes very seriously the protection of the taxpayers against the costs and impacts of new development, which should be borne by developers like Mr. Kendall who profit from development. The city only asks that Mr. Kendall pay his fair share.  To date, he has refused to do so.”

Kendall sued Pismo Beach in 2019, claiming the city charged him development impact fees that did not apply to his project, Pismo Beach Self-Storage. State law limits the fees municipalities can charge to the cost of increased services made necessary by the development, which in this case were substantially lower than the city charged.

Judge Tana Coates agreed, and in 2020, she ordered the city to refund Kendall a payment of $889,254 plus at least $160,021 in interest. The city appealed Coates’ ruling, which they lost in Sept. 2022.

Kendall believes the city may also have an ulterior motive beyond retaliation for their actions. Kendall owns the parcel neighboring the self-storage property which he was in the process of permitting for RV storage. The property was in escrow, but the buyer backed out because of concerns with getting entitlements and permits from the city in a timely manner, Kendall said.

“Once the buyer dropped out, the city actually reached out to me and said they wanted to buy it,” Kendall said. “Apparently they want to use it for overflow event parking.”

Kendall said he would consider selling the city the property, if they would meet the price the previous buyer was willing to pay.

Kendall is asking others who have faced similar problems with the city of Pismo Beach to call him at (805) 642-4773.

“It really makes it seem that Pismo Beach has become hostile and vindictive if you dare to take on city hall,”  Kendall said.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I doubt the City of Pismo would have let him, or anyone for that matter, complete any sort of construction without first making sure (any & all) permit fees were paid. It sounds like the City was told “NO”, & someone took it personal.

Those who live in this area, or visit & want/need RV storage find out rather quickly it is nearly impossible & that lot was RV storage to begin with – so how could the City really see all of those fees as justifiable when the court clearly did NOT?

With cities doing stuff like this who is surprised at the cost of housing, and yet city officials want to spend more taxpayer money to study the high cost of housing. Hey city officials you want to know why housing is so expensive, look in the mirror or at your paycheck.

Local government is a greedy cartel of thieves who have little interest in the community. These municipal functionaries singular goal is to expand revenue generation and consolidate their personal power. This situation is as sickening as it is predictable.

One great example as to why businesses and people are leaving California.

The City of Pismo Beach is infamous for its difficulty to deal with. The council needs to fire the city attorney for his consistent bad advice which ultimately the taxpayer is on hook to pay for. No wonder Jim Lewis bolted for Atascadero.

“His fair share”. What a joke. Over $1,000,000 in fees and permits for this gentleman’s project is flat out extortion. Same reason my small family can’t afford to build around here. I hope he sues and wins again, even more money. Those in the City should be voted out for these stunts to our local businesses.