Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Renewable Energy Case Law Update

This case law update describes a selection of renewable energy cases from 2015. It is not intended to address all renewable energy cases over the previous year, but rather, highlight a few that are more likely to be of...more

Motion to Amend CEQA Action Judgments to Make Additional Judgment Debtor Liable For Million Dollar Fee Award Not Barred By...

In a published opinion filed January 26, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (Division 2) reversed a trial court’s order denying CEQA plaintiffs’ motion to amend judgments entered four (4) years...more

City Ordinance Banning New Outdoor Billboards, but Authorizing Relocated Ones, Upheld by California Court

Authorizing Relocated Ones Upheld by Court; Constitutional Challenges Rejected; Injunction Order to Remove Billboard Affirmed - The City of Corona has prevailed in a constitutional challenge to its enforcement of a...more

Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

Purple Line Continues to Move Forward

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 22, 2016 holding in favor of Montgomery County, Maryland that the future Purple Line (the proposed light rail between Bethesda and New Carrollton that includes a stop...more

When is Mixed-Use Religious Exercise?

A Connecticut federal court has issued an important decision in a case involving the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) that could affect how municipalities and courts examine whether certain...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Real Estate and Land Use - January 2016

Using Project Objectives to Select a Reasonable Range of Alternatives - North Coast Rivers Alliance v. A.G. Kawamura (January 4, 2016) Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C072067 - Why It Matters: This opinion...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal Gas Co. expects to cap Porter Ranch gas leak ahead of schedule - CBS Los Angeles - Jan 19 An ongoing natural gas leak that has affected residents in the Porter Ranch-area...more

Some Decisions Just Make One Say “Wow!”

Conservatives sometimes talk about lawless, i.e., liberal, judges. Let me tell you a story about Judge Robert Clive Jones, who presided over the United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, until the 9th Circuit this week...more

The Thin Line Between Land Litigation and Land Use Controversies

Frequently, land litigation—land boundary and ownership claims - is a controversy concerning the use of land. The recent case of Hedgepeth v. Parker’s Landing Property Owners Association, Inc. ___ N.C. App. ___ ___ S.E.2d...more

SCOTUS Non-Land Use Case Could Impact Land Use

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request to review a church’s claim that the state of Missouri violated the federal constitution by prohibiting religious groups from obtaining state funding because of their...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

Design Liability and Right of Way Risk Allocation for Design-Build Projects

Design liability and right-of-way risk allocation are topics addressed in a legal research digest recently published by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The report,...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

Moratoriums Do Not Prohibit Billboard Relocations

Because billboards are typically near public transit, they are routinely impacted by public projects such as street widenings, highway and freeway expansions, and grade separation projects. When impacted, billboard companies...more

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

Synagogue Neighbor’s Weekday Service Protest Dismissed by New York Court

In 2005, the Village of Lawrence (Village) granted permission to Bais Medrash of Harborview Synagogue (Medrash) to construct a synagogue on three contiguous lots. As part of its approval, Medrash entered a Declaration of...more

CDFA Program EIR Violates CEQA By Failing To Analyze Invasive Moth Control Program As Alternative To Eradication, Holds Third...

In a lengthy opinion filed December 2, 2015, and belatedly ordered published on January 4, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal invalidated the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) programmatic EIR for a...more

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