Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

N.C. Court of Appeals: Zoning Administrator Cannot Determine Standing to Appeal

In 2013, the General Assembly revamped the laws governing zoning boards of adjustment in North Carolina in S.L. 2013-126, entitled "An Act to Clarify and Modernize Statutes Regarding Zoning Boards of Adjustment". The...more

Pre-Condemnation Entry Statutes Found Unconstitutional

Direct Condemnation Action Needed to Conduct Statutory Pre-Condemnation Studies - For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. On March 13,...more

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.” The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for...more

Seventh Circuit: City May Not Close Adult Bookstores

May a city require adult bookstores but not other establishments to close between midnight and 10am every night and all day Sunday? Originally published on the IMLA Appellate Practice Blog - January 27, 2014....more

Nebraska Court Stalls Keystone XL Pipeline, Declares Governor’s Approval Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, a Nebraska trial court struck down a state law allowing Governor Dave Heineman’s to approve the proposed route for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline. The decision comes just weeks after the State...more

Court Sides With Federal Government Over Santa Monica Airport

As we reported last month, the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration had filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the City of Santa Monica in federal court seeking to confirm its alleged right...more

Proportionality, Nexus Don't Matter If It's Not A Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency's granting a discretionary permit. Developers are quite familiar with these requirements, as they are consistently compelled to dedicate...more

Religious Institutions - February 2014

Who owns the "church?" For most, this is an odd question. As children, many of us folded our hands and repeated a rhyme: "Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors and see the people." Nevertheless, for well...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision On Land-Use Exactions Impacts Developers, Government

If you have ever filed a zoning application and been subjected at the public hearing to a version of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” you may find of interest a June 2013 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that addresses...more

Requirement That Landowners Give Aircraft Overflight Easement Before Obtaining Building Permit Did Not Constitute a Taking of...

Landowners assert a requirement that they provide an aircraft overflight easement before obtaining a building permit constitutes a taking of their property without just compensation. The court of appeal held that the...more

Redevelopment Wind-Down: A Few Random Thoughts

I saw a couple of California redevelopment-related stories over the past week that seemed worthy of at least a brief comment. First, a court decision involving a rather bold argument by a public agency. ...more

Government Need Not Satisfy Nexus and Proportionality Tests if Dedication Requirement Does Not Otherwise Constitute a Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency’s granting a discretionary permit. However, there are limits, as the government agency cannot typically demand conditions that are not...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...more

Requiring Landowners To Dedicate An "Overflight" Easement Is Not A Taking, Even When All An Owner Seeks Is A Minor Building Permit

The United States Supreme Court decisions in Nollan and Dolan provide landowners with a useful tool for seeking compensation when government agencies use their land use authority to exact valuable property rights and other...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at...more

Obstructive Conduct by Aboriginal Groups May be Regulated by Municipal By-Laws

The decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Detlor v. Brantford (City) helpfully addresses the intersection between municipal jurisdiction and constitutional law. In upholding the power of municipalities to pass by-laws...more

Court Creates Problem for Municipal Water Utilities

Municipal water rights present an anomaly under the prior appropriation doctrine, which governs water law in the West. The doctrine is predicated on the idea that the permittee will act quickly to put the water to beneficial...more

Cities May Ban Medical Marijuana Cultivation

The Third District California Court of Appeal recently ruled that California's medical marijuana laws - the Compassionate Use Act ("CUA") and the Medical Marijuana Program ("MMP") - do not create a constitutional right to...more

CEQA Standing and Exhaustion Rules Applied In Action Challenging City of San Jose’s General Plan Update

The Sixth District Court of Appeal, in a published decision filed September 30, 2013, reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant City of San Jose in an action challenging its “Envision San Jose” comprehensive...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Easier To Challenge Local Affordable Housing Requirements

Under the Mitigation Fee Act, when a city imposes a fee, dedication, reservation or other exaction on a development project, the developer has the right to pay under protest, obtain the necessary project approvals and proceed...more

Will Koontz Mean Big Changes or Business as Usual for Real Estate Development in California

On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court release its decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Managment District. Koontz has been called the most significant takings case since Kelo v. City of New London and has been...more

California Supreme Court to Review Inclusionary Housing Requirements

On September 11, 2013, the California Supreme Court granted the California Building Industry Association's (CBIA) petition for review challenging a San Jose ordinance that imposed "inclusionary" housing obligations on housing...more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Narrow Review of EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Regime But Refuses to Review EPA's Endangerment Finding

On Oct. 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted six petitions for review challenging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") suite of greenhouse gas ("GHG")...more

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