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Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and...more

Will the California Supreme Court Close the Door to a CEQA Exemption the Legislature Has Refused to Close?

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (case submitted May 28, 2014), a case that gives the Justices the opportunity to determine...more

How Local Drilling Regulations May Impede Business Development in WV

As governor, Senator Joe Manchin famously declared West Virginia to be “Open for Business.” Whether motivated by environmental or other concerns, however, some groups believe that, when it comes to the natural gas industry,...more

City Not Liable For Mayor's Alleged Improper Conduct

Gong v. City of Rosemead (May 20, 2014, B247601) -- Cal.App.4th --, a Court of Appeal declined to hold the City of Rosemead ("City") liable for the alleged tortious conduct of former mayor and City Council member John Tran...more

New CEQA Standing Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps And Extend...

A CEQA reform bill (SB 1451) introduced and authored by seven (7) Democrats (Senators Correa, Galgiani, Hill, Hueso, Roth, and Steinberg, and Assembly Member Mullin) would amend Public Resources Code § 21177 to heighten...more

High Speed Rail Decision on Track for Review at Court of Appeal

Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law January 10, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

FOIA 2013 Wrap-Up – Summary Of Year End PAC Opinions

The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) closed out the year by issuing two binding opinions. The following is a summary of key points from the opinions of which public bodies should be aware....more

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental...more

State Law Preemption of Local Land Use Regulations and the Supreme Court's Recent Decision Upholding Citywide Ban on Medical...

The recent spate of court cases dealing with local regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries ("MMDs") offers an interesting illustration of the interplay between federal, state and local laws that regulate the same subject...more

CEQA Reform? What's In and What's Out with SB 731 (And What's Next...)

Lauded as the CEQA Modernization Act of 2013, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s SB 731 includes a number of amendments to CEQA that appear intended to appeal to a wide variety of interest groups. SB 731 replaces...more

Court Of Appeal Upholds City’s Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

A cooperative corporation that operates a nonprofit medical marijuana collective challenged city ordinances that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The court of appeal held that the ordinances are not preempted by the...more

CEQA Reform Update

This year has seen more momentum for CEQA reform than in many previous years. California’s economy has placed a spotlight on the burdens that environmental regulations and litigation, particularly CEQA litigation, impose on...more

Supreme Court Will Review CEQA Decision From Fifth District In Wal-Mart Citizen Initiative Case

After receiving three separate petitions for review, including petitions from real parties Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the City of Sonora, the California Supreme Court voted unanimously on February 13, 2013 to grant review of...more

Memo to EPA: Courts Really Don't Like It When You Appear High-Handed

The decision last week by Judge Amy Berman Jackson – an Obama appointee – to reject EPA’s authority to withdraw its “specification” which authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a § 404 permit to the Mingo Logan...more

The Shale Play Today - February 2012

In This Issue: - Judicial Hostility Toward Fracking in N.Y. Reinforces Anti-drilling Perception - Pa. Gov. Corbett Signs New Oil & Gas Legislation - Wheeling, W.Va. Center of Gas Industry Activity - Useful...more

Gas Tax Advances, Statute Of Repose Comes Out of Repose

SSB3141, a bill that would increase Iowa’s gas tax by five cents per year in 2013 and 2014, took another tentative step forward this week when it was voted out of the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill would...more

Ninth Circuit Ruling that Rainwater Runoff from Logging Roads Is a Point Source Discharge Requiring NPDES Permitting Is Under...

In August, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in NEDC v. Brown, in which the court overturned more than 35 years of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations governing storm...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Elimination of Redevelopment Agencies

In a highly anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court ruled on December 29, 2011, that legislation adopted in July to dissolve redevelopment agencies is constitutional, but that legislation adopted concurrently to...more

Virginia BZAs Get “Off the Hook” on Appeal

The 2010 Virginia General Assembly adopted HB 1063, which is a helpful simplification of the process by which BZA decisions are appealed to circuit court. It is effective July 1, 2010. Need for the Bill This bill was...more

Is the "Reasonable Person" Dead in Virginia?

Well, it’s over. The “reasonable person” is dead. Or is it? The U.S. Supreme Court denied the request for a writ of certiorari by the City of Virginia Beach to review the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision overturning the...more

It’s getting hot in here: Things are getting tough at the BZA

The General Assembly, Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia State Bar have combined to make the job of our local Boards of Zoning Appeals (BZAs), and that of the local government attorney who deals with them, much more...more

Federal Judge Denies Obama Administration's Motion to Vacate the Stream Buffer Zone Rule

The Obama Administration's efforts to rescind the revised Stream Buffer Zone Rule, enacted at the end of the Bush era, suffered a setback earlier this month. On August 12, 2009, United States District Court Judge Henry...more

Court of Appeal Limits 'Text' Requirement for Local Referendum Petitions

A referendum petition challenging the approval of a development plan need not include the text of the plan itself, if the plan was neither attached to the ordinance approving the plan nor explicitly incorporated by reference,...more

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