Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Remedies

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Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Major Verdict in Electric Utility Easement Case

More than five years after starting in state court before later restarting in federal court, a federal court jury in Missouri has issued a major verdict in litigation concerning the use of electric utility easements for...more

Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a...more

The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

St. Anthony, Minnesota to Pay $200,000 to Settle RLUIPA Suit Brought by Department of Justice

Earlier this year, we reported on the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against the City of St. Anthony Village, Minnesota (“City”) over the City’s denial of Abu Haraira Islamic Center’s (“Center”)...more

Township of Bridgewater, NJ to Pay $7.75 Million to Settle RLUIPA Suit Against Muslim Group

The Township of Bridgewater, New Jersey has agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit over claims that its denial of Al Falah Center’s proposal to construct a mosque violated the Religious Land Use &...more

Womble Client Wins Stormwater Case in Charlottesville

Another victory in Central Virginia for Womble Carlyle. Last week, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled in favor of the Shops at Stonefield (also known as Albemarle Place), finding the stormwater...more

Environmental Alert: "Clearly Allocate Risk of Change Interpretations in Transactions"

When buyers request that sellers warrant compliance with environmental law, sellers need to appreciate that agency interpretation or agency enforcement discretion may have played a role in the seller’s apparent ongoing...more

Entry Barred: California Precondemnation Entry Statutes Declared Unconstitutional in Some Circumstances

Provisions of California’s Eminent Domain law known as the “entry statutes” have for decades provided a mechanism for a condemnor, prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, to obtain a court order allowing it to enter...more

Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

Koontz: The latest chapter in land use permitting and takings

In a landmark environmental case, the United States Supreme Court expanded the scope of potential governmental liability for takings. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist, 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court held that...more

Of Boats, Dining, and Zoning: Virginia Supreme Court Decides Old Dominion Boat Club v. Alexandria City Council

On October 31, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court decided Old Dominion Boat Club v. Alexandria City Council, et al. The case involved ongoing litigation between the Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC), the City of Alexandria, and...more

Supreme Court Taking Another Takings Case

The Supreme Court is apparently not done with its recent interest in takings decisions. Following the decisions in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, and Koontz v. St....more

California High-Speed Rail - What You Need To Know

Project Overview - The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“HSR”) plans to build an 800-mile high-speed rail system stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and eventually to Sacramento and San Diego....more

More on Old NSR Claims: Injunctive Relief Remains Available Against Original Owners Foolish Enough Not to Have Sold

As we noted last week and last month, the 3rd and 7th Circuits have ruled that violations of the obligation to undertake NSR review prior to implementing major modifications are not continuing, but are instead one-time...more

Judge Or Jury? A Critical Eminent Domain Question Answered

When a public agency seeks to impose a land exaction on a planned development, the analysis of whether the proposed dedication meets the necessary "essential nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests is often cumbersome and...more

In Eminent Domain Proceedings, the Likelihood and Constitutionality of a Dedication is a Jury Determination

When a public agency seeks to impose a land exaction on a planned development, the analysis of whether the proposed dedication meets the necessary "essential nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests is often cumbersome and...more

Washington Legislature Passes Significant Changes To The Model Toxics Control Act

During the waning hours of the legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296 (SSB 5296) by large majorities and Governor Inslee signed the bill without changes. ...more

The Problem with the Supreme Court’s Regulatory Takings Jurisprudence? It Doesn’t Require a Taking

The Supreme Court ruled today, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, that a property owner who is denied a land use permit on the ground that he refused to pay money to compensate for the harm to be caused...more

Temporary Regulatory Takings Do Exist in California!

Given the maze of procedural and substantive hurdles involved, property owners rarely succeed with regulatory takings claims. Even when owners do win, it is yet more uncommon for courts to award damages, instead allowing the...more

Real Estate Tip – Permitting: A $48m Lesson on the Importance of Notifying All Neighbors

In a recent Missouri case, a landlord lost a very significant commercial tenant and a title search company lost $48 million because of an incomplete permitting process. The tenant sued the title search company for failing to...more

2012 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2013 Forecast

As we look back on 2012, it was unquestionably a busy year. Federal funds continued to make their way to local projects and shovels continued to break ground for infrastructure projects. The potential use of eminent domain...more

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