Conflict of Laws Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Billboard Regulations: Cities and Counties

No State Preemption of Local Billboard Regulations, California Appellate Court Finds - The Outdoor Advertising Act does not preempt local regulation of billboards, a California appellate court has ruled. In a decision...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

Metropolitan King County Council Votes to End Moratorium on Accepting or Issuing Permits for Marijuana Growers, Processors, and...

The Metropolitan King County Council voted on July 25th to end the moratorium on accepting or issuing permits for marijuana growers, processors, and retailers in unincorporated areas of the county. Additionally, per the...more

Ninth Circuit Holds National Indian Gaming Commission Not Required to Conduct NEPA Review Before Approving Casino Gaming Ordinance

In Jamul Action Committee v. Chaudhuri, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the National Indian Gaming Commission (Commission) did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when...more

The Pursuit For An Island Casino

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) continues its efforts to add casino bingo to the summer getaways and lobster rolls on Martha’s Vineyard. In November 2015, Massachusetts, the town of Aquinnah, and the Aquinnah/Gay...more

Fracking Scores with Two Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a hotly debated topic in many states. In New York and Pennsylvania, anti-fracking groups have obtained a statewide ban on fracking and the allowance of local authority to regulate...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in four cases on March 22, 2016: Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146: Respondents, employees at a pork processing plant of petitioner Tyson Foods, filed a...more

Supreme Court Decides Sturgeon v. Frost

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Sturgeon v. Frost, No. 14-1209, vacating a decision of the Ninth Circuit and leaving open the possibility that Section 103(c) of the Alaska National Interest...more

FAA Releases Guidelines For Local Regulation Of Drones

In the past few years unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, have grown in popularity and availability. With the proliferation of drones comes some difficult privacy and public safety questions for school...more

Local Wetlands Bylaw Decision Survives Pre-emption Challenge

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has again upheld the validity of a local conservation commission’s ruling under a local wetlands bylaw notwithstanding that the commission’s partial reliance on the State Wetland Protection Act...more

Northern Gateway: BC Supreme Court Rules that British Columbia Must Issue its Own EA Decision and Consult First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

Tacoma Passes Moratorium on New Retail Stores, Medical Cooperatives

Thinking about opening a recreational store or medical cooperative in Tacoma? Better sit tight, at least for the time being. On Tuesday, January 13, 2016, the Tacoma City Council passed a “temporary moratorium on new...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

Marijuana Regulations Growing Like Weeds in California

Although California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, cities have differed widely in their response to medical marijuana dispensaries. Recently, Newport Beach joined Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Anaheim and Rancho Santa...more

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the...more

Six Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA's Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

The cumulative impact of the EPA guidance is to require the generation of more data, which means more sampling and analysis, more frequent and stringent remediation, and potentially higher remediation costs. At long...more

Drone on Drones: L.A. City Council Proposal Could Turn The City into a No Drone Zone

While the FAA continues its rulemaking process and state legislators propose drone regulations of their own, the City of Los Angeles is considering creating its own drone regulations rather than waiting for the state or...more

Denton, Texas at Center of Another Land Use Dispute

Less than three months after Texas House Bill 40, which limits municipalities' abilities to regulate oil and gas operations, was signed into law, and little more than a month after the City Council repealed its highly...more

Maui GMO Ban Overturned; Federal Court Remains Consistent on Preemption Analysis

This week, the federal district court in Hawaii struck down a Maui County law imposing a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms (GE plants, or GMOs). This decision is the third of three challenges...more

Preliminary Injunction Arguments Pour Into Litigation Against BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Since our last update on federal litigation in Wyoming challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the flurry of activity continues in advance of the June 23...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Court Of Appeals Upholds General Permit Procedures For Storm Water Discharge

The New York State Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation , recently rejected a challenge to the general permit procedures adopted by New York...more

Town of East Hampton Explores Limits of Aircraft Noise Regulation

In an unprecedented action aimed at limiting or eliminating noisy helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from use of the East Hampton Airport, in East Hampton, Long Island, New York (“Airport”), on April 6, 2015, the East...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

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