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Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right-of-entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action....more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Endorses Broad Regulatory Authority Under The Massachusetts Endangered Species Act

On February 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Pepin v. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife that upheld the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s ( “DFW’s”) regulatory scheme...more

The Third Circuit Reinstates Nuisance Claims Against Cheswick Generating: Bad Idea

On Wednesday, in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived class action nuisance claims brought by residential property owners living within one mile of GenOn’s Cheswick Generating Station....more

Legal Update: What The Crystal Ball Says About Koontz

As you may have heard, on June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013). Koontz has been hailed by property rights...more

Supreme Court Rules On Permits

The recent Supreme Court case Koontz vs. St. Johns River has generated a lot of commentary and debate in the legal community and speculation concerning the ramifications of the case on various land use permitting scenarios. ...more

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Latest Attempt to Differentiate a Fair Quid Pro Quo in the Developer’s Permitting Process From an...

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an important decision in an attempt to add clarity and help government land use planners understand the difference between reasonable requests and unreasonable demands rising to the level of...more

Supreme Court Affords Landowners Protection From “The Dangers of Governmental Coercion” In Land-Use Permitting Decision

Last month, the Supreme Court completed its trifecta of Fifth Amendment land-use permitting decisions by issuing its opinion in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist., a decision resting firmly on the backs of the...more

Zoning & Land Use -- July 2013: Supreme Court Strives to Protect Zoning Applicants from Unreasonable Government Demands

Recently the Supreme Court issued a decision that will have a material impact on applicants seeking zoning and land use related permits. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt Dist., 2013 WL 3184628, No. 11-1447 (U.S. June...more

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Landowner Seeking To Develop Property

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District rendered a decision that protects the rights of property owners when seeking construction permits to develop their...more

US Supreme Court Protects Landowners from "Extortionate" Demands by the Government in Land-Use Permitting Decisions, Including...

In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Alito, and joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy, the US Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District broadened the protections...more

Supreme Court Ruling May Lead to More Landowner Challenges of Land Use Regulations, Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in a long-running land use case holding that “extortionate demands” by the local government entity constituted illegal interference with a property owner/developer’s right to...more

Extort Me Not: Supreme Court Expands Protections for Permit Applicants Under the Takings Clause

The high court’s decision in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District extends the landmark decisions in Nollan and Dolan, which set standards on when an agency can condition a land use permit on the relinquishment...more

United States Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Real Property Owner in Federal Constitutional Takings Case

The Supreme Court of the United States published an important land use case on June 25, 2013, which provided a partial victory for a real property owner, based on the denial of a permit by a Florida permitting agency. The...more

Supreme Court decision will impact land-development projects nationwide

In a decision that will impact land-development projects nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court held this week that the government may not condition a land-use permit on mitigation requirements that do not have an essential...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules For Property Owner In Important Takings Case

In a 5-4 decision, the U. S. Supreme Court expanded the reach of the requirement that there be a “nexus” and “rough proportionality” between the impacts of a proposed development and governmental conditions imposed on the...more

Denying Land-Use Approval if a Land Owner Will Not Pay for Mitigation Efforts Triggers Heightened Constitutional Scrutiny - U.S....

If a governmental authority denies approval of a land-use permit because an applicant refuses to spend money on a government project, such as a mitigation project, the government must defend its denial under heightened...more

Equal Protection Claims Concerning Disparate Enforcement of Environmental Laws Remain an Uphill Battle

In 2000, in its 2-page per curiam opinion in Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, the Supreme Court gave hope to developers and property owners that the equal protection clause could be used to prevent local zoning and...more

Q&A With Bilzin Sumberg's Howard Nelson

Originally Published in Law360 on March 28, 2013. Howard Nelson, chairman of the environmental practice group at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, has experience in environmental and land use law and zoning and...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Business Litigation Important Texas Water Rights Case Could Affect Oil & Gas Activities as Well by Brannon...

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an important decision on a groundwater rights question that had gone unanswered for more than a century. In Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, the Court held that Texas property owners...more

High Court Weighs In on Surface Owners’ Appeal Rights

In Martin v. Hamblet, decided November 21, 2012, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals determined that a surface owner may not appeal issuance of a well work permit by the Department of Environmental Protection for a...more

RCRA Citizen Suits Are Still Constitutional

2012 is shaping up to be the Year of the Commerce Clause. Not only is the Commerce Clause at the center of the Supreme Court ‘s impending review of the Affordable Care Act later this spring; it is also at the heart of a...more

In a Landmark Decision, the Texas Supreme Court Recognizes Vested Property Interest in Groundwater "In Place"

On February 24, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, one of the most significant water law cases in years. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that,...more

Sauce For the Goose? Home Builders Lose a Standing Battle

Developers have cheered in recent years as the Supreme Court has tightened its standing rules. In a decision issued on Friday in National Association of Home Builders v. EPA, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia...more

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