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Constitutional Law Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read Constitutional Law updates, alerts, news, and analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Department of Justice and Bensalem Township, PA Settle Lawsuit Over Mosque Denial

The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has reached an agreement with Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania (“Township”), resolving allegations that the Township violated each of RLUIPA’s provisions when it denied a use...more

Municipality Prevails in Dispute Over Personal Chapel

The City of Brier, Washington (City) has prevailed over claims that it violated the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and other federal law in a dispute over a variance application to construct a...more

Eruv Dispute Prompts Claims of Religious Discrimination Against New Jersey Township

Last month, Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, Inc. (BREA) sued the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey regarding a dispute over the expansion of an eruv. According to the complaint, “[a]n eruv, under Jewish law, is a largely...more

Friday Afternoon Eminent Domain Case Review

by Nossaman LLP on

On Friday afternoon I decided to take a quick look at the advance sheets for any newly decided appellate cases involving eminent domain. My search revealed an unpublished decision that came out yesterday (September 7, 2017)...more

New Bill Aims to Streamline LA Olympics Transit Projects & Clippers Arena

by Nossaman LLP on

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, California lawmakers pitch a break from a key environmental law to help L.A. Olympic Bid, Clippers Arena, California lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 789 last week in an...more

Developer Asks SCOTUS To Hear Fla. Takings Case

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A Florida developer petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a $10 million takings case against the Florida Department of Environmental Protection The developer alleged that the DEP’s denial of a development permit for a...more

Condemnation Risk Planning: Denial Is Not A Strategy

In the past, few Puget Sound property owners or their business tenants would have given a moment’s thought to identifying contingencies for the prospect of a condemnation. Today’s environment is very different. Sound Transit...more

The Takings Tree?

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In 2011, Pasadena was hit by a powerful storm carrying hurricane force winds that injured more than 5,000 City-owned trees, 2,000 of which were uprooted. During the course of the storm, an approximately 110 foot tall Canary...more

U.S. EPA Environmental Appeals Board Petition for Review: Land & Cattle Company August 22nd Challenge to New Mexico City/Village's...

The Rio Hondo Land & Cattle Company (“Rio Hondo”) filed an August 22nd Petition for Review (“Petition”) before the United States Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Appeals Board challenging certain terms and...more

City’s On-site and Off-site Business Signs Distinction Upheld - Ninth Circuit Says Code is Proper Regulation of Commercial Speech

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A City of San Francisco Planning Code section that distinguishes between “general advertising signs” and “business signs” was upheld last week by a federal appeals court. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling...more

Case Report: Public Finance Implications of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer

In Public Finance, questions on separation of church and state usually arise in the context of a conduit financing by a state or local governmental entity which benefits a religious organization. The religious organization...more

Property Owner to Maintain Public Beach Access Over Coastal Property - California Court of Appeal Weighs in on California Coastal...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Under the California Coastal Act, a beachfront property owner must maintain public access over his property — and will be required to seek a Coastal Development Permit if he wishes to limit such public access, a California...more

Valuation Issues: Recovering Inseparable Damages

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

Imagine this: A local municipality has decided to expand the road behind your property. The road expansion project has many components. The number of lanes will increase from two to four. There will be a new raised median in...more

Court Holds Temporary Injunction on Martins Beach Access Dispute Does Not Constitute a Taking

by Nossaman LLP on

The Martins Beach access dispute in San Mateo County continues to make headlines. As a quick refresher, billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla purchased 90 acres of beachfront property south of Half Moon Bay, and...more

Seventh Circuit Rules No Religious Discrimination Based On Sprinkler Requirement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed the decision of the Northern District of Illinois, finding against a faith-based recovery home’s claims of religious discrimination and Fair Housing Act...more

The National Energy Board's Role in Crown Consultation

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court released two seminal decisions that clarify the role of administrative tribunals, such as the National Energy Board ("NEB"), in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous...more

Sixth Circuit Balances Rights of Forest Service and Rights of Private Property Owners Provided by Michigan Law

Balancing the interests of the Federal Government as owner of thousands of acres surrounding Crooked Lake and private owners’ rights, on July 26, in a 2 to 1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that...more

Court Enjoins Milwaukee Over AR Location-based Game Ordinance

A U.S. District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing a Milwaukee county ordinance requiring a permit before implementing certain AR location-based games. As we previously reported, Candy Lab AR,...more

Court of Appeals Reiterates “Modest” Burden for Regulating Adult Uses in People Theatres of N.Y. Inc. v. City of New York

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

In People Theatres of N.Y. Inc. v. City of New York, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 04385, various owners of adult businesses (“Plaintiffs”) brought separate actions against the City of New York (“City”) based upon First Amendment...more

Utah Considers Charter School Eminent Domain Issues

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Utah legislature is considering policy changes regarding the acquisition of land for new charter schools and further expansions of existing schools. Specifically, there currently is uncertainty as to the eminent domain...more

Tree-Preservation Ordinances in Texas Municipalities May Constitute Regulatory Takings

by Locke Lord LLP on

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion on July 14, 2017 concluding that municipal tree-preservation ordinances in Texas may, in certain unspecified factual circumstances, constitute a regulatory taking under the...more

Requiring Repair, Rather than Demolition, For Church’s Violations of Municipality’s Property Maintenance Code May Impose A...

An Illinois appellate court reversed a lower court’s dismissal of RLUIPA claims asserted by the First United Methodist Church of West Dundee (the “Church”) against the Village of West Dundee, Illinois (the “Village”), finding...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends Its Landmark Robinson Township Decision in Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v....

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The "Environmental Bill of Rights" is now indisputably the law of the land in Pennsylvania. A majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed and extended its landmark decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, 83...more

GA Supreme Court Considering Landowner’s Bill Of Rights Case

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Georgia Supreme Court is considering an important case involving the state’s 2006 Landowner’s Bill of Rights statute. At issue is whether certain provisions of that statute are mandatory or merely advisory....more

The D.C. Circuit shows the way through the red tape in pipeline permitting dispute

by Hogan Lovells on

On June 23, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that Millennium Pipeline Company LLC lacked standing to bring a claim against the New York State Department of Environmental...more

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