Civil Remedies Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Supreme Court Allows Early Challenges to Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a property owner can go to court to challenge a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that part of the property is “waters of the U.S.” or connected wetlands and therefore...more

Quicksands and Cutting Edges of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers possess Due Process and Vested Rights to Continued...

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome. The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5,...more

Landmarking designation is alleged to violate RLUIPA

A brewing dispute in Yonkers, NY has led the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (ICCMW) to allege that Yonkers violated ICCMW’s rights under RLUIPA, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States...more

California Supreme Court Rules That Agencies—Not Courts—Determine Whether Modified Projects Are Subject to CEQA's Subsequent...

On September 19, the California Supreme Court held unanimously in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College, that agencies—and not courts—must decide whether the "subsequent review"...more

Damages for Seller’s Breach of a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement: a Recent Case Example

When a seller breaches a purchase and sale agreement and fails to complete the sale to the buyer, the buyer’s usual remedy is to seek “specific performance” of the agreement — i.e., a court judgment ordering the seller to...more

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies - A developer can recover the cost of preparing a California Environmental Quality Act administrative record, even when the lead agency, not the developer, actually...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

Texas Supreme Court Affirms Property Owners' Rights Within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2016, in Town of Lakewood Village v. Bizios, the Texas Supreme Court held that general law municipalities do not have the authority to enforce building codes within their extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs). This...more

Ocean, NJ ordered to allow Yeshiva boarding school

In January of this year, Yeshiva Gedola Na’os Yaakov, Inc. (the “Yeshiva”) filed a 79-page complaint in federal court against the Township of Ocean, New Jersey, and the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (the “Township)...more

Prevailing RLUIPA Defendant Denied Attorneys’ Fees

This summer, we reported that Genoa Charter Township prevailed in a lawsuit filed by Livingston Christian Schools (LSC), which claimed that the Township violated RLUIPA’s substantial burden provision, the First Amendment to...more

Do you need a Section 404 permit for your real estate development?

Real estate developers recognize the importance of obtaining a Phase I environmental site assessment to review existing environmental site conditions. However, other conditions — creeks, streams, ditches or other water...more

Improving Waterfront Property: Challenges to the Fifty Percent Rule are Strictly Construed

Anyone working in waterfront construction long enough has a story (or knows someone who does) about pulled permits or burdensome local rules and regulations which may turn a waterfront dream renovation into a nightmare....more

California Court of Appeal Partially Upholds Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Following State Supreme Court Decision

In a published decision, following the Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369, the First District Court of Appeal upheld...more

A Distinction without a Difference

On April 8, 2016, we posted a blog regarding the case of Quality Built Homes, Inc. v. Town of Carthage, ___N.C. App. ___, 766 S.E. 2d 897 (2015)(unpublished). In this case, the Court of Appeals had held that the Town of...more

Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

How to Negotiate a Right of Entry After Property Reserve

Last month, the California Supreme Court’s decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court provided long-awaited certainty for public agencies after a court of appeal determined the often-used “right of entry” statutes failed...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Intersection of City Right-of-Way Dedication Requirements and Project Influence in Valuing...

Just compensation in condemnation has long been held to require payment that is fair to both the property owner having its property seized and the public taking it. Two of the rules that have developed in this pursuit of...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 28, June 23, June 30 and July 22, 2016

The Virginia Supreme Court issued a number of opinions this Spring and Summer in recent terms. Its work resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local (and state) government law, in the areas of Virginia...more

The Olympics’ Secret Use of Eminent Domain

It’s an exciting time with the Olympics taking place in Rio De Janeiro. But what takes place before the Olympics ever gets off the ground involves years of planning, lobbying, and infrastructure development. That...more

Landowner’s Guide to Condemnation in South Carolina - The Government Wants Your Land…What Are Your Rights?

Government projects to build or expand roadways, erect public buildings, and install infrastructure, such as sewer, water and electrical lines, all require land. So long as building projects meet certain requirements,...more

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct...more

Don't make promises you cannot keep: Developer behaviour in the spotlight

In Ottercroft Ltd v. Scandia Care Ltd (1) and Rahimain (2), the court of Appeal has upheld a first instance decision to award an injunction against a developer who infringed an adjoining owner's rights of light. ...more

Safety, Health and Environment Matters - Spring/Summer 2016

Following the outcome of a so-called Brexit referendum it is clear that a significant period of uncertainty will follow while this country works out its new trading arrangements with fellow European countries and the rest of...more

Defeated North Carolina Class Action Ultimately Results in Victory for Landowners – NCDOT Loses Map Act Fight

What began several years ago as a defeated attempt at a class action against the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) ultimately resulted in a win this month for plaintiff landowners in Kirby v. NCDOT (No....more

TAKEN! Historic Eminent Domain Decision: NCDOT Must Pay When it Files a Transportation Corridor Protection Map

On June 10, 2016 the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the case of Kirby v. North Carolina Department of Transportation....more

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