News & Analysis as of

Constitutional Law Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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

SCOTUS Decides Regulatory Takings Case

The US Supreme Court today issued its latest pronouncement on regulatory takings, Murr et. al, v. Wisconsin, et al. Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. The issue was...more

Ninth Circuit Requires Evidence of No Injury, Recognizes Forfeiture of Pre-1919 Arizona Water Rights

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A recent ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the importance of beneficially using water, as currently recognized in California, to maintain state water rights. On June 13, a three-judge panel...more

Public Comment Requested on Revisions to Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes

by Nossaman LLP on

When public agencies analyze a potential public project, they often need to gain access to private property for surveys, testing, and to otherwise investigate whether a particular property is suitable for a planned project. ...more

New Substantial Burden Framework in the Sixth Circuit; Court Upholds RLUIPA Verdict in Favor of Michigan Township

In an important decision for municipalities across the Country, the Sixth Circuit upheld a district court decision that found Genoa Charter Township (Township) did not violate federal law in denying a church’s application for...more

Church Wins Free Speech Claim Over Zoning Ordinance and $1,354,595 in Damages

Last year, we reported about a case in which the city of St. Michael, Minnesota utilized RLUIPA’s “safe harbor” provision to avoid liability under the act’s substantial burden and equal terms provisions. While the federal...more

RLUIPA Round-Up

What do tiny homes, marijuana, a sex club, the Satanic Temple, and yoga have in common? They each make an appearance in this installment of the RLUIPA Round-Up!...more

City of Bayonne, New Jersey Sued Over Denial of Application to Build a Mosque

Last month, Bayonne Muslims, a New Jersey not-for-profit religious congregation, sued the City of Bayonne, New Jersey (the “City”), challenging the City’s denial of certain variances needed to construct a mosque. ...more

Forfeitures for Ordinance Violations - When Are They Excessive?

by Ruder Ware on

An age-old problem faced by municipal officials is what to do about residents and landowners who fail to take care of their properties and allow junk, debris, and other unsightly items to accumulate.  This often leads to...more

Tennessee Prohibits Eminent Domain For Industrial Parks.

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Tennessee has enacted a law that will prohibit the use of eminent domain to condemn land for industrial parks. It deletes the “industrial parks” exception for takings under 29-17-102 (E), . It also provides that any property...more

Florida Changes Appraiser Licensing Law

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Florida has enacted a bill changing its appraiser licensing law. HB 927 includes changes advocated by the Appraisal Institute. The law defines an “evaluation” as a “valuation permitted by any federal financial institutions...more

Town of DISH’s and Its Residents’ Takings Claims Barred By Statute of Limitations

Litigating parties may be so invested in the rightness of their cause that they neglect to check the calendar, and the relevant stature of limitations. On May 19, the Texas Supreme Court decided the case of Town of DISH, et...more

Texas Considers Eminent Domain Bill

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Texas Senate approved an eminent domain bill intending to expand on current legislation. The bill’s author, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, said “This bill is designed to build off of Senate Bill 18 six years later as we’ve...more

New Jersey Township’s Recently Enacted Ordinances Alleged to Violate RLUIPA

Earlier this month, Agudath Israel of America Inc. (“Agudath Israel”) sued the Township of Jackson, New Jersey (“Jackson”), challenging Jackson’s recently-enacted land use ordinances restricting schools from all but three...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Motion to Dismiss U.S Justice Department Suit Against County Denied

The District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied Culpeper County, Virginia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”). The DOJ filed suit after the County denied a permanent...more

Valuing Underground Natural Gas Storage in Eminent Domain Proceedings

by Nossaman LLP on

In California eminent domain proceedings, a property owner is entitled to the “fair market value” of the property being acquired. Typically, fair market value is determined by analyzing comparable sales or by utilizing an...more

RLUIPA Round Up

The recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has brought renewed attention to the often blurry line between the courts, government and individual religious liberty. Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion in the...more

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services - California Appellate Court Finds...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

An assessment to fund flood control and drainage services imposed by a county reclamation district on a school district was upheld Friday by a California appellate court. The court found that the trial court erred in...more

Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt Provide ‘Tips for Handling a RLUIPA Lawsuit’

by Jackson Walker on

Attorneys Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt represent churches and religious institutions in matters related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In a recent article published by the American Bar...more

Church Entitled to Damages Following Denial of Special Use Permit

The expanding congregation of Christian Assembly Rios de Agua Viva sought a new home for their church in suburban Chicago, Illinois and began a three-and-a-half year search that ultimately led them to a four-acre property...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

Jewish School’s RLUIPA Claims Are Ripe For Adjudication

A federal court in the District of New Jersey has determined that claims asserted by the Congregation Kollel, Inc. (“Congregation”) against the Township of Howell, New Jersey (“Township”), based on the allegedly improper...more

New Cert Petition Asks SCOTUS if Legislatively Mandated Permit Conditions are Subject to Heightened Scrutiny

by Miller Starr Regalia on

Last September we wrote about 616 Croft Ave., LLC v. City of West Hollywood, an opinion from the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upholding a nearly $555,000 in-lieu fee on an 11-unit residential infill...more

Public Trust Doctrine & Water Rights - The Walker Case: Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Water Rights Established in...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit raises a significant and novel issue of western water law. The case addresses whether the public trust doctrine can authorize modification of a water rights decree and...more

The Supreme Court Is Hearing a Case Today That Could Change How We Determine If a Property Is the Subject of a Regulatory Taking

This year the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a highly-anticipated regulatory takings case that may determine whether two legally divided, but commonly held parcels, should be considered as one parcel in a...more

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