Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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What's an 18 hour city?

Ely Portillo, of the Charlotte Observer, brings us all up to speed on defining commonly thrown about real estate development jargon. Low-rise? Mid-rise? Mixed-use? Your guide to jargon in a city of cranes....more

Wolverine Status Review Reinitiated

The distinct population segment of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulf luscus) has had a long and difficult history with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, things appeared to be changing in 2013, when, after...more

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

Could Your Project Utilize New Market Tax Credits?

I came home from work the other day and my middle child had a kitten in her arms. A mangy, dirty, little dark scrawny kitten…gross. I’m not a cat person. OK, that’s not completely accurate. I friggin’ hate cats. The world...more

Governor (Still) Not A Public Agency Subject To CEQA, Holds Third District In Indian Gaming Case

The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”; 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) allows gaming on Indian lands acquired by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) in trust for a tribe’s benefit after October 17, 1988, if, among...more

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

Blowing Smoke About Impacts? Fourth District Rejects Speculative CEQA Challenge to San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Consumer...

In a 29-page published opinion filed October 14, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal dispensed some good news to municipalities desiring to reasonably regulate retail medical marijuana facilities within their...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

EPA Report Addresses Voluntary Strategies for Reducing Air Pollution at U.S. Ports

As part of its initiative to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases at U.S. ports, the EPA recently released a report that assesses strategies for pollution control and sustainable growth. The “National Port Strategy...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

Mayor's Fight vs Slots Parlor Gets Decided Tomorrow in Revere Special Election

To force the City of Revere to hold a special election solely on the question of building a slots parlor in the community, the wholesomely named Revere Jobs and Education Committee had to collect the signatures of at least...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

Gubernatorial Action that has Land Use Consequences is not a an Illegal Exercise of Legislative Power

On October 13, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer filed on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown following his concurrence with the Secretary of the...more

Top Ten Things to Know About Nevada's Question 2

The Basics: Question 2 is an indirect initiated state statute (the “Act”). Question 2 legalizes the possession, purchase, transportation and consumption of one ounce or less of marijuana (and one-eighth of an ounce or less of...more

Recent Reports Highlight Negative Consequences of Local Barriers to New Housing Development, Call for State-Level Solutions

California’s housing crisis is well-understood and documented. A chief culprit is the fact that the state’s coastal urban areas, for various reasons, do not approve enough new housing to accommodate everyone who seeks to...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental...more

California Ballot 2016: Los Angeles County Measures A & M

This is the fourth and final blog in our 2016 California Election Guide Series – the first three providing brief synopses of the 17 state-wide ballot initiatives residents will see in November. In this final segment, we will...more

Town and Village Greens Update October 2016

Since we last posted on common land and town and village greens, there have been new cases. Given the impact common land can have on developments, applications to register land as a town or village green are often appealed...more

California Coastal Act Takes Priority Over Housing Density Laws

Court Decision Provides Guidance for Affordable Housing Units within the Coastal Zone - The Second District Court of Appeal recently held that local agencies may be required to grant affordable housing density bonuses...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law: September 22, 2016

The Virginia Supreme Court issued one additional opinion in September affecting local government law, on September 22, 2016. This opinion addressed the priority to be given a local government special assessment lien over a...more

A Primer on Zoning Variances in North Carolina

What is a "variance" in the zoning context? Simply, it is relief from -- or a variation of -- the application of a zoning law to a particular piece of property....more

EPA Updates Penalty Calculation Guidance for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On September 8, the EPA published Supplemental Guidance to the 1995 Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy for Violations of the Industrial Stormwater Requirements. This new guidance applies only to stormwater...more

Seeing is Believing: ALTA’s New Survey Standards

For those of you who read our commentary regularly, you’ll see that we span the commentariat world from musings of perhaps little practical utility but great import (at least to us) to the more mundane. Today, mundane. Let’s...more

UK Shale: Full Steam Ahead for Fracking?

On 6 October 2016, the UK's Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, overruled local councillors on appeal and approved Cuadrilla's plans to explore for shale gas in Lancashire. Cuadrilla has been...more

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