Zoning, Planning & Land Use Administrative Agency

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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

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

N.C. Court of Appeals Affirms Local Government Board's Recusal of One of Its Own Members In Quasi-Judicial Proceeding

A quasi-judicial land use proceeding requires an impartial decisionmaker, like any courtroom proceeding. State law does its best to spell out what constitutes an "impermissible violation[] of due process"...more

Hurricane Matthew – Emergency Permits After North Carolina State of Emergency

Whether Hurricane Matthew tracks east or west, coastal North Carolina will get a visit.  If you own a house, bulkhead, dock, and/or pier in coastal North Carolina, take pictures of your property before you stock up on the...more

Colorado High Court Holds Highway Condemnations Unauthorized Since 1994, Dismisses Taking Suit Against U-Haul Under Nondelegation...

On September 26, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court, in a 7-0 opinion on an original proceeding, held the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has no condemnation authority under a 1994 resolution that unlawfully...more

Nashville Islamic Center Claims Tax Rules Impose Unfair Burden

The Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) recently filed a federal complaint and request for declaratory judgment against the State of Tennessee, the Metropolitan Trustee of Nashville, and the Tennessee State Board of...more

First Circuit Affirms US Park Service Designation of Long Wharf Pavilion Area for Public Recreational Use

On September 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded that, “for now, at least, the long war over Long Wharf is at an end.” The Court’s ruling in Boston Redevelopment Auth. v. Nat’l Park...more

California Supreme Court Sets New Deferential Standard for Supplemental CEQA Review

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District, No. S214061 (Cal. September 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court rejected the “new project” test for determining whether a changed...more

My Project Changed—Is My EIR Still Valid: A New California Supreme Court Case Provides Guidance

Change is inevitable. Many times between project approval and project construction fluctuations in market conditions, financing terms or other factors mandate project changes. Do the changes require a further or modified...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

[Webinar] Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - September 20th, 10:00am PDT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a timely discussion of new laws that are changing the landscape of water resource management. This webinar for CLE credit* will cover critical water-related legal topics including implementation...more

Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee Update - Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House

David Wilson from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) addressed the Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee to give members an update on the current status of dams across South Carolina. He informed the Committee...more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016

Court of Appeal Holds EIR Inadequately Analyzed Energy Impacts - Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v. City of Ukiah et al. (248 Cal.App.4th 256) (partially published) - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404. ...more

New Climate Change Guidance for NEPA Reviews

In the United States, federal agencies that license, permit or finance energy and infrastructure projects must, with some limited exceptions, analyze the environmental impacts of those projects before they approve them,...more

No Doubting Thomases Allowed!

Expert appraisers have testified that the proposed development will not adversely affect values of properties adjacent to this new development. Nevertheless, the testimony does not seem right to you. You remember the Great...more

No Deference to State Settlements Under CERCLA? No Problem!

I will confess that I do enjoy being correct. In 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to defer to a state agency determination of the procedural and substantive fairness of a CERCLA consent decree. Various parties...more

Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s...more

Regulated Parties – 2, Regulators – 0

The United States Supreme Court has handed regulated parties their second win in four years concerning when they can take EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court over wetlands permitting issues. In 2012, the...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

Wetlands Determinations - Uncertainty for the Clean Water Rule?

On May 31, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. holding that approved judicial determinations as to the presence of wetlands issued by the...more

Administration Signals Intent to Challenge Judicial Decision That Struck Down Fracking Rule as Unlawful

On June 24, the Obama Administration filed its notice of appeal to challenge last week’s federal court decision to strike down the newest regulation over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands by the Bureau of Land...more

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