Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Due Process Required for Environmental Remedy Selection: Appellate Division Rules NYSDEC Must Afford Responsible Parties an...

Hodgson Russ LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP successfully challenged the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) ability to implement a remedy without first providing a party an opportunity for a...more

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 - Community Facilities Districts formed by a landowner vote may be used to finance increased demand on pre-existing services, a California...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

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

New Opinion Clarifies Takings Law Regarding Affordable Housing Programs

Last year, my partner Ben Rubin reported on the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, which analyzed an inclusionary housing ordinance and held that such...more

Oh, What Schemes of Glory This Business of Gambling Gives Birth To

Article 48, an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution adopted in 1918, states that “the people reserve to themselves the popular initiative, which is the power of a specified number of voters to submit constitutional...more

Robinson Township v. Commonwealth – Is Any of Act 13 Left?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck four additional portions of Act 13 of 2012 in its much anticipated second decision in the Robinson Twp. v. Com. litigation (Robinson IV) on September 28, 2016. While the decision and its...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

The Saga of Pennsylvania's Act 13 Comes to an End

With a bang, rather than a whimper, the saga of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 appears to have finally come to an end. On September 28, 2016, nearly three years after giving teeth to the long-dormant environmental rights amendment to...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues New Decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth Case

On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in the Robinson Township v. Commonwealth case, in which petitioners challenged numerous provisions of Act 13 of 2012, 58 Pa. Con....more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Court Rejects Takings Challenge to City’s Imposition of $600,000 in Fees for 11-Unit Infill Project

On September 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a petition for writ of mandate filed by a developer challenging various fees—totaling nearly $600,000—in...more

RLUIPA Case of the Year? Minnesota Municipality Uses RLUIPA’s Safe Harbor Provision to Avoid Liability

In an important decision for municipalities across the country, a federal court in Minnesota has recently ruled that actions taken under RLUIPA’s “safe harbor” provision absolved a local government of possible RLUIPA...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

California Supreme Court Upholds Precondemnation Procedures

On July 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court in Property Reserve v. Superior Court upheld the state’s precondemnation entry and testing statutes provided they were reformed to allow impacted property owners the ability to...more

Constitutional Use of Toll Revenue the Subject of Recent Federal Court Decision

Public agencies with toll-setting authority should take note of a recent federal court decision relating to the uses of user fees and toll revenue, as well as the stated goals of the plaintiff in that case. The U.S....more

Georgia County Imposes Moratorium on Religious Uses

Newton County, Georgia has imposed a moratorium on religious uses following the planned construction of a mosque and cemetery. The Al Maad Al Islami Inc., a Doraville mosque, purchased 135 acres at the corner of 162 and...more

New Complaint Challenges Constitutionality of Connecticut Educational System

On August 23, 2016, four Connecticut parents, on behalf of themselves and their seven children, filed a 71-page complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against Governor Dannel Malloy and...more

Judge, not Jury, Must Consider the Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement and Whether it Qualifies as a "Project Effect"

One issue that can arise in eminent domain actions involving undeveloped (or under developed) property is whether the property being acquired is potentially subject to a dedication requirement. If the property’s overall...more

RLUIPA Defense/Rocky Mountain Sign Law Joint Blog Post: Pennsylvania Borough’s Church Directional Signs Did Not Violate the...

Late last month, a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that directional signs to a church, which contained images of a cross and bible, did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

Municipal Condemnation of Privately Held Utilities Continues to be a Hot Issue, but at what Cost?

In January, I spoke at a conference in Austin about efforts by municipalities to condemn privately-held utility companies. At the time, I figured it would be a one-off presentation on a pretty niche issue, even for eminent...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

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