Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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Legislature Adopts Historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Act Imposes Groundwater Management and Reporting Requirements on Local Agencies - On Friday night, the California Legislature adopted a lawmaking package, including Senate Bills 1168 and 1319 and Assembly Bill 1739,...more

An Update of Flow Control Jurisprudence since United Haulers

Since United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 550 U.S. 330, 344 (2007), most courts have upheld local flow control ordinances as constitutional under that holding. ...more

EPA Reinforces Standards to Use "Representative Data" After Sierra Club

On January 22, 2013, in Sierra Club v. EPA, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that addressed some Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program issues. Following this...more

ABA Endangered Species Committee Releases Newsletter

The Endangered Species Committee within the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources recently released its periodic Endangered Species Committee Newsletter. The newsletter includes articles...more

District Court Rules Grizzly Bears Trump Montana's Plan to Log Forest Lands to Fund Schools

On August 21, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Montana remanded the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forested State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and suspended...more

Miami’s Future Archipelago of Floating Houses

A team of Dutch developers would like to bring a little bit of Atlantis to Miami. Earlier this month, Dutch Docklands submitted a letter of intent and request for zoning variance to the City of North Miami Beach in order to...more

Drilling Bill Fails in Assembly

SB 1096 (Jackson), which sought to foreclose the possibility of oil drilling in state waters from wells that could be drilled at Vandenberg Air Force Base, was defeated in the Assembly on Tuesday...more

Court Reluctantly Upholds Designation of Critial Habitat for Frog

Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the designation of approximately 1,544 acres of privately-owned timber land located in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky...more

New Kazakhstan Permits and Notifications Law

The provisions that relate to permits and licenses were recently consolidated into one legislative act. In November 2014, the Permits and Notifications Law of 16 May 2014 (the New Law) will take effect in Kazakhstan....more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #6

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. EPA settles case over destruction of rare Central Valley wetlands: EPA - Aug 14: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a...more

Parkmerced Project Upheld Against CEQA and General Plan Inconsistency Challenges In San Francisco Tomorrow v. City and County of...

In a lengthy, mostly-unpublished opinion filed on August 14, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the superior court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the Parkmerced Development Project. San...more

CEQA: Are time extensions for nonconforming uses exempt from review?

Is an extension of time for an existing nonconforming use exempt from CEQA review? A new writ action just filed proposes to resolve that issue....more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions in California?

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District received quite a bit of national coverage in the development world. If you'll recall, Koontz held that the nexus and...more

Oregon wave energy project surrenders license

Ocean waves contain tremendous amounts of energy that could be harnessed by humans -- but difficulties have led a pilot project proposed off the Oregon coast to surrender a key federal license....more

Governor’s Passion For Legislative CEQA Reform Has Waned, Contra Costa Times Reports After Mercury News Interview

On August 15, 2014, the Contra Costa Times reported on a wide-ranging interview of California Governor Jerry Brown conducted by the Mercury News opinion and editorial board on that same date. While largely devoted to other...more

City of San Diego's Settlement Over Alleged MS4 Permit Violations Results in Crackdown on Out-Of-Compliance Projects

On August 13, 2014, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a two-part settlement with the City of San Diego for violations of the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System ("MS4") permits. Most of the...more

A Provisional Winner of an Offshore Wind Lease is Announced and that Means the Goal Line is Still Far Off

Offshore wind took another small step forward last week when US Wind was announced as the provisional winner of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's August 19 auction of development rights to nearly 80,000 acres off of...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar plant's downside? Birds igniting in midair: CBS News - Aug 19: Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's...more

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling...more

California Coastal Commission Further Solidifies Enforcement Powers

An informal Attorney General advice letter and recent legislation attempt to clarify the Coastal Commission’s powers in carrying out its enforcement authority. The extent of the California Coastal Commission’s legal...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus: The California Supreme Court further limits the scope of CEQA review for voter-sponsored initiatives: Allen Matkins - Aug 11: Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code...more

Texas Supreme Court opinions and orders (8/14 - Part 1)

In its weekly orders (8/22/14), the Texas Supreme Court issued seven opinions, granted four petitions for review, and set four mandamus petitions for argument. In this post, I will summarize three of the opinions, two of the...more

Mortgagees Face Increased Penalties for Failure to Remedy Municipal Violations on New Jersey Properties in Foreclosure

Action items: As a result of the recent changes in New Jersey law, mortgagees and servicers should review their practices and procedures to ensure timely response to notices of municipal code violations on abandoned or vacant...more

Confirmation That the Limitation Period for 'Building Actions' is 10 Years, Not Six

The recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision of Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165 (Brirek Case) has settled the appropriate time period, at least in Victoria, in which a...more

OPR Proposes to Increase CEQA’s Costs, Complexity, and Litigation Risks with SB 743 Implementation

On August 6, 2014, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) issued proposed revisions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines implementing SB 743 – the Sacramento Kings arena bill – carried...more

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