Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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BC Environmental Assessment Office Fees

The Province of British Columbia approved an Order in Council dated April 11, 2014 to establish environmental assessment fees in British Columbia for the review of environmental assessment applications, orders and enforcement...more

The Regents of the University of California Issues RFQ for UC Merced 2020 Project

The Regents of the University of California (the "Regents"), on behalf of University of California, Merced ("UC Merced"), issued a Request for Qualifications today for the UC Merced 2020 Project (the "Project")....more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a...more

Urban Renewal Bill Introduced

Rep. Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) and Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) introduced HB 14-1375, dubbed in early drafts the “Urban Redevelopment Fairness Act,” on Friday, April 11, 2014, with only four weeks left in the...more

New Law Allows Mining Operators to Remedy Compliance Issues and Retain AB 3098 List Status

Mining companies are subject to myriad requirements under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) and implementing regulations that can trip up even the most diligent of operators from time to time. When a potential...more

Bright Line Rule: Collateral Estoppel Precludes Attacks on Quasi-Judicial Permit Decisions (But Stay Tuned: Rehearing Granted on...

Simply stated: “[a] collateral attack is not a substitute for an appeal” reasoned the Second Appellate District Court in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 03/18/2014, B243015) ___Cal.App.2nd___,...more

Zoning for a Health Care Facility: A Few Things to Think About

Admit it – your first thought was, why would anyone care if a health care facility was built in their neighborhood? But you were thinking of a nice, quiet nursing home, where the most activity that might take place would be...more

Developers Beware – Court of Appeal Clarifies the Effect of a Breach of the Sale of Land Act

In Barker v Midstyle Nominees Pty Ltd [2014] WASCA 75, the West Australian Court of Appeal has considered the legal consequences of a developer entering into off the plan contracts in breach of Section 13 of the Sale of Land...more

FHFA, City Of Chicago Resolve Dispute Over Vacant Property Ordinance

On April 3, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved an order of dismissal and memorandum of understanding jointly entered by the FHFA and the City of Chicago to end more than two years of...more

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...more

Glendale City Council Softens Stance on Tohono O’Odham Casino

After years of losses in court and an estimated $3 million in legal fees, the Glendale, Arizona City Council appeared to ease its opposition to the location of an Indian casino in Glendale within the Phoenix metropolitan area...more

California Water Commission Working on Inventory of State Water Storage Projects

As chair of the California Water Commission, I spoke last week at the inaugural Delta Stewardship Council Interagency Implementation Committee on the actions the Commission has taken, in collaboration with ACWA and the Delta...more

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

New Hurdles for Public Agencies: Accessing Property May Now Require Eminent Domain Actions

For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. The ruling, if upheld, will create additional hurdles for public agencies and may have unintended...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

Why California Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries Need to Know About California's New Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) unanimously adopted a new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit). You can find the new Industrial Storm Water permit and supporting...more

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

Radioactivity In The Oilfield: North Dakota Issues Material Handling Regulations Impacting Oil And Gas Operations

On April 10, 2014, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) announced new permit requirements for oil, gas and saltwater disposal wells. The new regulations, which go into effect on June 1, are targeted at the proper...more

Governor's Office of Planning & Research Seeks Input to Improve California's Groundwater Management

BB&K to Provide Input to the State on Groundwater Management - The Office of Planning & Research (OPR) is seeking stakeholder input on actions to improve groundwater management in California, consistent with the...more

District Court Holds That The Incidental Take Statement Requirement Under Section 7 Of The Endangered Species Act Does Not Apply...

Last Thursday, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the incidental take requirements in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do not apply to listed plant species. In Center...more

Buyers Beware: Little Known Pittsburgh Building Code Ordinance Can Present Expensive Problems

Commercial property buyers, landlords and tenants should be aware that a little known City of Pittsburgh ordinance requires building owners to conduct periodic inspections of building façade exteriors in the City. Many...more

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