Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

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City Ordered to Refund $10.5 Million in Beach Parking Fees

On August 28, 2015, a California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment against the City of San Clemente (City) ordering the City to refund approximately $10.5 million in unexpended development impact fees...more

District Court Enjoins Federal Regulations Revising Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:15-cv-00059 (D.N.D. Aug. 27, 2015) - A federal judge, Ralph R. Erickson, in North Dakota today granted several states’ request for a preliminary injunction to...more

Controversial Waters of the U.S. Rule Blocked in 13 States

The WOTUS rule is concerning to many industry sectors because it would significantly expand Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction for the agencies. In particular, the rule would extend jurisdiction to broad definitions of...more

WOTUS Litigation Update: Confusion Breeds Confusion

Perhaps it is poetic justice. The litigation over the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is as disjointed and confusing as the rule itself. Following a key court ruling yesterday, the WOTUS rule is now...more

Legislation Revamping California Groundwater Adjudications Marches Forward

AB 1390 aims in unprecedented fashion to expedite procedures and processes for groundwater adjudications, which, in California, are known to take one or two decades before reaching a final judgment. The bill would add various...more

Court Rejects “Gotcha” Theory of Waiver Under Public Records Act

A California appellate court has ruled that inadvertent disclosure of documents containing attorney-client communications in response to a Public Records Act request does not result in a waiver of the privilege. Newark...more

Supreme Court Takes on Housing Discrimination

Court rules that actions that disproportionally affect minority groups can support lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that certain actions that adversely affect minorities in poor...more

30-year Eagle Take Permit Term Remanded on Procedural Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") had inappropriately relied on a categorical exclusion under the National...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19203 - Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection - Applicant sought a water diversion permit for some of its quarries for water used in its rock...more

Court Holds Company Was Penalized Twice for Same Violation

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that should help clear up this question: When violations of water quality standards occur because of an unauthorized discharge, may penalties be imposed for both...more

UPDATE: CEQA’s Mitigation Requirement: California Supreme Court Agrees With EnviroStructure!

Last February, I wrote about the California State University Board of Trustees’ (CSU) unique stance concerning their responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CSU agrees that like every other...more

Flushing Out the Safe Harbor: “General Land Area Minimum” Offers Newton No 40B Shelter

Municipalities long unable to achieve ten percent affordable housing are now turning more frequently to a different Safe Harbor to block development of low and moderate income housing – compliance with the “General Land Area...more

Disparate Impact Claims Fair Game under the Fair Housing Act

The United States Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision in June, brought housing discrimination law ever-so-slightly more in line with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) by holding that claims of...more

California Supreme Court Holds that State Agencies May Not Escape CEQA Mitigation Requirements Based on Failure of the Legislature...

In a decision that enhances the ability of local interests to obtain mitigation funds from state agencies, the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") requires the Board of...more

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update Second Quarter 2015

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach - 236 Cal.App.4th 1341 - This case involved the City of Newport Beach’s approval of a mixed-use development project on land located within the coastal zone. Banning...more

N.C. Court Reminds Litigants of Need to Preserve "Status Quo" When Appealing Denial of Preliminary Injunction

Today, we're looking at Shoeheel Farms v. City of Laurinburg, COA14-1089 (August 4, 2015). The Court of Appeals dismissed as moot property owners' appeal of a trial court's decision denying a temporary restraining order and...more

If At First You Succeed, Don’t Try, Try, Try Again

The Fifth District Court of Appeal has confirmed that the 90-day statute of limitations under the Subdivision Map Act includes takings claims arising out of Map Act decisions. Honchariw_v._County_of_Stanislaus, No. F069145...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Dissent Asserts That Spot Zoning Does Not Require a "Single Owner"

Appellate court dissents are often overlooked by the public, viewed more intently by the litigants as bases for further appeal or other strategic maneuvering. But dissents are an important part of legal doctrine....more

Real World: An Update from Dechert's London Finance and Real Estate Group - July 2015: Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants Under...

Under a building scheme, where restrictive covenants are imposed on the original plot owners within a development for the mutual benefit of the plots, subsequent owners may enforce those covenants against each other. In...more

CT Law of the Land

Week of July 6 - In June 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court issued two significant land use decisions summarized below. In the first decision the Court analyzed when a town’s zoning regulation might be deemed void...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

Supreme Court Decides Two First Amendment Cases

Two recent Supreme Court decisions provide timely guidance on the First Amendment implications of publicly displaying the Confederate Flag or other symbols or signage related to protected beliefs. First, in Walker v. Sons of...more

Arizona Town's Content-Based Sign Rules Struck Down by U.S. Supreme Court

Local agencies urged to review sign codes in favor of content-neutral rules - The United States Supreme Court recently struck down portions of an Arizona town’s sign code that subjected ideological, political and...more

High Standard for Invoking Equitable Estoppel Against the Government Reaffirmed

Schafer v. City of Los Angeles; Triangle Center, LLC, Real Party in Interest (6/17/2015, 3d Civil No. E059133) The California Court of Appeal, Second District, recently re-affirmed the heightened standard for invoking...more

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