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Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

Read Zoning, Planning & Land Use updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Ninth Circuit Requires Evidence of No Injury, Recognizes Forfeiture of Pre-1919 Arizona Water Rights

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A recent ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the importance of beneficially using water, as currently recognized in California, to maintain state water rights. On June 13, a three-judge panel...more

First Appellate District Holds that Air Quality Management District’s Issuance of “Authority to Construct” May Be Challenged Under...

by Downey Brand LLP on

On May 25, 2017, the First Appellate District published a modified version of its unpublished March 23, 2017 opinion, holding that the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District’s (“MCAQMD”) issuance of an “Authority to...more

California Supreme Court Hands Victory to Private Property Owners Over Public Use

by Snell & Wilmer on

In 1970 the California Supreme Court held that, under certain circumstances, private property owners impliedly dedicate their property to the public if they permit the public to use it. Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2...more

WA Supreme Court Narrows Executive Session Real Estate Deliberations

by Perkins Coie on

The Washington Supreme Court significantly narrowed the ability of public agencies to discuss real estate deliberations in executive session. In a ruling on June 8, 2017, the court held that the Open Public Meetings Act...more

A Prevailing Party May Now Recover Attorney’s Fees in a Vested Rights Dispute

by Jackson Walker on

Chapter 245 of the Texas Local Government Code (the “Vested Rights Statute”), provides a regulatory scheme in which developers and the public may rely upon regulations of a regulatory agency in effect at the time an initial...more

DOJ to No Longer Allow Settlements to Include Contributions to Third Parties, Thereby Threatening the Future of SEPs

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Attorney General has directed the Department of Justice to no longer allow payments to third parties as part of resolving federal cases. For environmental cases, this prohibition could...more

Church Wins Free Speech Claim Over Zoning Ordinance and $1,354,595 in Damages

Last year, we reported about a case in which the city of St. Michael, Minnesota utilized RLUIPA’s “safe harbor” provision to avoid liability under the act’s substantial burden and equal terms provisions. While the federal...more

Impact of Ninth Circuit Upholding Biological Opinion for Silver State South Solar Project in Nevada

by Perkins Coie on

In Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to assess the impacts on the threatened desert tortoise from the...more

California Court Of Appeal Rejects Citizens Group Nuisance Case Regarding Sea Lion Stench

Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement v. City of San Diego, 8 Cal. App. 5th 350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017). The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal concluded that the City of San Diego could not be held...more

Tie Vote – No Default Denial- Town Law 267-a(13)(b)

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Generally, when a majority of the members of a zoning board of appeals (ZBA) either votes in favor of or against an action, the board is considered to have acted. What if a ZBA is unable to take any kind of majority action...more

Riverkeeper Groups Still Seeking to Remove ADEM Authority over NPDES Permits

In a continuation of an ongoing battle, seven environmental groups (Cahaba Riverkeeper, Choctawatchee Riverkeeper, Friends of Hurricane Creek, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Friends of the Locust Fork River, Alabama Rivers...more

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review a Legal Challenge to Mello-Roos Special Taxes - Funding Mechanism for “Additional Services”...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a development association’s petition for review of a California Court of Appeal’s decision that the Mello-Roos Act of 1972 allows the City of San Ramon to levy a special tax...more

NEPA Victory for Freeway Infrastructure Project in Riverside County - BB&K Team Represents RCTC in Mid County Parkway Project...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Best Best & Krieger LLP environmental attorneys successfully defended a freeway infrastructure project in Riverside County from a series of challenges brought under the National Environmental Policy Act. Partners Michelle...more

Treaty Obligations to Protect Fish Habitat From Degradation Upheld

by Perkins Coie on

In July 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Findings May be Legally Adequate Even if They Merely Recite the Language of the Ordinance

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On April 4, 2017, in Young v. City of Coronado, __ Cal. App. 5th __ (2017) (Case No. D070210), the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a challenge to the City of...more

Nevada Solar Project Survives Ninth Circuit Review Despite Impacts to Tortoise Connectivity

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in favor of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and other federal officials in an...more

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. SC19568, SC19569 - Mayer v. Historic District Commission - The statutory grounds for aggrievement for zoning appeals do not apply to Historic...more

Breaking: Mass. SJC Overhauls SLAPP Statute Practice

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today issued two decisions which together make important changes in how Massachusetts courts apply the often troublesome SLAPP statute, M.G.L. c. 231, § 59H, enacted in 1994. While of general...more

Appellate Court Holds That Mandatory Relief is Unavailable Because of Recording Error - Trial Court Ruled on Partial Record After...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In The Urban Wildlands Group, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles et al., No. B271350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2nd District, April 13, 2017), The Urban Wildlands Group Inc. (Urban Wildlands) filed a petition for writ of mandate and a complaint...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2017 WL 1422533), the California First District Court of Appeal held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

No Surprises Here: First District Applies CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Mandated by Supreme Court on Remand, Again Affirms...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

When all was said and done, it was a case of “same wine, different bottle” for Defendant and Appellant San Mateo Community College District (“District”) after the First District Court of Appeal’s published May 5, 2017...more

Motion to Dismiss U.S Justice Department Suit Against County Denied

The District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied Culpeper County, Virginia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”). The DOJ filed suit after the County denied a permanent...more

Supreme Court of California Ruling Elevates Responsible Agency Role Under CEQA - City's EIR Erred by Failing to Fully Disclose and...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, et al., the Supreme Court of California held that lead agencies need to expressly disclose and consider the jurisdictional claims and regulatory opinions of responsible...more

Third District Finds that EIR for Residential Development Inadequately Assessed Traffic Impacts

by Downey Brand LLP on

Cities charged with preparing EIRs for proposed projects often look to their general plans and other adopted policies to set thresholds of significance for assessing environmental impacts. A lead agency’s discretion to select...more

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