Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

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Irrigation District Sues, Says State Board Lacks Jurisdiction to Curtail Senior Water Rights

On June 26, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) filed a petition for writ of mandate in Contra Costa County Superior Court requesting that the Court set aside the State Water Resources Control Board’s June 12, 2015...more

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency...more

Government & Regulatory Law Update June 2015: United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Local Sign Ordinance: Content-Based...

Decades of case law demonstrates that differentiating based on content when regulating speech is an almost certain death knell. The line between content-based and content-neutral regulations, however, has often been hazy,...more

Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign: U.S. Supreme Court Decides Reed v. Town of Gilbert

The Supreme Court of the United States handed down today an important First Amendment case concerning governments’ ability to regulate commonly displayed informational signs.  In Reed v. Town of Gilbert,...more

California Supreme Court Paves the Way for Ownership Inclusionary Housing - Many Developers Maintain That the Costs Associated...

In a highly anticipated case affecting residential development throughout California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected the California Building Industry Association’s (CBIA) challenge to the City of San Jose’s...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

More Injunction Arguments In BLM Fracking Rule Litigation Prior To Major Court Hearing Tomorrow

Several more key filings have come into the federal litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands in advance of the June 23 consolidated preliminary...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Inclusionary Housing Ordinances

On June 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, No. S212072, unanimously upholding the validity of inclusionary housing programs in...more

Supreme Court Decides Reed v. Town of Gilbert

On June 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Reed v. Town of Gilbert, No. 13-502, holding that a municipal code subjecting signs to different regulations depending on whether the sign displayed an ideological...more

Court Order Cuts Attorneys’ Fees in Jacksonville Beach Case

Earlier this year, we reported that the dispute between Jacksonville Beach, Florida and the Church of Our Savior continued to boil in mediation, with attorneys’ fees nearing $700K. After finding that Jacksonville violated...more

Real Property – Court’s Power to Issue Equitable Easements

Lilli Shoen v. Juliet Zacarias - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 22, 2015) - A trial court has the power to issue an equitable easement authorizing a trespasser to continue her trespass in...more

California Appellate Court: CDFW Notification Required for Water Diversions

Any plans to “substantially divert” water from a river or stream requires notification to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Court of Appeal found. In reversing a lower court’s decision that favored...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

California Supreme Court Holds Inclusionary Zoning Subject to Rational Basis Review

2013 was a banner year for developers under the takings clause, as both the U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court issued decisions expanding the developers’ ability to challenge exactions as unconstitutional. In...more

California Supreme Court Endorses City Authority to Adopt Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

On June 15, 2015, in a decision that came as a surprise to many observers, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance which had been filed by the California...more

California Supreme Court Holds Facial Challenge to Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance Subject to Deferential Standard of Review

In a decision with major repercussions for the building industry in California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected a constitutional challenge to San Jose's affordable housing ordinance. California Building...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Approval of Oil Spill Response Plans is Non-Discretionary

On June 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (Bureau) approval of oil spill response plans (OSRPs) relating to oil leases in the Beaufort and...more

Preliminary Injunction Arguments Pour Into Litigation Against BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Since our last update on federal litigation in Wyoming challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the flurry of activity continues in advance of the June 23...more

Fish & Game Code Section 1602 Is Unambiguous, Now Requiring More Water Users To Provide “1602 Notification” To “Substantially...

On June 4, 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled that California Fish and Game Code section 1602 (“Section 1602”) unambiguously requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) if an entity or individual...more

New Water Rule Isn't The End of The Story

It appears that Godot has finally made an appearance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their final rule, years in the making, defining "waters of the United States" under the...more

“Clearing” the Waters – U.S. EPA and the Army Corps Finalize “Waters of the United States” Definition

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued their highly anticipated final revision to the definition of “waters of the United...more

Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

This year the Utah Legislature took action on two water law issues that it has struggled with for several years—the authority of the State Engineer to consider forfeiture during review of change applications and the rights of...more

Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and...

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the...more

Braving the Headwinds Hitting U.S. Wind Energy

The development of offshore wind projects in the U.S. has been a story of high hopes and many setbacks. Thus far, 2015 has perpetuated the same storyline, with major setbacks plaguing one of the major U.S. offshore wind...more

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