Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Remedies

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Complex Landfill Dispute

Can the Illinois state courts order mandatory cleanups of older landfills? The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide that issue late last month, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in People ex rel. Madigan v. J. T....more

No Bull: Santa Cruz County Rodeo Qualifies for CEQA Exemption

In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex rel. 14th District Agricultural Association, et al. (3rd App. Dist., March 26, 2014), the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to exempt a...more

Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court: California Property Owners Secure Victory in New Eminent Domain Opinion

In a victory for California property owners, the California Court of Appeal, on March 13, 2014, issued a new opinion holding that the State of California's proposed entry onto hundreds of properties in Northern California for...more

Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Statutes Challenged as Unconstitutional Takings

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action. ...more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

Breathing New Life Into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On Dec. 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania addressing the injunction entered by the Commonwealth Court enjoining the enforcement of a...more

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned the July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (the ERT) in Ostrander Point. In its...more

Charter Cities Challenge Legislation Restricting Access to State Funding Based on Compliance with Prevailing Wage Law

Cities Sue State Calling SB 7 an Unconstitutional Restriction on Municipal Affairs - Several California charter cities challenged the constitutionality of Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) last week by filing a writ of mandate and...more

$5 Billion Honolulu Rail Transit Project Gets Green Light

In a decision of national importance for rail transit and highway projects, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected NEPA and Section 4(f) challenges to the 20-mile Honolulu Rail Transit Project. HonoluluTraffic.Com v....more

Contrary Legal Winds At Cape Wind - Opponents Of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States? At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting. A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is...more

Appeal Not Moot, Though Disputed Policy Had Been Revised

In a decision issued on February 4, 2014, the Seventh Circuit examined the mootness doctrine in an appeal of the denial of a preliminary injunction that challenged a facility use policy for a war memorial. Smith v. Exec. Dir....more

Fracking: A New Contact Sport

One of the more interesting developments coming from the rise in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the efforts by municipalities to prohibit or limit fracking in their backyards, and the ensuing debates on the...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Conduct As Interference With Easement

Flora Dolnikov v. Dikran Ekizian - Court Of Appeal, Second District (December 19, 2013) - This case dealt with an easement for ingress and egress to undeveloped lots in the Hollywood Hills. In 1942, defendants’...more

High Speed Rail Decision on Track for Review at Court of Appeal

Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more

Government Need Not Satisfy Nexus and Proportionality Tests if Dedication Requirement Does Not Otherwise Constitute a Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency’s granting a discretionary permit. However, there are limits, as the government agency cannot typically demand conditions that are not...more

Alberta Court Grants Six-Month Injunction Against Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a six-month injunction in favour of Penn West Petroleum Ltd., authorizing the RCMP to remove a road blockade erected by individuals associated with Bernard...more

Province Ordered to Pay Damages to Timber Company over Aboriginal Road Blockade

On December 23, 2013, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) ordered the Province of British Columbia (Province) to pay logging contractor Moulton Contracting Ltd. a sum of $1.75 million in damages for the Province’s...more

Alberta Court Grants Order Under Public Lands Act Halting Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a long-term Order to Penn West Petroleum Ltd. prohibiting several members of the Lubicon Lake Cree from continuing to blockade a permitted access road in the...more

Victory on Permit Conditions Does Not Justify Fee Award

In Norberg v. California Coastal Commission the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided a unique case arising from a permit dispute with the California Coastal Commission (“the Commission”)....more

NEW CASE ALERT (Easement Law): Refusing To Consent To Development Plans May Trigger Tort Liability For Interference With Easement

If an easement owner is required to obtain governmental approval in order to develop that owner’s property, and the neighboring property owner refuses to consent to the development (e.g. refusing to execute consent for a...more

No Private Attorney General Fees for Homeowner

In Donald A. Norberg v. California Coastal Commission (4th Dist., Div. 3, 10/25/13, G047522) ___Cal.App.4th___, 2013, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s award of private attorney general fees because the...more

Guidance For Developers: Protect Against Liability Through Planning And Regulatory Compliance

Recently, Phillips Lytle attorneys successfully appealed an award of punitive damages against a developer found liable for flooding neighboring property. Unanimously reversing the Appellate Division, the New York Court of...more

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