Zoning, Planning & Land Use Conflict of Laws

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Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...more

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

BB&K Municipal & Public Safety Legal Alert: Court Holds Bans on Sex Offenders Entering Parks Without Permission Invalid

Court of Appeal Holds State Law Preempts Local Ordinances - Overview: A California Court of Appeal recently struck down a provision of the Irvine Municipal Code and an Orange County ordinance, both of which required...more

PA Supreme Court Holds Portions of Oil and Gas Act Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that several provisions of Act 13 of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act are unconstitutional as it gives Marcellus Shale and natural gas drillers unfettered access to drilling...more

Litigation Over Hydraulic Fracturing in New York Rolls On, As Arguments Are Made To High Court The Same Week A New Lawsuit Emerges...

On December 16, 2013, the Town of Dryden, New York filed its merits brief with the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that state law does not preempt the Town’s local zoning ordinance purporting to ban hydraulic fracturing....more

Ninth Circuit: City Requirement That Cell-Tower Company Obtain Voter Approval Upheld

When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Ordinance Prohibiting Marijuana Cultivation Upheld

Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program Do Not Preempt a Municipality’s Police Power to Prohibit the Cultivation of Marijuana Overview: A California court of appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s...more

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Files Suit Against Fracking Bans

On December 3, 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) filed suits challenging citizen-passed initiatives that ban oil and gas activities in the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette. The ordinance passed by the...more

Depublication of Controversial CEQA Common Interest Case Denied by Supreme Court, Leaving Troublesome Split of Authority

On October 16, 2013, 60 days after the request was submitted, the California Supreme Court denied Infill Builders’ request to depublish Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court (5th Dist. 2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 889, a decision...more

Third Circuit Decision Finding No CAA Preemption of State Law Nuisance Creates Apparent Split With Fourth Circuit

A recent case from the Third Circuit has muddied the waters for emissions facilities complying with Clean Air Act (“CAA”) permits. In Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, 2013 WL 4418637 (Aug. 20, 2013), the Third Circuit...more

New Decision Helps Multifamily Developers by Striking Down a Restrictive Local Ordinance

On July 11, 2013, in Latinos Unidos del Valle de Napa y Solano v. County of Napa (A135094), the First District reversed and remanded a trial court's decision that Napa County's restrictive density bonus ordinance did not...more

City of Ceres: California Appeals Court CEQA Decision Complicates Whether Agencies' Communications with Developers Are Privileged

On July 8, 2013, the Fifth District of the California Court of Appeal issued Citizens for Ceres v. Super. Ct. of Stanislaus County (Case No. F065690 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th, July 8, 2013)) (Ceres), a perplexing opinion holding...more

Wireless Site Applications: It's My Party (the FCC) and I'll Decide How I Want To

When a Federal statute is ambiguous, who gets to decide what it means — judges or the agency in charge of administering the statute? In its recent holding in City of Arlington v. Federal Communications Commission issued...more

No Common Interest In CEQA Compliance Prior To Project Approval, Holds Fifth District In City of Ceres Decision That Conflicts...

In a partially-published appellate writ decision filed July 8, 2013, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that while CEQA’s administrative record statute (Pub. Resources Code, § 21167.6) does not impliedly abrogate the...more

The New Range Wars: CEQA and the Williamson Act Are Deployed To Fight Global Warming Solutions In Save Panoche Valley

Nothing says “battle royal” quite like pitting several of California’s heavyweight environmental laws against one another in a “winner-take-all” litigation brawl....more

State Law Preemption of Local Land Use Regulations and the Supreme Court's Recent Decision Upholding Citywide Ban on Medical...

The recent spate of court cases dealing with local regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries ("MMDs") offers an interesting illustration of the interplay between federal, state and local laws that regulate the same subject...more

Florida Supreme Court Declares "Superpriority" Municipal Liens Invalid

It has become increasingly common in recent years for Florida municipalities to enact local ordinances granting so-called “superpriority” status to liens for municipal assessments. These types of ordinances typically state...more

Court of Appeals to Hear Fracking Ban Case?

Last week, Norse Energy filed its Notice of Appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals. ...more

California Cities and Counties Can Allow, Restrict, Limit or Exclude Facilities that Distribute Medical Marijuana

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 6 in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that cities and counties have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their...more

N.Y. Appellate Court: Municipalities Can Ban O&G Activity

An intermediate appellate court in New York recently affirmed that a local government has the authority to enact zoning ordinances banning all oil and natural gas activities within municipal limits. In 2011, the Town of...more

New York Appeals Court Upholds Zoning Laws Banning Hydrofracking over State Oil and Gas Laws

In Norse Energy Corporation USA v. Town of Dryden, et al. and Cooperstown Holstein Corporation v. Town of Middlefield, the Third Department upheld local ordinances banning all activities related to the exploration for and the...more

Florida to Government: Your Lien Doesn't Foreclose This Old Mortgage

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that cities cannot create ordinances that subject prior recorded mortgages to their subsequently recorded county or governmental liens, because it conflicts with Florida's state statutes on...more

N.Y. Appellate Division Affirms Zoning Ordinance Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

Sedgwick’s Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force has been watching the ongoing litigation involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking) bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, N.Y. In February 2012 we reported on the Supreme...more

California Supreme Court: Cities Can Ban Facilities That Distribute Medical Marijuana

The California Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of whether a city could enact zoning ordinances prohibiting and banning medical marijuana dispensaries. The Supreme Court held that state medical marijuana laws do not...more

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