Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s Disqualification of Local Anti-Frac Ballot Initiatives

Residents in three Ohio counties have sued the state after Secretary of State Jon Husted invalidated three ballot proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing projects in Fulton, Medina, and Athens counties. The bans, if passed,...more

Jesus is Just Alright, Holds the Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s decision ruling that a twelve foot statute of Jesus near Montana’s Big Mountain does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The statue, known as “Big Mountain...more

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign (Ordinance): Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the First Amendment and Signs

On June 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Reed v. Town of Gilbert that an Arizona town’s sign ordinance unconstitutionally regulated the content of speech posted on signs within the town. Like so many modern...more

What Happens When the United States Condemns a Street, Road or Public Highway?

Generally when the United States takes property pursuant to its eminent domain authority, “just compensation” is based on the market value of the property on the date of the taking. However, when acquiring a street, road or...more

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like… But Your Information Might Never Leave

When you check into a hotel, do you assume that the clerk asks for your license plate number to avoid accidentally towing your car? Or that guest services wants to know how many people are in your group to make sure that...more

Federal Court Denies Religious School’s Request for Temporary Restraining Order

A few weeks ago, we reported on a new RLUIPA suit arising in Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, where Livingston Christian Schools is suing the Township over the denial of a special land use permit to operate a religious...more

RLUIPA Round-up

Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the last true week of summer. But RLUIPA Defense is happy to say hello to fall with another edition of the Round-Up! - According to the San Francisco Chronicle, despite an...more

East End Eruv Association one step closer to achieving its goal

Last month, we reported on the New York State Supreme Court decision that held the Town of Southampton, New York erroneously applied its sign ordinance to East End Eruv Association’s (“EEEA”) proposed eruv, which EEEA seeks...more

Where the First Amendment and Land Use Meet: Planet Aid v. City of St. Johns

Generally speaking, land use regulations and zoning laws arise from practical and aesthetic concerns and considerations, and are driven by state and local law. However, sometimes a community’s desire to regulate a seemingly...more

Five Surprising Facts About the Inclusive Communities Case

In the Supreme Court’s recent, landmark decision in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___, 2015 WL 2473449 (Jun. 25, 2015), the Court held that, while disparate...more

Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Some, But Not All, RLUIPA Claims

A federal court in Illinois, in Church of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ v. City of Markham, Illinois (N.D. Ill. 2015), dismissed some of the Church’s religious land use claims while allowing others to proceed. The case is...more

A Legal Morass: Overlapping Takings Law With the Endangered Species Act

Last week, Jeremy Jacobs posted an interesting article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Horne v. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2015), and its potential application to Endangered Species Act...more

RLUIPA Round-UP

We’ve been monitoring news items involving local government, religion, and land use that may be of interest to our readers. Below is what has caught our attention. Livingston Daily reports that Genoa Charter Township...more

Seventh Circuit Applies Reed v. Gilbert to Strike Down Panhandling Ordinance

Local governments may now have more to fear following the Supreme Court’s decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. While the Reed decision may cause many local governments to question the constitutionality of their sign...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Religious School Sues Genoa Charter Township, Michigan

As the end of summer nears, most schools are finalizing courses and preparing for the return of students. Livingston Christian Schools has much more to deal with – it is suing Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, in federal...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

Houston Housing Authority Sued Under Texas RFRA for Taking Church Properties

Two Houston churches are using the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“TRFRA”) to challenge the Houston Housing Authority’s actions to acquire their properties by eminent domain as part of an urban renewal project. The...more

But I’ve Always Had a Dock on the Easement

For decades Michigan courts have been called upon to decide whether a waterfront easement, platted way, or similar access device permits the user to exercise riparian rights – the ability to install a dock and moor boats to...more

RLUIPA Showdown in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Since December 2014, the Woodcliff Lake Zoning Board of Adjustment has been considering Valley Chabad’s application for variances to construct a three and a half story, 18,550 square foot religious facility on 1.27 acres in a...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

Mother & Daughter’s Challenge to Ten Commandments Monument Dismissed for Lack of Standing

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed an Establishment Clause challenge to a Ten Commandments monument located on the lawn outside a local high school, in Freedom From Religion Foundation...more

“No Build” Condition On Shopping Center Property Is Compensable Regulatory Taking

The Court of Appeal has squarely held that a prohibition on development of a portion of a shopping center project site, in order to “bank” that property for possible future acquisition, was a temporary taking. (Jefferson...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

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

Three-Judge Panel Invalidates State's Efforts to Spay/Neuter Town's Planning and Development Regulation Powers

Today, a three judge panel of the North Carolina state court declared unconstitutional a State law that blocks a municipality -- one municipality -- from exercising its power to create an extraterritorial planning...more

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