Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Third Circuit Upholds District Court Decision in Pennsylvania Baptist Church Sign Case

Recently, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals entered an order upholding the district court’s decision in the case of Tearpock-Martini v. Shickshinny Borough, which we reported on last summer. The case involved an...more

ITC Issues Good Faith Offers for Adams-Spokane Line in Washington Township

ITC is seeking expanded vegetation management rights from property owners in Washington Township. ITC has issued numerous good faith offers to property owners in Washington Township. The offers, which are being received...more

Agenda with Superficial Description Violated Brown Act but Related Land Use Initiative for a Walmart Store did not Violate...

On January 5, 2017, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District partially published Hernandez v. Town of Apple Valley, __ Cal.App.5th __ (2016) (Case No. E063721). The published portion of the opinion addresses...more

Missouri Church Wins Digital Sign Appeal

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Adjustment abused its discretion in failing to grant a variance to Antioch Community Church (Church) to install digital components into its...more

Wolverine Pipeline Capitulates in Response to Necessity Challenge

In return for dropping a necessity challenge, Wolverine Pipeline agreed to substantially modified easement and paid the attorney fees incurred in pursuing the challenge. As I have previously noted, greater flexibility...more

Quality Built Homes Revisited: The Court of Appeals Weighs In On Critical Issues

If you happen to work in local government, are a developer who has worked with a local government, or simply have an interest in the world of municipal water and sewer services, you are no doubt aware of the North Carolina...more

Value Trends of Gas Stations and Car Washes

In a previous post, “What is ‘Just Compensation’ For Gas Station Acquisitions,” we explored various methods for valuing gas stations and car washes in an eminent domain action, including a recommendation by a gas station...more

DOJ Claims that County’s Denial of a Sewer Permit Violates RLUIPA

Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”) filed suit in District Court for the Western District of Virginia against the Culpeper County Virginia Board of Supervisors alleging it acted in a discriminatory manor...more

Securing Rights-of-Way to CO2 Pipeline Corridors in the United States

In the previous article in this series The Future of Carbon Dioxide Injection EOR in the United States, we discussed the sources and cost of CO2 supply for enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) in the United States and the benefits...more

Port Jervis, NY Sued by DOJ; Settles Two Days Later

The City of Port Jervis, New York has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that the City’s revision to its zoning code violated the Religious Land Use &...more

RLUIPA Round-Up: Happy Cyber Monday

Take a break from the sales and give the Round-Up a read: ABC Channel 9 in Sioux City reports on a US Justice Department inquiry into the proposed siting of Our Savior Lutheran Church in a former Budweiser warehouse in...more

Rocky Mountain Sign Law Blog: Installation of Ten Commandments On City Hall Lawn is Government Speech, Violates First Amendment

Earlier this month, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bloomfield, New Mexico’s installation of a Ten Commandments monument on the lawn in front of city hall violated the Establishment Clause of the First...more

Facial RLUIPA Claims Against Mobile, AL Dismissed

Earlier this year, the Thai Meditation Association of Alabama and several individual plaintiffs (“the Center”) filed suit against the City of Mobile, Alabama (“the City”), alleging that the denial of its application to...more

Kelo Gives a Reasonable and Long-Accepted Reading of the Fifth Amendment, but it Remains one of the Supreme Court’s Worst...

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), that the Constitution allows the government to take private property through eminent domain for the purpose of “economic...more

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

The struggle to allocate scarce water resources between endangered and threatened fish and humans is not new. But droughts in the Southwest, which lower stream flows, and population increases, which raise demand, have...more

The Future of Airbnb in New York

One of the most controversial and popular topics in real estate today involves Airbnb, the online home rental service, and the concept of transient rentals. In New York City, Airbnb’s largest market in the United States, this...more

$1.7 Million Settlement with DOJ and CAIR-MI

In 2011, Pittsfield Charter Township denied, allegedly without deliberation, Michigan Islamic Academy’s (“MIA”) application to rezone a 26 acre parcel (the “Property”) to allow the development of a pre-K through grade 12...more

Short-Term Rentals Fight Flares Up Nationwide

In recent months, cities across the nation have been implementing legislation aimed at regulating and restricting short-term rentals. The affected companies, namely Airbnb, have responded with lawsuits. The dispute has played...more

Due Process Required for Environmental Remedy Selection: Appellate Division Rules NYSDEC Must Afford Responsible Parties an...

Hodgson Russ LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP successfully challenged the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) ability to implement a remedy without first providing a party an opportunity for a...more

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 - Community Facilities Districts formed by a landowner vote may be used to finance increased demand on pre-existing services, a California...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Quicksands and Cutting Edges of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers possess Due Process and Vested Rights to Continued...

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome. The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5,...more

Landmarking designation is alleged to violate RLUIPA

A brewing dispute in Yonkers, NY has led the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (ICCMW) to allege that Yonkers violated ICCMW’s rights under RLUIPA, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States...more

New Opinion Clarifies Takings Law Regarding Affordable Housing Programs

Last year, my partner Ben Rubin reported on the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, which analyzed an inclusionary housing ordinance and held that such...more

Oh, What Schemes of Glory This Business of Gambling Gives Birth To

Article 48, an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution adopted in 1918, states that “the people reserve to themselves the popular initiative, which is the power of a specified number of voters to submit constitutional...more

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