Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Oxnard Union High School District to Acquire Nearby Church Property

The Oxnard Union High School District began Eminent Domain procedures to acquire property owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The property is required for construction of a right-turn lane for the new...more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

Ruling That Curtails Public Agencies' Abilities to Get Order Protecting Project Planning Inspections is Decertified

Supreme Court Decides to Review Lower Court Case - An appellate court ruling that essentially curtailed the ability of public agencies to obtain a court order to conduct project planning inspections was decertified by...more

Fur Flies and West Hollywood (“WeHo”) Fur Ban Is Upheld By Federal Court

West Hollywood, California’s controversial law banning the sale of fur within city limits survived a legal challenge by a luxury retailer last month. A federal court dismissed the action brought by Mayfair House Inc., a...more

New York’s Highest Court Affirms Zoning Ordinances Banning Hydrofracking

The Insurance Law Blog has been following decisions related to hydraulic fracturing for potential impacts on insurance coverage issues. As we previously reported in May 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,...more

Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. The decision marks the first time that Aboriginal title has been granted – until now, the...more

First District Court of Appeal Holds State Water Board May Restrict Beneficial Water Use by Senior Water Rights Holders, Relying...

Most Californians are well aware of the restrictions currently being placed on water use throughout the state. The ongoing drought and dwindling water supplies in California are dramatically affecting those with rights to...more

Ninth Circuit: Ordinance Criminalizing Living in Car Is Unconstitutionally Vague

If you eat, talk on the phone, and escape the rain in your car, are you using the car “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise?” What if you load up the car with personal belongings for a camping...more

Indian Country Awaits 9th Circuit’s En Banc Rehearing in Big Lagoon Case

In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that the State’s failure to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with the Big Lagoon...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Law

A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways. Originally published on the IMLA Appellate...more

Tsilhqot’in Decision: The Sky Is Not Falling

Despite the significant media attention that the recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 (Decision) has received, it represents a reiteration of established law...more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...more

Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title Raises Questions for Resource Development

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 (also known as the William decision). It is a long anticipated decision on two significant...more

Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Stationary Sources – But Scolds EPA For...

On Monday, June 23, in a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency partially invalidated and partially upheld U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")...more

New Tools in the Zoning Game

As of July 1, 2014, Virginia landowners will have a new tool to use in the zoning game. On April 6, 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed SB 578 into law. The bill provides a damages remedy for applicants seeking zoning or...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Bars State from Suing Tribe Seeking to Operate an Illegal Off-Reservation Casino

On May 27, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), states may only sue to enjoin a tribe from conducting class III gaming “on Indian lands.” Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 2014...more

Entry Barred: California Precondemnation Entry Statutes Declared Unconstitutional in Some Circumstances

Provisions of California’s Eminent Domain law known as the “entry statutes” have for decades provided a mechanism for a condemnor, prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, to obtain a court order allowing it to enter...more

The Koontz Decision; Back to Florida

In the recent landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Mgmt. Dist., 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court majority held that exactions sought by local governments, which are not rationally...more

Sixth Circuit Greenlights Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held this week that the Department of Energy (DOE) complied with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in providing funding for a cellulosic ethanol...more

Belgian Constitutional Court decides to annul provisions on administrative loop

Article 4.8.4 of the Flemish Urban Planning Code allowed the Council for Permit Disputes (Raad voor Vergunningsbetwistingen) (ie the Flemish administrative court competent to rule on appeals against urban planning permits) to...more

The Grapes of Wrath Part II - A Return to Horne

In June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Horne v. Department of Agriculture holding that California raisin handlers could assert a takings claim as an affirmative defense to an enforcement...more

Legal Update: Government Precondemnation Entry and Inspection – A Review of Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2014)

There are four ways the government can enter onto private property: - It has permission of the property owner. - In an emergency (Tenth Amendment/police power). - It has a search warrant, based on...more

Trails-to-Rails-to-?: The Brandt Case and its Potential Impact on the Nation’s Trails

A recent Supreme Court case may have a far-reaching impact on many of the United States’ “rails-to-trails” biking and jogging paths. In March, the Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that rights of way granted to railroad...more

Light at the End of the Cape Wind Tunnel? Judge Stearns Proclaims the Opponents “Vexatious”

On Friday, Judge Richard Stearns dismissed the latest challenge to Cape Wind, ruling that claims that the Massachusetts DPU coerced NSTAR into purchasing power from Cape Wind, and that such coercion violated the dormant...more

California Supreme Court Declines Review of Cases Invalidating Local Bans on Sex Offenders

Supreme Court Leaves Intact Court of Appeal Cases Holding That State Law Preempts Some Local Sex Offender Ordinances - Local laws regulating where sex offenders may go are likely now invalid following the California...more

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