Zoning, Planning & Land Use Elections & Politics

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Redeveloping Redevelopment: Recent Legislation

THE RISE AND (UNINTENDED) FALL OF REDEVELOPMENT IN CALIFORNIA. The rise and fall of redevelopment agencies in California has been extensively written about, including in this publication. The history of redevelopment...more

Efforts to Avoid Ballot Measures on Fracking Fail in Colorado

Faced with the potential for two anti-fracking measures on the Colorado ballot this November, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers have been working for weeks to develop a legislative compromise to avoid...more

President Unveils Build America Investment Initiative Today

President Barak Obama today announced the Build America Investment Initiative (the “Initiative”). According to the Fact Sheet released by the White House in advance of the announcement, the purpose of the Initiative is to...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

REGULATORY ACTIVITY - GREENHOUSE GAS - Pursuant to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon propose to prohibit certain chemicals contributing to emissions of...more

FPPC Revises Regulations Regarding Conflicts of Interest Involving Real Property

The Fair Political Practices Commission recently changed its conflict of interest regulation concerning real property owned or leased by public officials. The old rule was that if an official owned (or had a long-term lease...more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening...more

Supreme Court To Hear Sign-Ordinance Case

On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court granted cert in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a case in which the Ninth Circuit upheld the Town of Gilbert’s sign ordinance against a First-Amendment challenge. The case could directly impact...more

President Obama Signs Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014 #2

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 ("WRRDA"). The President's action follows Congressional approval of the Conference Agreement reached in May by House and Senate...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

Taking A Look At Significant Environmental Legislation This Session:

SB 38 – Amend Environmental Laws started as Emergency Management Amendments. The House added environmental amendments. The House sent the bill back to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate Clerk’s Office is holding the bill...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - SENATE ENR COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FERC NOMINEES, KEYSTONE XL BILL - On Wednesday, June 18, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting in executive...more

New York State Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium – Senate Vote Unlikely

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted 89-34 in favor of a three-year statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. But with the legislative session ending in just a few days, the Senate appears unlikely to take up the...more

Senate Committee Passes Legislation Approving Keystone XL Pipeline and Pushes Full Senate Vote

On June 18, 2014, the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources (“Committee”) passed in a 12-10 bi-partisan vote a bill that would approve TransCanada’s application to build Keystone XL pipeline, which has been pending...more

Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water...more

Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and...more

Will The Legislature Have The Final Word On Groundwater Contamination? Looks That Way

Legislators are outmaneuvering School House Rock. Folks my age got a great civics lesson in how a bill becomes a law on Saturday mornings while eating sugary cereal in front of the tv. But a crucial element was missing from...more

Will the California Supreme Court Close the Door to a CEQA Exemption the Legislature Has Refused to Close?

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (case submitted May 28, 2014), a case that gives the Justices the opportunity to determine...more

How Local Drilling Regulations May Impede Business Development in WV

As governor, Senator Joe Manchin famously declared West Virginia to be “Open for Business.” Whether motivated by environmental or other concerns, however, some groups believe that, when it comes to the natural gas industry,...more

Weekly Wrap Up

Promises kept: we're starting to see the General Assembly narrow its focus as they promised before this Short Session convened in May. House and Senate calendars are stacked with similar bills including committee work and...more

City Not Liable For Mayor's Alleged Improper Conduct

Gong v. City of Rosemead (May 20, 2014, B247601) -- Cal.App.4th --, a Court of Appeal declined to hold the City of Rosemead ("City") liable for the alleged tortious conduct of former mayor and City Council member John Tran...more

CEQA “Late Hit” Reform Bill (SB 1451) Is Withdrawn By Author

Earlier this month, I posted an entry regarding the latest legislative effort at meaningful CEQA reform. See New CEQA Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps and Extend...more

WIFIA: New $350 Million Water Project Federal Financing Program

After seven years of effort, Congress passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. President Obama is poised to add his signature. This is a vitally important piece of legislation for BB&K clients and...more

One Too Many: Oregon "Privatizes" Sale of Liquor, With Which North Carolina Has Also Flirted

North Carolina is an alcoholic beverage control state, meaning it is one of 17 states with a monopoly over the retailing of distilled spirits. North Carolina is also a "local option" state, which means that county and...more

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