News & Analysis as of

Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

Read Zoning, Planning & Land Use updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Breaking: Mass. SJC Overhauls SLAPP Statute Practice

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today issued two decisions which together make important changes in how Massachusetts courts apply the often troublesome SLAPP statute, M.G.L. c. 231, § 59H, enacted in 1994. While of general...more

Appellate Court Holds That Mandatory Relief is Unavailable Because of Recording Error - Trial Court Ruled on Partial Record After...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In The Urban Wildlands Group, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles et al., No. B271350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2nd District, April 13, 2017), The Urban Wildlands Group Inc. (Urban Wildlands) filed a petition for writ of mandate and a complaint...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2017 WL 1422533), the California First District Court of Appeal held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

No Surprises Here: First District Applies CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Mandated by Supreme Court on Remand, Again Affirms...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

When all was said and done, it was a case of “same wine, different bottle” for Defendant and Appellant San Mateo Community College District (“District”) after the First District Court of Appeal’s published May 5, 2017...more

Motion to Dismiss U.S Justice Department Suit Against County Denied

The District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied Culpeper County, Virginia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”). The DOJ filed suit after the County denied a permanent...more

Supreme Court of California Ruling Elevates Responsible Agency Role Under CEQA - City's EIR Erred by Failing to Fully Disclose and...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, et al., the Supreme Court of California held that lead agencies need to expressly disclose and consider the jurisdictional claims and regulatory opinions of responsible...more

District Court Confirms Arbitral Award Against Venezuela In Dispute Over Gold Deposits Contract

by Carlton Fields on

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. recently confirmed a $1.2 billion arbitral award in favor of Crystallex International Corp. against Venezuela after the country’s Ministry of Environment denied a necessary permit...more

Adverse Possession of an Easement: Mistakes, Gates, and Fences

Just as fee title to real property can be lost by adverse possession, the same is true with easements. In a recent opinion from California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal — Vieira Enterprises, Inc. v. McCoy — the court...more

Massachusetts Gaming Update: First Circuit Decision Allows Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe a Second Shot at Martha’s Vineyard Casino

by Goodwin on

It’s ‘play on’ for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). On April 10, a First Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel weighed in on the nearly three-and-a-half-year dispute between the Tribe and the Commonwealth, the...more

Court Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board on Temperature Limits in Oregon Waters

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon ruled on parties’ objections to a federal magistrate judge’s findings and recommendations in a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

California Court of Appeal Strikes Down CARB's Second Review of Low Carbon Fuel Standards - Decision Keeps LCFS Regulations in...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

POET, LLC v. State Air Resources Board (POET II) is the second chapter in the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) troubled history meeting its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance obligations while also...more

Second Department Reverses Trial Court: Cottage is not a Nonconforming Use

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

On April 5, 2017, in an Article 78 proceeding, Tavano v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Patterson, 2017 NY Slip Op 02661, the Second Department reversed a trial court decision and reinstated a decision of the Zoning...more

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services - California Appellate Court Finds...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

An assessment to fund flood control and drainage services imposed by a county reclamation district on a school district was upheld Friday by a California appellate court. The court found that the trial court erred in...more

GHG Allowance Auctions are Not a Tax; Key Element of State’s Cap-and-Trade Program Upheld

California Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, et al., Case No. C075930 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d. Dist., 2017). On April 6, the California Court of Appeal for the Third District issued its...more

Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt Provide ‘Tips for Handling a RLUIPA Lawsuit’

by Jackson Walker on

Attorneys Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt represent churches and religious institutions in matters related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In a recent article published by the American Bar...more

Church Entitled to Damages Following Denial of Special Use Permit

The expanding congregation of Christian Assembly Rios de Agua Viva sought a new home for their church in suburban Chicago, Illinois and began a three-and-a-half year search that ultimately led them to a four-acre property...more

Appellate Group News: 2016 Year In Review

by Murtha Cullina on

The Appellate Practice Group of Murtha Cullina is regularly trusted to handle appeals by trial counsel within and outside the firm, as well as individuals and institutional clients. We are grateful for these opportunities and...more

California Supreme Court: CEQA Requires Study of Potential Impacts to ESHA

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Lead agencies cannot ignore the Coastal Act’s ESHA requirements in CEQA documents and defer analysis for later Coastal Commission review. Key Points: ..CEQA requires an EIR to identify potential environmentally...more

California Supreme Court Holds Banning Ranch EIR Violates CEQA by Failing to Identify and Analyze Coastal Zone Project’s Impacts...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a unanimous 29-page opinion authored by Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, and filed on March 30, 2017, the California Supreme Court held the City of Newport Beach’s EIR for a large mixed-use development project proposed on...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

DC Circuit Case May Test Continuing Validity of FERC Delegations of Authority to Agency Staff Once Its Quorum Disappeared

by Stinson Leonard Street on

On February 7 and March 7, 2017, we wrote about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is operating without a legal quorum of three members and how the lack of a quorum might affect the validity of FERC staff...more

Jewish School’s RLUIPA Claims Are Ripe For Adjudication

A federal court in the District of New Jersey has determined that claims asserted by the Congregation Kollel, Inc. (“Congregation”) against the Township of Howell, New Jersey (“Township”), based on the allegedly improper...more

Appellate Court Rejects CEQA Claims on Project Modifications Made After Final EIR Published

by Holland & Knight LLP on

California's Fourth District Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance on processing requirements for environmental review documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when project modifications...more

Vested Rights – Court of Appeals Update

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Sometimes called a “case of the race,” the common law doctrine of vested rights is “one of the most troublesome areas of land use regulation.” Exeter Building Corp v Town of Newburgh, 114 AD3d 774 [2d Dept 2014]....more

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