Local Ordinance

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Hawaii G-M-O: Kauai County GMO Regs Struck Down in Federal Court

Throughout the year, this space has periodically re-visited the topic of regulating the manufacture and labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) at the state and federal level. This week, a lawsuit out...more

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling...more

California Supreme Court Rules Local Governments Are Not Required to Comply With CEQA Before Adopting a Voter-Sponsored Initiative

Opinion Clarifies When CEQA Review is Required for Local Land Use Initiatives - Local governments may adopt voter-sponsored initiatives without conducing environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental...more

"Ban the Box" in San Francisco: Posting, Reporting and Inquiry Rules for Applicants' and Employees' Criminal Histories Take Effect...

Many employers ask job applicants to check a "box" on a job application to disclose criminal history information. As of August 13, 2014, San Francisco will "ban the box" for private and public employers. The City's Board of...more

Eugene Follows Portland’s Lead: Employers Required to Provide Paid Sick Leave

The Eugene City Council passed a sick leave ordinance this week that affects most employers engaged in business in the City of Eugene. The Eugene ordinance, which is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2015, requires that...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

NY High Court Hears Fracking Preemption Cases

Earlier this month the New York State Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Matter of Norse Energy USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein v. Town of Middlefield, in which the Court has been asked to decide whether...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

Chicago Extinguishes E-Cigarette Use In Enclosed Places

The city of Chicago has decided that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) should be treated the same way as more conventional cigarettes. Effective April 29, 2014, e-cigarettes will be banned in enclosed public places and...more

Playing Zone(-ing) Defense

ZONE(-ING) DEFENSE --- With March Madness in full swing, now is a great time to review how local zoning ordinances can turn a mortgage servicer’s foreclosure layup into a blocked shot. Many U.S. states rely on a judicial...more

Tower Lane Properties v. City of Los Angeles: JMBM Prevails in Published Court of Appeal Opinion Holding that a City's Erroneous...

JMBM has prevailed in the Court of Appeal on behalf of its client in a well-publicized and hotly-contested development project in the City of Los Angeles. The court's published opinion will come as welcome relief to property...more

New Philadelphia Ordinance Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy, Childbirth

City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently signed legislation amending the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit pregnancy-related discrimination and require employers to provide reasonable workplace...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

High School’s Decision To Bypass Municipal Zoning Process For Stadium Bleachers Ruled Unlawful

In Gurba v. Community H.S. Dist. 155, a McHenry County Circuit court judge ruled that a local high school district violated the law when it refused to subject itself to the local zoning process of its host municipality....more

New and Improved Law to Govern Commercial Common Interest Developments in California

As of January 1, 2014, commercial common interest developments (CIDs) in California are governed by the new Commercial and Industrial Common Interest Development Act. The New Act establishes provisions specific to...more

New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act to Go into Effect on April 1, 2014

New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (“the Act”) will go into effect for certain employers on April 1, 2014. The Act — which was passed on June 26, 2013, when the New York City Council overrode Mayor Bloomberg’s veto—requires...more

San Francisco Enacts New Workplace Protection For Caregivers

The San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2014. The ordinance grants employees who act as caregivers the right to request accommodation from their employers, including flexible...more

Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance—What Every Employer Should Know

Effective January 1, 2014, Portland’s sick leave ordinance goes into effect. The ordinance applies to any private sector employer (both within and outside of the state of Oregon) that employs individuals who work within the...more

Cities May Ban Medical Marijuana Cultivation

The Third District California Court of Appeal recently ruled that California's medical marijuana laws - the Compassionate Use Act ("CUA") and the Medical Marijuana Program ("MMP") - do not create a constitutional right to...more

Jersey City, New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Ordinance; Is Newark Next?

On October 21, 2013, Jersey City enacted an ordinance (passed by its City Council on September 25) mandating that all Jersey City businesses provide their employees sick leave—either paid or unpaid (depending upon the...more

Globalizing in Hong Kong

With dynamic soaring towers, elaborate bright lights, and heart warming traditional customs, Hong Kong’s enigmatic economic and business climate serves as a financial capital for all industries, companies, and firms. Indeed,...more

First Circuit: Does a Local Government Have Authority To Regulate Foreclosures?

Many cities have struggled with the effects of foreclosures. But given the complex mix of state laws that often governs the issue, how much authority do local governments have in this area? A First Circuit case,...more

Controversial Baltimore City Local Hiring Ordinance is Enacted

A controversial new law is set to take effect soon. Legislation was introduced in the Baltimore City Council that requires employers benefitted by city contracts and subsidies to take measures to hire Baltimore City...more

New San Francisco Ordinance Requires Employers To Discuss Family Life Accommodations

Effective January 1, 2014, the San Francisco Friendly Workplace Ordinance will provide employees working within City and County limits a specified method to request flexible work schedules or other accommodations to help the...more

Paper or Plastic? A Question for California's Courts

The California Environmental Quality Act, better known as “CEQA,” has proved to be fertile ground for the raising of legal challenges to public agency action throughout the state. Indeed, CEQA is without a doubt one of the...more

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