Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Texas Enacts House Bill 40 To Regulate Oil And Gas At State Level

The Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 40, which is intended to keep the bulk of oil and gas regulation at the state level—as opposed to myriad standards set by cities, counties, or other political subdivisions. ...more

Santa Paula’s Water Recycling Facility Purchase Caps Successful Public-Private Partnership

The City of Santa Paula’s decision to purchase its much-touted and award-winning water recycling facility highlights how this pioneering public-private partnership project has proven to be a triumphant model of risk...more

Court Of Appeals Upholds General Permit Procedures For Storm Water Discharge

The New York State Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation , recently rejected a challenge to the general permit procedures adopted by New York...more

Part 2: …But In the Fourth Department, Repeat Filings Are Not Required?

In Part 1 of this discussion, we highlighted the Appellate Division, Third Department’s holdings on RPTL’s “freeze” provision in the Highbridge Broadway, LLC v City of Schenectady and Scellen v City of Glens Falls cases. ...more

For Municipalities: Tax Increment Financing Law – Near Miss at the Legislature

You may have heard recently that the Maine Legislature was considering a bill that would have created significant problems for municipalities who use, or plan to use, tax increment financing as part of their economic...more

Sixth Circuit Rules Against St. Johns, Michigan Ordinance Banning Charitable Donation Bins

In a decision that should be of interest to many of our readers, the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a federal district court’s ruling that an ordinance in the City of St. Johns, Michigan (City) prohibiting the use of charitable...more

Ruling Guides Cities on How to Regulate Holiday Displays

A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided last week by a federal appellate court. The City of Santa...more

Orthodox Synagogue Sues Dallas, Texas

The City of Dallas, Texas is in a familiar position. It’s being sued for religious discrimination. Last year, the City Council agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two churches ministering to the homeless...more

Looming Right of Way Certification Deadline Threatens Butte County Project

Right of Way Certification is a key project milestone; not only does it mean a project is ready for advertising but obtaining certification by a certain date is often a prerequisite for funding. Tying certification to...more

City of Marysville, Washington Defeats RLUIPA, RFRA, and Fair Housing Claims

In Holy Ghost Revival Ministries v. City of Marysville (W.D. Washington), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington considered claims of religious discrimination brought by Holy Ghost Revival Ministries...more

City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police — A New Standard of Impartiality for Arbitrators in Interest...

The Superior Court’s decision in City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police, could mark the emergence of a new standard of impartiality for party-selected arbitrators in Municipal Employee Relations Act [“MERA”]...more

New Legislation Promises More Investigations by the New York City Commission on Human Rights

On April 20, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two new bills into law that authorize the New York City Commission on Human Rights to increase the number of employment discrimination investigations. ...more

Anti-Urban Renewal Bill Progresses; Pro-Urban Renewal Bill Amended

The General Assembly will adjourn in roughly two weeks. The fate of two important urban renewal bills—one with a positive impact on urban renewal and one with a negative impact—will be decided during this time. If urban...more

New York City Council Passes Bill Amending Human Rights Law

Employers are prohibited from using credit history in employment decisions, with some exceptions. Last week, the New York City Council passed Proposed Introductory Bill Number 261-A, which amends the New York City...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Dismisses Municipal Takings Claim For Failing "Public Benefit" Standard

Today, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a takings case filed by a local government. The case is Town of Matthews v. Wright, No. COA14-943 (April 21, 2015)....more

Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an...more

Opportunities and Risks in Municipal Underwritings and Derivatives

In the current economic climate, opportunities are expanding significantly for municipal underwriters and derivatives specialists as states and municipalities across the country clamor to pay for infrastructure and services,...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule this week, considering bills on everything from repealing the state’s cumbersome Map Act to voiding a law which required teachers to write Personal Education...more

New York City Council Passes Ground-Breaking Legislation Limiting the Use of Credit Checks in Employment

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council, by a vote of 47-3, approved legislation that would prohibit the use of credit checks in employment decisions except in limited circumstances. The bill, which is expected to be...more

Municipalities Lose First Round in Bid to Hold PCB Manufacturers Liable For Environmental Impacts

Two Massachusetts municipalities are down but not out in their attempts to hold manufacturers of PCBs responsible for the environmental effects of PCB-containing products decades later. ...more

Troubles for Town’s Wind Turbine

In the long-running dispute between the Town of Falmouth and the neighbors to the Town’s wind turbine that powers the municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), score one for the neighbors. ...more

Suit by “Interested,” Neighboring Municipalities to Enforce SEQRA Requirements Does Not “Impose or Implement” a Land Use...

On March 27, 2015, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants in the consolidated action Bernstein v. Wesley Hills, 08-CV-156; 12-CV-8856 (KMK), (the “Wesley Hills” Action). The...more

Enhanced Infrastructure Districts: A Flexible New Tool for Local Governments

After the dissolution of California redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in 2011, many local governments desired a tool to raise capital to invest in infrastructure and community revitalization. On September 29, 2014 SB 628 was...more

Philadelphia Eliminates Tax-Exempt Recertification Requirement

Owners of tax-exempt property in the City of Philadelphia no longer need to worry about submitting recertification forms regarding the continued use of their property. On April 7, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Bill...more

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims. To...more

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