Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

Loophole Allowing Adverse Possession Claims Against Municiplalities Closed

New legislation has been enacted overruling the Waisanen v. Superior Township case that allowed adverse possession claims against municipal property owners. In this blog post, I described the decision in Waisanen v....more

Rhode Island Implements Statewide Standards for Wetlands

Recently, Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law legislation to establish statewide standards to bolster protections for wetlands while streamlining the permitting process during development. Before the new legislation, each...more

Sixth Circuit Says FCC Can't Preempt State Limits on Muncipal Broadband

In an August 10, 2016 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC’s preemption of state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband providers from expanding their networks beyond...more

Can “Big Brother” Bring Big Improvements to Provision of Local Government Services?

Public agencies can enhance municipal services and promote innovation through the transparent collection and analysis of “Big Data.” The data compiled from data collection technologies currently deployed in cities, such as...more

FCC Thwarted in Efforts to Preempt State Broadband Laws

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck a major blow to the FCC’s efforts to remove barriers to broadband service and promote competition in broadband markets. In State of Tennessee v. FCC, the court...more

2015-2016 Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends

After a mad scramble to take action before their midnight deadline, Massachusetts lawmakers closed the 20152016 legislative session by passing five of the “Big Six” bills on their agenda. Beacon Hill saw a flurry of activity...more

Banks Appeal Fair Housing Act Case to Supreme Court

In September 2015, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the City of Miami had sufficient standing to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo over lending practices that were alleged to be racially discriminatory. On June 28, 2016,...more

U.S. Department of Justice Issues RLUIPA Report

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a new report on its involvement in RLUIPA cases.  The report, “Update on the Justice Department’s Enforcement of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: 2010-2016,”...more

New Municipal Condemnations

For the last several years, municipalities have been slow to engage in new projects that require the use of eminent domain due to budgetary restrictions. However, with the upturn in the economy that is resulting in new...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Cities' Regulation of Mobile Billboards

Municipal ordinances prohibiting mobile billboard advertising were recently upheld by a federal appeals court. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the ordinances withstood First Amendment scrutiny as...more

A Sign of the Times: Philadelphia Insures Against Police Liability Claims Ahead of the Democratic National Convention

Given the current climate of hard-fought elections, law enforcement backlash, and fervent nationwide protests, it is no surprise that the insurance industry is being called upon to mitigate the significant risk surrounding...more

California Court of Appeal Finds Fact Investigation by Outside Counsel is Privileged

In City of Petaluma v. Superior Court (Andrea Waters), the California Court of Appeal recently held that outside counsel's fact investigation of an employee's harassment and discrimination claims conducted prior to litigation...more

Super Priority Municipal Liens: When Is Your First Mortgage Not First In Line?

In Connecticut, the General Statutes have granted “super” priority status to certain types of municipal liens. As a result, these liens jump to the head of the priority line, even if your bank has a first-mortgage on the...more

Sewer Connection Must Be By The Least Restrictive Means

Barbara L. Yoder and Joseph I. Yoder (“Owners”) own a home in Sugar Grove Township, Pennsylvania (“Township”), which has a mandatory sewer connection ordinance (the “Ordinance”), requiring connection to the Sugar Grove Area...more

Massachusetts Legislature Overhauls Public Records Law

Last week the Massachusetts Legislature adopted significant changes to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. These changes apply to all state agencies and municipalities and in theory are designed to improve the disclosure of...more

Municipalities, Farmers, and Manufacturers Targeted by EPA's New Enforcement Initiatives

Municipalities and those involved in animal feeding and food manufacturing operations take heed: heightened EPA scrutiny is coming your way!...more

Legislature Imposes New TIF Restrictions While Offering Reprieve for TIF Reporting Violations

The Missouri legislature passed new legislation amending the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) laws that, subject to Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to sign into law, is expected to go into effect on or about August 28, 2016....more

Update: New Legislation Creates Land Banks

Valuable Tool for Municipalities Seeking to Redevelop Brownfield Sites - On May 4, the General Assembly passed Public Act 16-115, An Act Concerning The Creation Of Connecticut Brownfield Land Banks, Certain Lender...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh for the Regular Session April 25, 2016. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed weekly during session to keep you up to date on the latest legislative...more

New Kansas Act Allows Relief for Purchase of Contaminated Property

On May 9, 2016, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act (the “Act”). The goal of this Act is to allow purchasers in Kansas to acquire real property with pre-existing...more

Orange County Adopts Increased School Impact Fees with Two-Stage Implementation Dates

On May 10, 2016, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to substantially increase School Impact Fees throughout the County, including all of the municipalities. The new rates will take effect in two stages: ...more

Pennsylvania’s New Law for Valuing Acquired Municipal/Authority Water and Wastewater Systems

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 12 of 2016 (Act 12) into law. Among other things, Act 12 revises Chapter 13 of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code (the Code) to provide a framework for...more

U.S. EPA Issues Final Storm Sewer General Permit for 260 Massachusetts Municipalities

On April 13, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final general permit updating requirements for small “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems” (MS4s) located in Massachusetts. Regulated MS4s...more

EPA Releases Long-Awaited MS4 Permit for Massachusetts

As announced in the Federal Register this week, EPA finally released the General Permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts (say that three times fast!) This permit has been in the works for...more

States & Municipalities – The Engines That Are Driving Legislative Activity

While many are mesmerized by the presidential primaries and remain frustrated by gridlock in Congress, states and municipalities are aggressively tackling social and economic issues that impact employers. The states of...more

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