Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

A Municipal Ordinance Requiring Registration and Maintenance of Vacant or Foreclosed Properties Preempted under Chapter 21E

A municipal ordinance imposing registration and maintenance obligations upon owners and secured lenders of buildings that are vacant or undergoing foreclosure was preempted by the Massachusetts remediation and clean-up...more

U.S. Supreme Court Tells Cities to Explain a Cell Tower Denial in Timely Fashion, Even if in a Separate Document

The tension between demand for high-quality, ubiquitous cell phone service and opposition to cell towers in residential neighborhoods has resulted in significant disputes between wireless carriers and municipalities over...more

EPA Region 1 Extends Deadline for Comments on New MS4 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems General Permit for...

EPA Region 1 has extended the deadline for the submission of comments to February 21, 2015 in response to the Draft General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts...more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

Court Holds Transfer of Electric Utility Revenues to City's General Fund Through Annual Budget Approval is a Tax under Prop. 26

Payment in Lieu of Taxes Increased After the Adoption of Proposition 26 is not Grandfathered-In - A city’s annual budget transfer from its electric utility to its general fund, referred to as a payment in lieu of taxes...more

High Court Reaffirms Local Government's Authority in Denials of Applications for Cell Towers

Decision Clarifies that Local Government’s Decision Need Not State Reasons if they are Contemporaneously Published Elsewhere - A local government need not state the reasons for its denial of a new cell-tower...more

2014 New York Hydraulic Fracturing Caselaw Update

As we approach the end of 2014, it may be useful to reflect on the impact of several important court cases decided in New York this year relating to oil and gas. While the decisions have mainly been against the industry and...more

Board Member Term Limits: Are They Legal?

Some cities and towns in Connecticut limit the terms of office for board of education members and other elected officials. This may come in the form of limiting a board member to two consecutive terms. At least one town in...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds in Favor of Cell Tower Siting Applicants

On January 14, the U.S. Supreme Court in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, held that the City of Roswell ("City") violated the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) (the "Telecommunications...more

New Year, New Ohio & Municipal Residency Rules

With the start of the New Year, two bills passed in December 2014 make it a great time to revisit both your Ohio and municipality residency status. More Days in Ohio for Nonresidents - HB 494, in effect as of...more

T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell – Contemporaneous Reasons Needed for Denying Cell Towers

On January 14, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell. At issue was the breadth of the requirement in 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) of the Telecommunications...more

New Best Execution Requirement for Municipal Securities Transactions

Although the MSRB’s new best execution rule is generally consistent with FINRA’s, differences exist and questions remain regarding FINRA’s examination and enforcement of the requirements....more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Municipal Foreclosure Ordinances

Can a Massachusetts municipality impose ordinances on banks that are more onerous than existing statewide law? In a recent landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) answered “no.” In Easthampton...more

Supreme Court Decides T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, Georgia

On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court decided T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, Georgia, No. 13-975. The Court held that the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(B)(iii), requires a locality to provide...more

Are You Complying? New 2015 Laws Affecting Public Agencies

Community leaders need to be attentive to the new laws that will take effect in 2015 that deal with issues specifically relating to cities, special districts and other public agencies. These new laws cover everything from...more

Environmental Groups Dust Off NEPA and CEQA in Attempt to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing and Well Acidization

Municipal bans and other legislative measures to halt hydraulic fracturing and related well stimulation techniques have yielded mixed results across the country. In an attempt to halt hydraulic fracturing and acid well...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: Municipalities in the Bakken Push Back Against Increasing Train Traffic

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, towns in the western United States grew and thrived around the railroad. In fact, the railroad tracks often became a central geographic feature within towns, birthing the...more

Kennesaw, Georgia Back in the News: Suffa Dawat Center Files “Preventative” Lawsuit

In December, we reported that Kennesaw, Georgia’s City Council reversed its initial decision to deny an Islamic place of worship and education center in a retail shopping plaza.  Despite the approval, the applicant, Suffa...more

Rising Sea Levels and Prohibited "Takings" - A Different Sort of Climate Change Litigation

A little noted anniversary passed this past week. The odd 2009 storm, Nor’Ida (the progeny of a nor’easter and a hurricane), swept along the east coast pounding some areas with record storm surge five years ago in the second...more

New Laws of 2015: New Tax Infrastructure Financing Tools

The final article in the New Laws of 2015 series focuses on new legislation that makes it easier for municipalities and special districts to harness tax increment — the future incremental growth in property tax revenues — for...more

Unicorns and Beer: A Match Made in Portland

Hipsters and Portland go together like…. hipsters and Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). So naturally, when PBR decided to host a music festival, they chose Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately for PBR, some of their choices along the way...more

Industry Challenging County and Municipal Bans on Multiple Fronts

Municipalities and counties have joined forces with environmental groups to halt hydraulic fracking and related well stimulation techniques. Environmental groups have filed suits under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

Proxy Access Proposals: Recent Developments

Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees five municipal public pension funds with $160 billion in assets, announced an initiative to give shareholders who meet specified criteria the right to nominate...more

Employer Posting Requirements Under New Jersey Law

The year 2014 saw a growing number of municipal laws in New Jersey mandating paid sick leave, with corresponding mandatory posting requirements for employers (see below). Accordingly, with the arrival of 2015, New Jersey...more

Ninth Circuit Defends Employer’s Discharge of Worker With a History of Intimidation and Threats

Curley v. City of North Las Vegas, No. 12-16228 (December 2, 2014): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a judgment against a worker who claimed that he was fired because of his hearing impairment in violation...more

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