News & Analysis as of

Municipalities

For Any Lawful Reason: Firing an at-will employee under dubious circumstances need not lead to liability if the reason for the...

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the distinction between firing an employee for personal or politically expedient reasons (which may be entirely legal) and firing an employee because of his...more

District Court Invalidates Wheat Ridge Anti-TIF Initiative

On September 8, 2017, a Jefferson County District Court ("Court") essentially struck down Ballot Question 300 (“BQ300”), approved by the Wheat Ridge ("the City") voters on November 3, 2015. The ballot question was an...more

Municipalities' Water Withdrawal: NEPA/National Forest Management Act Challenge to U.S. Forest Service Authorization

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (“Court”) addressed in an October 23rd opinion Plaintiffs-Appellants Central Oregon LandWatch and WaterWatch of Oregon (collectively “Plaintiffs”) challenge to the United...more

MSRB Warns Municipalities, Underwriters and Municipal Advisors about Selective Disclosure

Regulation FD prohibits public companies from disclosing material nonpublic information to designated classes of persons such as securities professionals and holders of the issuer’s securities without, in most cases,...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies that Voter Initiatives Are Not Subject to Certain of Proposition 218’s Limitations on Local...

Since Proposition 218 was passed in 1996, which added Article XIIIC to the California Constitution (“Article XIIIC”), local governments have faced heightened restrictions in their abilities to impose taxes. Specifically,...more

Payments Clause in City Contract Deemed Unconstitutional When it Suspends the City’s Ability to Tax

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Russell City Energy Co. LLC v. City of Hayward - Court of Appeal, First District (August 7, 2017) - In Russell City Energy Co. LLC v. City of Hayward, the California Court of Appeals held that a payments clause in a...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: December 2016 and March, April, June, and August 2017

by Sands Anderson PC on

Happy Fall! The Virginia Supreme Court issued a number of opinions since my last update affecting local government law. Its work resulted in opinions addressing...more

Ruling Sheds Light on Meaning of “Public Employee” under Maine’s Municipal Labor Law

by PretiFlaherty on

Maine’s Superior Court recently affirmed a decision from the Maine Labor Relations Board (MLRB) finding that two municipal supervisory employees were “public employees” with the right to collectively bargain under Maine’s...more

Coal Ash/Preemption: Federal Appellate Court Addresses Challenge to Municipal Regulation

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (“Court”) addressed whether two Pureto Rican municipalities could prohibit the beneficial use and disposal of coal ash (also known as Coal Combustion Residuals [“CCR”]...more

New York’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (“LWRPs”) And Climate Change

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Now more than ever, climate resiliency along our coastlines is an important aspect of long range municipal planning. Back in 1981, the New York State Legislature enacted the Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and...more

California Supreme Court Strengthens Development Permit Protections

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Municipalities will have greater protection against land-use litigation after the California Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling last month that property owners who proceed with permitted development projects will forfeit the...more

Seattle Waterfront’s Local Improvement District: An Introduction

The Seattle Waterfront Project is a step closer in its plans for redevelopment, or at least a step closer in estimating a piece of its funding. Earlier this month, the City of Seattle received a feasibility study revealing...more

What’s Next for the Winthrop Square Development Project?

On July 28, 2017 Governor Baker approved a home rule petition proposed by Mayor Walsh which changed a Massachusetts law so that a skyscraper could be built over the Winthrop Square garage in Boston, Massachusetts. Obtaining...more

Municipalities Can Be Held Liable for the Actions (and Words) of Their Officials

Much like a business corporation, a municipality can only act through its employees. A municipal official may inadvertently (or advertently) make representations regarding municipality business, leading to unintended...more

California Supreme Court Petitioned to Resolve Split in Authority Regarding Inverse Condemnation Liability in Sewage Backup Cases

by Nossaman LLP on

The City of Oroville (“City”) has petitioned the California Supreme Court for review of an unpublished Court of Appeal decision, City of Oroville v. Superior Court (2017) 2017 WL 2554447 (Third District), finding the City...more

Cable Operators Reduced Franchise Fee to Municipalities Not Permitted - BB&K Attorneys Win in California Federal Court

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

For years, California cable operators have reduced the franchise fee paid to local governments by the amount paid to the California Public Service Commission. While a small amount for many communities, the deduction reduced...more

Arrested Development? After year of defeating development, could LI be the ‘Land of No’ no longer?

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

This Long Island Business News Article quotes Farrel Fritz' Attorney Anthony Guardino. Long Island has long been a tapestry of small towns from Manhasset to Montauk, with local regulations that seem designed to help keep...more

Legislature Authorizes, But Limits, Water and Sewer Impact Fees

by Smith Anderson on

Controversy and litigation have erupted in North Carolina in recent years with regard to water and sewer impact fees levied by cities and counties on new real estate development. The fees are authorized in "local bill" State...more

Vermont village considers conduit hydro

by PretiFlaherty on

A Vermont municipality has proposed installing hydroelectric generating facilities along a potable water pipeline -- and under streamlined federal procedures, regulators have made a preliminary determination that the Village...more

Trail Immunity Does Not Shield from Liability Simply Because an Injury Occurs on a Trail - Appellate Court Ruling Means Less...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A tree branch fell off of a eucalyptus tree and struck a woman while she was walking through Mission Bay Park in San Diego. She filed suit against the City of San Diego, alleging the City negligently maintained the eucalyptus...more

New Jersey Courts Hands Victories to Open Government Records Advocates

by Genova Burns LLC on

Over the past month, the New Jersey courts have handed down several rulings clarifying the scope of New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, or OPRA. The rulings have resulted in several significant victories for advocates of...more

Spate of Suits Brought by California Communities for Sea Level Rise May Change Landscape of Climate Change Litigation

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

A recent trio of cases filed in California state court seek to hold major fossil fuel companies liable for the effects of sea level rise they allege to be caused by climate change....more

The Tiny House Craze: Zoning Laws Could Be a Tiny Impediment

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

The “tiny house” movement is all the rage right now. The cause of the craze may be many faceted. Whether the popularity and demand is being driven by a shift in peoples’ preference to downsize to a more simplified lifestyle...more

CT General Assembly Override Changes Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure

by Murtha Cullina on

During a veto session on Monday, July 24th, the Connecticut General Assembly overrode Governor Malloy's veto of H.B. 6880 (Public Act No. 17-170). The result is several changes to the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals...more

Sixth Circuit Overturns FCC Cable Order - Partner Joseph Van Eaton Represented a Coalition of Communities

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

An FCC order that local governments, schools and the public have opposed for almost a decade was reversed by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is Montgomery County v. FCC, which had its genesis in an FCC...more

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