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Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

Read Zoning, Planning & Land Use updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Cockfighting Not Sincerely Held Religious Belief, Rules Federal Court

In United States of America v. Cruz (F.D.N.Y. 2018), Hector Cruz pled guilty to the charge of knowingly attending a cockfighting event (a fight between two roosters) for sport and entertainment in the Bronx, New York, in...more

States, NRDC, And NWF Sue EPA And Corps On Applicability Date Final Rule

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Continuing the fight over the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the National Wildlife Federation...more

South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal Act: State Supreme Court Addresses Constitutional Challenge

The Supreme Court of South Carolina considered the constitutionality of the registration provisions of its Surface Water Withdrawal Act (“Act”). See Jowers v. South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control, 2017 WL...more

Mahwah, NJ Agrees to Settle Eruv Dispute

In December, we reported that the Mahwah Township Council (“Council”) voted to withdraw two ordinances at the center of RLUIPA litigation involving the expansion of an eruv proposed by Bergen Rockland Eruv Association...more

Allenhurst, NJ Sued Under RLUIPA One Day and Settles the Next

The Borough of Allenhurst, New Jersey has settled a lawsuit against an Orthodox Jewish group just one day after the group filed suit in federal court alleging violations of RLUIPA’s unreasonable limits and exclusions and...more

City of Bayonne, NJ to Pay $400,000 to Settle Claims Over Mosque Denial

The City of Bayonne, New Jersey has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed this past summer by Bayonne Muslims, asserting that the city discriminated against the Muslim group after denying variances needed to convert an abandoned...more

Court of Appeal Rules Challenge to Constitutionality of Power Plant Licensing Appeals Process is Ripe for Judicial Review

by Stoel Rives LLP on

California’s process to challenge thermal power plants will likely be put to the judicial test in the coming years. The California Court of Appeal has granted publication of its recent opinion in Communities for a Better...more

CAFO Stinks, but Not a Substantial Burden

Do 1,400 cattle and 17.4 million gallons of cow waste in open-air lagoons, upwind and a half a mile from a religious youth summer camp, impose a substantial burden? As unpleasant as a concentrated animal feed operation...more

County of Ventura, California’s Permitting Scheme Stricken as Prior Restraint on Free Speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Ventura County, California’s conditional use permit (CUP) scheme for “temporary outdoor” events is an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech. ...more

Church Alleges Religious Discrimination Over Baltimore County’s Conditions on Approval of Development Plan

Maryland and the Board of Appeals of Baltimore County (together, “Baltimore County”), challenging Baltimore County’s conditional approval of the Church’s development plan, which sought to expand an existing house of worship. ...more

Portland's Fossil Fuel Terminal Ban Upheld by Court of Appeals

by Tonkon Torp LLP on

On January 4, 2018, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued its decision[1] in the case brought by Petitioners Columbia Riverkeeper, Portland Audubon Society, and Center for Sustainable Economy, among others, to attempt to uphold...more

Prisoner’s “My-iBible” RLUIPA Claim Thrown Out as Moot

What do a prisoner in administrative segregation, an MP3 player, an audio version of the Bible, and earbud headphones have to do with defending local governments in RLUIPA claims? Read on....more

Commentary: Tartikov v. Pomona and RLUIPA

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Over the years, I’ve represented a number of churches and synagogues in their pursuit of zoning and development approvals to build places of worship. In my consultations with these clients, inevitably someone says something...more

Ninth Circuit: Ventura County Outdoor Wedding Regulations Violate First Amendment

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On December 7, 2017, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the County of Ventura’s land use regulations, which require a conditional use permit for “temporary outdoor” events,...more

To Protect Wildlife, or Religious Freedom?

That was the question before the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners earlier this month. The conflict arose as a result of John and Stephanie Shepherd’s continued attempts to host weddings on their property in...more

Petitioner’s Failure To Comply With Discovery Regarding Its Standing To Sue Results In Dismissal Of CEQA Case

by Perkins Coie on

A CEQA case challenging the City of Wildomar’s approval of a Wal-Mart retail complex has been dismissed because the petitioner refused to comply with discovery requests regarding its standing to sue. Creed-21 v. City of...more

Mahwah Eruv Update

In an update to our previous post about an eruv dispute in New Jersey, the Mahwah Township Council has voted to withdraw two ordinances at the center of a religious discrimination lawsuit involving the construction of an...more

Supreme Court Considers Zoning Merger Case- How does this apply in Southampton Town?

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

The stakes could not be higher; would the property yield one or two waterfront building lots? On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States decided a case that involved the merger of two parcels of property...more

Tenth Circuit Throws Out Prisoner’s Claim that He is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Today we report on a fascinating decision out of the Tenth Circuit. It’s not a land use case. It’s not even an RLUIPA case. But we thought it appropriate for this time of year. The plaintiff, a pro se prisoner named...more

How "Highest and Best Use" Can Substantially Impact Just Compensation for Landowners

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

The taking of private property for public use is referred to as condemnation or eminent domain. While federal, state, and municipal governments may unilaterally take private property for public use, landowners are...more

First Amendment Rights of California Public Agencies Affirmed by Appellate Court - Anti-SLAPP Motion Successful in Dispute

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A court of appeal dismissed a challenge to a county’s characterization of stored chemicals as hazardous waste, holding that by making that determination and forwarding it to the district attorney, the county had engaged in...more

When Proposed Public and Private Projects Collide

by Nossaman LLP on

Infrastructure projects take years to develop: the environmental review, funding, design, procurement, and construction of a public project is time consuming in any state, but even more so in California given the strict...more

Western Governors Determined To Strengthen Relationships Under Trump Administration

by Snell & Wilmer on

The Western Governors’ Association (“WGA”) convened for its 2017 Winter Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on December 1-2 to discuss western policy and announce its Policy Resolutions for 2018. While discussions focused on...more

California Supreme Court Holds Groundwater Pumping Charges Are Not Property-Related Charges Subject to Proposition 218 - Case May...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The California Supreme Court concluded recently that a local water agency’s groundwater pumping charges are not property-related charges subject to the substantive and procedural requirements of California Constitution...more

Beware The Right Of Way Agent

by Clark Hill PLC on

Let’s face it. Sometimes right of way agents can be sleazy. Here are some tactics to avoid. I open this post with a disclaimer. All types of people can be confronted with a condemnation project. Their experience with legal...more

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