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23.02.2015 - Pennsylvania v. Moran (majority) - Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

In 2003, appellant Fred Moran was an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of Haverford Township, Delaware County. The board decided to sell a 209-acre parcel of land on which the former Haverford State Mental Hospital was located. On December 19, 2005, the board held a special public meeting to address a looming revenue shortfall for the upcoming year. During the meeting, as Commissioner Andrew Lewis recalled in his trial testimony, appellant proposed accelerating the collection of real estate taxes as a way to raise revenue; particularly, he suggested having a consultant purchasing the a portion of the parcel, Goldenberg-Pohlig (GP) pre-pay $500,000 of the 2006 realty taxes on the parcel. The next day, Lewis and appellant had a phone conversation with Michael Lawry, a principal with GP. Lewis informed Lawry the board was addressing a budgetary shortfall and told him appellant had a proposal. Appellant then said to Lawry, “[C]all it extortion, call it what you will. We need $500,000, and we’ll accelerate the zoning. We’ll get you the zoning approvals you need and accelerate the process.” Lewis recalled Lawry asked whether the $500,000 was included in the $17.5 million, and appellant indicated it would be added to the purchase price. Lawry responded he was not in a position to answer but would discuss the matter with others at GP and get back in touch with appellant and Lewis. A few minutes later, Lewis called Lawry back and told him, “I want no part of that conversation. Haverford Township is not in the business of selling zoning.” Lewis testified he called appellant the next day and essentially told him the same thing. Appellant was charged with and later convicted for bribery in official and political matters. On appeal of that conviction, he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence presented against him, and also raised the question of whether bribery (as charged) was a strict liability crime. The Supreme Court concluded after review that bribery in official and political matters was not a strict liability crime, and that there was sufficient evidence to support appellant's conviction.

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18.10.2014 - In re Burlington Airport Permit - Supreme Court of Vermont

"At its heart, the present controversy is about noise - specifically, airport-generated noise and its effects on immediate neighbors." Airport neighbor, George Maille, appealed the Superior Court, Environmental Division's grant of summary judgment in favor of appellees City of Burlington and City of South Burlington. The court upheld the South Burlington Zoning Administrative Office's issuance of fifty-four zoning permits to the City of Burlington and Burlington International Airport (BTV) and concluded that applicants were not required to submit a site plan for zoning board approval. Each permit allowed the BTV to demolish, remove, and fill in the cellar hole of a vacant structure on BTV-owned property. Maille contended that the environmental court erred in concluding that site plan review of the applications was not required under the South Burlington Land Development Regulations. Although the Supreme Court disagreed with part of the environmental court’s reasoning, it ultimately affirmed its holding that site plan review was not required for the removal of the structures and the placement of fill in the structures' respective cellar holes.

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16.10.2014 - Marshall v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia (majority) - Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

In 2010, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia filed an Application for Zoning/Use Registration Permit with the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections ("L&I") for conversion of the Nativity B.V.M. Elementary School into a 63-unit, one-bedroom apartment complex for low income senior citizens. The school was built in 1912 and operated by the Archdiocese in legal non-conformance with subsequently enacted zoning codes until 2008, when it had been closed due to declining enrollment and insufficient revenue. In 2009, the Archdiocese received funding under the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") to convert the school to senior housing. L&I denied the Archdiocese's Application for Zoning/Use Registration Permit as not in compliance with several provisions of the Philadelphia Zoning Code. The Archdiocese appealed to the City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment ("ZBA") for use and dimensional variances. The issue this case presented to the Supreme Court was whether the Commonwealth Court applied an improper standard in reversing the ZBA's grant of a variance. After careful review of the Commonwealth Court's opinion the Court concluded that the court erred by relying on an improper standard for unnecessary hardship and by substituting its judgment for that of the ZBA, thereby applying an incorrect standard of review.

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31.08.2014 - Holt v. Town of Stonington - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Plaintiff filed suit seeking equitable relief to prevent the Town from denying her the ability to build on a lot that she owns in the Town. The district court granted plaintiff an injunction following a bench trial. The Town appealed, arguing that plaintiff did not avail herself to state law proceedings to seek relief concerning her property's zoning status before she filed her municipal estoppel claim in federal court. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as required by state law and, therefore, the district court lacked jurisdiction over the case. The court vacated and remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint.

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30.06.2014 - Kauai Springs, Inc. v. Planning Comm’n - Supreme Court of Hawaii

Kauai Springs, Inc., a water bottling and distribution company, filed an application for three zoning permits related to the continued operation of its water bottling facility on land located in Koloa, Kauai. The Planning Commission of the County of Kauai denied the permits, notified Kauai Springs that continued operation on the property constituted a land use violation, and ordered Kauai Springs to shut down its operations on the property. The circuit court reversed in part and vacated in part the Commissioner’s decision and order and ordered that all three permits be issued. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacated the circuit court’s final judgment and remanded to the Commission for consideration of whether Kauai Springs could meet the requirements for the permits. The Supreme Court affirmed to the extent the ICA vacated the circuit court’s final judgment, holding that the Commission’s findings of fact were not erroneous, its conclusions of law were correct, and its decision to deny the permits was not arbitrary and capricious, but clarity and completeness in its decision were lacking. Remanded to the Commission to clarify its findings of fact and conclusions of law.

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17.06.2014 - Tarver v. Bd. of Adjustments - Supreme Court of Wyoming

Robert and Beverly Bernard sought a special exemption to operate a bed and breakfast in an area that was zoned as an R-1 Residence District. The Board of Adjustments approved the Bernards’ application, but the district court reversed because the agency failed to comply with its own rules and procedures. The Bernards subsequently filed a second application for a special exemption that differed from the first in that it included an approved parking plan and a certificate of occupancy. Timothy and Carole Tarver objected, claiming that the Bernards’ second application was barred by res judicata. The Board concluded that the second application was not barred by res judicata and granted the Bernards’ application with conditions. The Tarvers appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Bernards’ second application for a special exemption was not barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel; (2) the Board had the authority to impose parking restrictions on the bed and breakfast as a condition of granting the special exemption; and (3) the Board properly applied its discretion in concluding that the Bernards were entitled to a special exemption.

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15.06.2014 - In re Hale Mountain Fish & Game Club - Supreme Court of Vermont

Landowners appealed various proceedings involving their complaints challenging the operation of Hale Mountain Fish and Game Club. Here, they appealed the Environmental Division of the superior court's judgment that Hale Mountain was entitled to reissuance of a zoning permit for certain enumerated improvements on its property once it received site plan approval from the Town of Shaftsbury Development Review Board. Based primarily on principles of preservation and res judicata, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court’s judgment.

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07.03.2014 - In re Champlain Oil Company Conditional Use Application - Supreme Court of Vermont

Twelve individuals and the Ferrisburgh Friends of Responsible Growth, Inc. appealed the Environmental Division’s affirming the grant of a conditional use zoning permit to Champlain Oil Company. The permit allowed Champlain Oil to construct and operate a gasoline and diesel station with a retail convenience store and a drive-through food facility, including parking lot and overhead canopies for the gas and diesel pumps. Appellants argued that the proposed uses for a convenience, retail and drive-in facility are explicitly prohibited by the Ferrisburgh zoning ordinance and would not be consistent with the town plan. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the Environmental Division's decision.

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To portal www.spatialplandev.gr δημιουργήθηκε στα μέσα του 2014 από την εταιρεία Spatial Planning & Development Ε.Π.Ε.

Επιστημονικός Υπεύθυνος της προσπάθειας αυτής έχει οριστεί ο κ. Κωνσταντίνος Τσάντζαλος, Δικηγόρος Αθηνών, πτυχιούχος της Νομικής Σχολής του Εθνικού και Καποδιστριακού Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, κάτοχος μεταπτυχιακού τίτλου σπουδών (MSc) στο γνωστικό αντικείμενο Χωροταξίας – Πολεοδομίας – Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης του Τμήματος Μηχανικών Χωροταξίας, Πολεοδομίας & Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης της Πολυτεχνικής Σχολής του Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλίας και υπ. Διδάκτωρ του Τμήματος Πολιτικής Επιστήμης και Δημόσιας Διοίκησης της Σχολής Οικονομικών και Πολιτικών Σπουδών του Εθνικού και Καποδιστριακού Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών.

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