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21.03.2016 - Bd. of Pub. Works v. K. Hovnanian's Four Seasons at Kent Island, LLC - Court of Appeals of Maryland

These proceedings involved a development project spearheaded by K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Kent Island, LLC (Appellee). Appellee obtained all of the necessary permits and approvals from state and local agencies, except one. At issue in these proceedings was Appellee’s application for a State wetlands license. Appellee filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and for a writ of mandamus against the Board of Public Works seeking an order compelling the Board to vote promptly on Appellee’s long-outstanding application for the wetlands permit following delays resulting from a perceived appearance of impropriety. The circuit court granted the requested relief and ordered the Board to vote promptly on the application. The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment, holding that the circuit court’s order was improper for want of a prior final administrative decision and because mandamus was unavailable under the circumstances.

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21.03.2016 - Frees v. Tidd - Supreme Court of Colorado

This water case involving neighboring property owners in Saguache County presented an issue of first impression for the Supreme Court: may the land owner whose property is burdened by an easement across his or her property for a water ditch obtain a junior conditional water right at the headgate of that ditch for non-consumptive hydropower use of water that the neighbor is diverting from the stream under a senior water right for irrigation use through that headgate? Applying the no material injury, water availability, and maximum beneficial use principles of Colorado water law, in conjunction the decision in "Roaring Fork Club, L.P. v. St. Jude’s Co.," (36P.3d 1229 (2001)), the District Court for Water Division No. 3 issued a declaratory judgment and a conditional water right decree in the amount of 0.41 cubic feet per second ("cfs") with a 2010 priority for hydropower use to Charles and Barbara Tidd for diversion from Garner Creek at the headgate of Garner Creek Ditch No. 1. The Plaintiffs–Appellants, David L. Frees, George A. Frees, Delmer E. Frees, and Shirley A. Frees, asserted that the water court lacked authority to decree this water right over their objection. After review, the Supreme Court deferred to the water court's findings of fact and upheld its conclusions of law. Under the circumstances of this case, the Court held that the water court did not err in issuing a conditional decree for a non-consumptive hydropower use water right with a 2010 priority for 0.41 cfs diverted from Garner Creek through the headgate of Garner Creek Ditch No. 1.

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15.10.2015 - RTD v. 750 West 48th Ave., LLC - Supreme Court of Colorado

In 2011, In 2011, Regional Transportation District (“RTD”) filed a petition in condemnation against 750 West 48th Avenue, LLC (“Landowner”) to acquire approximately the approximately 1.6 acre property a light rail project. Landowner was leasing the property to a commercial waterproofing business ("Tenant"). Over the years, Landowner made several luxury improvements to the property, including adding a steam room, fitness room, atrium, ceramic and cherry-wood flooring, and marble and granite finishes. The parties stipulated to every condemnation issue except the property's reasonable market value. Landowner elected to litigate the property's value through a commission trial. RTD established the value at $1.8 million; Landowner thought the property was worth $2.57 million. Landowner's calculations focused solely on the cost of replacement; RTD based its estimation on a "superadequacy" theory, asserting that many of the luxury improvements that Landowner made to an industrial property would not fetch a price on the open market commensurate with the cost of replacement. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the interplay between the respective authorities of the supervising judge and the commission to make evidentiary rulings in eminent domain valuation hearings. Specifically, the Court considered: (1) whether a commission could alter a supervising judge's ruling in limine regarding admissibility, and (2) whether the supervising judge could instruct the commission to disregard as irrelevant evidence that the commission had previously admitted. The Supreme Court held that judicial evidentiary rulings controlled in valuation hearings. Thus, the Court affirmed the court of appeals' judgment insofar as it approved the supervising judge instructing the commission to disregard previously admitted evidence as irrelevant. The Court reversed that portion of the appellate court's opinion permitting the commission to alter the judge's evidentiary ruling in limine.

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13.08.2015 - City of Helena v. Svee - Supreme Court of Montana

Section 11-41-2 of the Helena City Code (the Ordinance) places limitations on roofing materials used on structures located within the wildland-urban interface (WUI) district. The City filed suit against homeowners whose property was situated within the WUI zoning district (Homeowners), alleging violation of the Ordinance. Homeowners answered the complaint and petitioned for a declaratory judgment that the Ordinance was invalid on statutory and constitutional grounds. The district court granted summary judgment for Homeowners, concluding that the Ordinance was a building regulation, and the City was not authorized to adopt building regulations under the guise of a zoning ordinance. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding that the district court (1) did not err by determining that the Ordinance was an impermissible building code and not a zoning ordinance; (2) erred by concluding that Homeowners were ineligible for an award of attorney fees; and (3) did not err by denying and dismissing Homeowners' constitutional arguments.

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22.05.2015 - Cannabis Action Council v. City of Kent - Supreme Court of Washington

Under the Washington State Medical Use of Cannabis Act (MUCA), chapter 69.51A RCW, qualifying patients could participate in "collective gardens" to pool resources and grow medical marijuana for their own use. However, MUCA granted cities and towns the power to zone the "production, processing, or dispensing" of medical marijuana. Given this law, the city of Kent enacted a zoning ordinance that prohibited collective gardens within its city limits. The issue for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether MUCA preempted the Ordinance. The Court held that it did not and affirm the Court of Appeals: the Ordinance was a valid exercise of the city of Kent's zoning authority recognized in RCW 69.51A.l40(1) because the Ordinance merely regulated land use activity.

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22.05.2015 - Stanley v. Town of Greene - Supreme Court of Maine

George Stanley filed a complaint against the Town of Greene alleging that the Town was interfering with his flea market business on his property by denying him a license. The Town counterclaimed against Stanley, seeking injunctive relief and fines for Stanley’s continued operation of his unlicensed flea market in violation of a town Ordinance. The superior court ultimately granted the Town’s motions to dismiss Stanley’s complaint for for default judgment on its counterclaim. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the superior court did not abuse its discretion in (1) denying Stanley’s motion for a temporary restraining order; (2) denying Stanley’s motions to set aside the default or for relief from default judgment; (3) denying Stanley’s motion to continue; and (4) denying Stanley’s motion for reconsideration.

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24.02.2015 - State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp. - Supreme Court of Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code 1509 gives state government “sole and exclusive authority” to regulate the permitting, location, and spacing of oil and gas wells and production operations within Ohio. Beck Energy Corporation obtained a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in order to drill an oil and gas well on property within the corporate limits of the City of Munroe Falls. When Beck Energy began drilling, the City filed a complaint seeking injunctive relief and alleging that Beck Energy was violating several provisions of the Munroe Falls Codified Ordinances. The trial court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Beck Energy from drilling until it complied with all local ordinances. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that section 1509.02 prohibited the City from enforcing the five ordinances. In so holding, the court rejected the City’s argument that the Home Rule Amendment to the Ohio Constitution allowed the City to impose its own permit requirements on oil and gas drilling operations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Home Rule Amendment does not grant the City the power to discriminate against, unfairly impede, or obstruct oil and gas activities and production operations that the State has permitted under chapter 1509.

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23.02.2015 - Garretson v. Mississippi Department of Transportation - Supreme Court of Mississippi

The Mississippi Transportation Commission (MTC) procured some land from O.R. and Carylon Garretson via eminent domain in order to construct a bypass in Greene County. The Garretsons later filed a complaint against the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), alleging that the bypass construction had caused silt to flood onto their remaining land, damaging their timber. MDOT filed a motion for summary judgment and argued that it was immune under Mississippi Code Section 11-46-9(1), subsections (d) (discretionary-function immunity) and (p) (design immunity). The Supreme Court agreed that MDOT was immune from liability under subsection (p) and affirmed.

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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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23.02.2015 - Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc’y of N.Y., Inc. v. Colombani, No. 13-1605 (1st Cir. 2014) - U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

In Puerto Rico, the Controlled Access Law (CAL) allows private citizens to protect themselves against violent crimes by maintaining gated residential communities that incorporate public streets. In 2004, two corporations operated by the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses brought suit against municipal defendants alleging that the CAL unconstitutionally infringed on the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ right to engage in door-to-door ministry. The district court established a remedial scheme that attempted to balance the competing interests of the parties. Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the municipalities appealed. The First Circuit upheld the district court’s solution but modified it in some aspects, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in crafting the remedy at issue.

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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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