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28.10.2014 - City of Independence v. Office of the Cuyahoga County Executive - Supreme Court of Ohio

At dispute in this case was a bridge located in Cuyahoga County on the border between Independence City and the village of Valley View and on a road that was neither a County road nor a state highway. The County and the City each claimed that the other was responsible for maintaining and repairing the bridge. The County’s duty to repair or replace such a bridge depended upon whether the road served by the bridge was a road of general and public utility. The Cuyahoga County Board of County Commissioners determined that the road was not a road of general and public utility. The common pleas court reversed, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a preponderance of reliable, probative, and substantial evidence supported the determination that the road was a road of general and public utility.

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21.10.2014 - Sunrise Detox v. City of White Plains - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Sunrise filed suit alleging intentional discrimination, disparate impact discrimination, and failure to grant a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., after the commissioner determined that Sunrise's application for a special permit to establish a facility for individuals recovering for drug or alcohol addiction did not meet applicable zoning regulations. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the dispute was not ripe. In this case, Sunrise failed to pursue a variance or to appeal the commissioner's determination, and therefore, failed to obtain a final decision on the permit application. The court concluded that Sunrise's remaining arguments were without merit.

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21.10.2014 - Lane v. Comm’r of Envtl. Prot. - Supreme Court of Connecticut

The Department of Environmental Protection (Department), acting through its office of Long Island Sound Programs (Office), ordered Plaintiffs, Gail and Thomas Lane, to remove a boardwalk and dock from their property because they had been installed without the statutorily required permits. The Office then denied Plaintiffs’ application for a certificate of permission to retain and maintain the structures and to install a new boardwalk pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 22a-363b(a)(2). The Department upheld the Office’s rulings. The trial court dismissed Plaintiffs’ administrative appeal. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Appellate Court properly interpreted section 22a-363b(a) in concluding that the trial court properly dismissed Plaintiffs’ administrative appeal.

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21.10.2014 - McBroom v. Jackson County - Supreme Court of Mississippi

In 1972, the Board of Supervisors of Jackson County, Mississippi, approved the final plat for Spring Lake Subdivision. At that time, the only vehicular access to the subdivision was Spring Lake Drive East, which crossed Spring Lake Dam. The McBrooms, who owned three subdivision lots on Spring Lake, and the dam forming the lake and providing access to the subdivision, contended that Jackson County was obligated to maintain the deteriorating roadway by virtue of the McBrooms’ dedication of the roadway to public use and Jackson County’s acceptance of their dedication. The Chancery Court held that the McBrooms were entitled to no relief. Finding that the Spring Lake Dam and the roadway over it were dedicated to public use and accepted by Jackson County under common law (as evidenced by more than thirty years of continuous use by the public), the Supreme Court reversed and remanded for entry of judgment for the McBrooms.

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21.10.2014 - Clean Water Action Council of NE WI, Inc. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

he Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401, allows each state to craft a state implementation plan to control the levels of certain air pollutants. Most state plans include “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” (PSD) programs, to prevent backsliding in “attainment areas” that meet or exceed the Act’s air quality standards, while allowing some new sources of pollution. A PSD program prevents designated sources from propelling the region’s aggregate emissions over specified limits. The Act establishes these limits by setting a baseline and a cap on pollutants above that baseline. The Act grandfathers sources operational before 1975: the baseline incorporates their emissions, with post-1975 sources counting against the allowance. Title V of the Act requires each covered stationary source to have an operating permit. In 2002 Georgia-Pacific asked Wisconsin to renew the Title V permit for its pre-1975 paper mill. Meanwhile, Georgia-Pacific modified a paper machine at the plant. The application was unopposed and the modification permit issued in February 2004. In 2011 Wisconsin reissued the plant’s operating permit. Objectors claim that modifications to any part of a plant require all emissions from the plant, including pre-1975 emissions incorporated into the baseline, to count against the state’s allowance, so that the whole plant might need to close for lack of available allowance. The U.S. EPA declined to object, concluding that Wisconsin’s approach is consonant with its understanding of the statute. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review. EPA presented a reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statutory provision.

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21.10.2014 - Rominger v. County of Colusa - Court of Appeal State of California

Plaintiffs Elaine and Gerald Rominger challenged a mitigated negative declaration approved by defendant Colusa County with respect to a subdivision proposed by real party in interest Adams Group Inc. The trial court denied the Romingers’ petition based on the conclusion that, notwithstanding the county’s approval of a mitigated negative declaration, the county’s "action in approving the subdivision map was not a project for CEQA purposes and [thus] no review beyond the preliminary review stage was required." The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court erred in determining the proposed subdivision was not a CEQA project, even though the proposal did not include any specific plans for development. On independent review of the Romingers’ other complaints, however, the Court found merit in only one: the Romingers adequately showed there was substantial evidence in the record that the subdivision may have had a significant unmitigated impact on traffic at a particular intersection adjacent to the project site. Accordingly, on that basis only, the Court reversed and remanded for the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR).

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21.10.2014 - Newtown Square East v. Twp. of Newtown (majority) - Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

In 2009, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors enacted a Planned Residential Development Ordinance. This appeal centered on challenges to the validity of that ordinance and to the approval of a Tentative PRD Plan pursuant to it. Intervenors BPG Real Estate Investors (BPG) submitted an application under the anticipated PRD Ordinance for approval of a Tentative PRD Plan, proposing multi-use development of an approximately 218-acre tract of land that it owned. The Township Board orally approved BPG's Tentative PRD Plan, and later issued a written decision granting approval. Newtown Square East, L.P. (NSE), which owned a two-acre tract of land adjacent to BPG's tract, filed a challenge to the validity of the PRD Ordinance with the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board, and filed an appeal of the Township Board's approval of BPG's Tentative PRD Plan with the court of common pleas. With regard to its validity challenge before the Zoning Board, NSE argued, inter alia, that the PRD Ordinance violated Article VII of the MPC by, allegedly, failing to require that a tentative plan identify the uses of buildings and other structures, and permitting the location of buildings to be subject to free modification between the time of tentative plan approval and final plan approval. Following several hearings, the Zoning Board upheld the validity of the PRD Ordinance, finding that its minor textual variations from the relevant provisions of the MPC, Article VII, did not create an inconsistency or conflict with the enabling legislation. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the ordinance.

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21.10.2014 - Matter of Colin Realty Co., LLC v. Town of N. Hempstead - New York Court of Appeals

Applicants sought approval from the Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning and Appeals (the Board) to place a full-service restaurant in a storefront that had most recently housed a retail gift shop. Restaurants in this area were permitted subject to the issuance of a conditional use permit. The Board granted the conditional use permit and an area variance from the Town’s parking and loading/unloading restrictions. Colin Realty, LLC (Colin), the owner of a multi-tenant retail building next to the property at issue, commenced this action seeking to annul the Board’s determination and obtain a declaration that the proposed restaurant required a use rather than an area variance from the Town’s parking and loading/unloading restrictions. Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the action. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Board properly considered the application as a request for an area variance rather than a use variance.

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21.10.2014 - Remmel v. City of Portland - Supreme Court of Maine

32 Thomas Street, LLC applied to the Portland City Council for conditional rezoning of its property in Portland’s West End. The City Council ultimately approved the conditional zoning agreement (CZA) for the reuse and rehabilitation of the property. The superior court determined that the rezoning did not comply with the City’s comprehensive plan and state statutes limiting conditional rezoning. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court and remanded with direction to affirm the decision of the City Council, holding that the record before the City Council supported its legislative determination that the CZA was consistent with the comprehensive plan and therefore did not violate relevant state statutes.

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21.10.2014 - Newton County v. East Georgia Land & Development Cp., LLC - Supreme Court of Georgia

East Georgia Land and Development Company, LLC sued Newton County and several of its officers for a writ of mandamus, arguing that a zoning ordinance adopted by the County in May1985 was invalid. The trial court agreed that the zoning ordinance is invalid, it awarded summary judgment to East Georgia. The County appealed. The zoning ordinance at issue referred to (and purported to incorporate by reference) a set of maps identified in the ordinance as the "Official Zoning District Maps for Newton County." These maps are an integral part of the zoning ordinance. The only such maps that appeared in the record, however, were adopted by the County on July 2, 1985, and nothing in the record showed that those maps even were in existence in May 1985. "A map not yet in existence cannot have been 'made a public record' and certainly is not 'accessible to members of the public who are, or may be, affected by it.'" The trial court found, and as a result, concluded that the ordinance was void at the moment of its enactment. The Supreme Court saw no error in the findings of the trial court on this point, nor in its conclusion that the ordinance was void from its inception.

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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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