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20.10.2014 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC v. 1.01 Acres in Penn Twp - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Columbia, an interstate natural gas company subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), seeks to replace a portion of a natural gas pipeline that runs in and around York County, Pennsylvania. Because the original location of the pipeline has become heavily populated, the replacement will not track the original line but will be outside the existing right of way. To obtain easements necessary to complete construction of the replacement, in 2013, Columbia filed Complaints in Condemnation against four Landowners in federal court. The district court held that Columbia did not have the right of eminent domain required to condemn the easements, reasoning that 18 C.F.R. 157.202(b)(2)(i), was ambiguous. The Third Circuit reversed, finding that the regulation clearly anticipates replacement outside the existing right of way and contains no adjacency requirement. The district court erroneously adopted its own definition of “replace” and concluded that a “notice” of “proposed rulemaking” for “Emergency Reconstruction of Interstate Natural Gas Facilities” promulgated by FERC after 9/11 was relevant.

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20.10.2014 - Crossfield v. Limestone County Commission - Supreme Court of Alabama

Sara Crossfield appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Limestone County Commission in her action to reverse the Commission's decision to vacate a portion of Dogwood Flats Road in Limestone County. In early 2013, the Commission proposed to vacate a portion of Dogwood Flats Road. Crossfield's property did not abut the portion of Dogwood Flats Road proposed to be vacated; it abutted Dogwood Flats Road approximately 400 feet north of the portion of the road that the Commission proposed to vacate. At a hearing on the matter, Crossfield alleged that she was a "party affected by the vacation of a portion of Dogwood Flat[s] Road" and asked the trial court to set aside the vacation of the road. Crossfield alleged, among other things, that the Commission had obstructed her access to Piney Creek, east and south of Crossfield's property. The Commission moved to dismiss, arguing Crossfield was not affected by the vacation and therefore lacked standing to appeal the Commission's decision regarding Dogwood Flats. The trial court granted the Commission's motion for a summary judgment and dismissed Crossfield's appeal. Crossfield's evidence, even when viewed in the light most favorable to her as the nonmovant, did not create a genuine issue of material fact that would preclude a summary judgment for the Commission. Therefore, the Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Commission.

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20.10.2014 - Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Gov’t v. O’Shea’s-Baxter, LLC - Supreme Court of Kentucky

Flanagan’s Ale House applied for a retail liquor drink license to replace its restaurant drink license. The Louisville/Jefferson County Government (Louisville Metro) denied the application, relying on Ky. Rev. Stat. 241.075, which prohibits the issuance of a retail drink license to an applicant located in a combination business and residential area of a “city of the first class or consolidated local government” if another similar establishment is located within 700 feet of the establishment. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) affirmed. Flanagan’s appealed, arguing that section 241.075 was unconstitutional local and special legislation in violation of Sections 59 and 60 of the Kentucky Constitution. The Court of Appeals agreed with Flanagan’s and declared the statute unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 241.075 violates Sections 59 and 60 of the Kentucky Constitution. Remanded.

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20.10.2014 - San Francisco Tomorrow v. City & County of San Francisco - Court of Appeal State of California

The City and County of San Francisco approved the Parkmerced Development Project, which involves the long-term redevelopment of the privately owned, 3,221-unit residential rental complex on152 acres near Lake Merced, which were built as affordable housing. The Project contemplates demolition and, over 20-30 years, construction of a greater number of residential units, some affordable and some market-rate, and the addition of commercial and retail space, parks and open space, and transit facilities, with improved utilities. Objectors claimed that the Land Use Element of the San Francisco General Plan was inadequate for failing to include standards for population density and building intensity (Gov. Code, 6302, subds. (a), (b).) (2); that the project and the various approvals were inconsistent with the “priority policies” and other policies of the General Plan; that an environmental impact report (EIR) and findings underlying the City’s approval of the project were inadequate under standards established by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code, 21000); and violation of its due process rights. The trial court rejected the challenges. The court of appeal affirmed.

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20.10.2014 - Sharp v. Eureka - Supreme Court of Montana

Within thirty days of the Town of Eureka’s passage of an annexation ordinance Darrell Sharp filed a petition naming himself, his wife, and “John Does 1-200” as petitioners. After the thirty-day deadline for filing the petition had passed, Sharp filed an amended petition naming himself, his wife, eighty-nine other individuals, and “John Does 1-10” as petitioners. Eureka filed a motion to dismiss. The district court converted Eureka’s motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment for Eureka, concluding that Mont. Code Ann. 7-2-4741 does not allow relation back of amended pleadings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the requirements of section 7-2-4741 do not contemplate relation back of an amendment adding the names of a majority of real property owners to the petition after the thirty-day deadline has passed; and (2) Eureka was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the petition in this case was not filed within thirty days of the passage of the annexation ordinance by a majority of real property owners in the area to be annexed.

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20.10.2014 - Regan v. Pomerleau, DeForest Realty, Inc. and City of Burlington - Supreme Court of Vermont

In consolidated appeals, the Supreme Court reviewed rulings by the environmental and civil divisions concerning a subdivision application for a property located within a residential development in the City of Burlington. Appellants’ principal contention was that the courts erred in concluding that the subdivision had the requisite access to a public road. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgments.

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20.10.2014 - Nat'l Mining Ass'n v. Sec'y of Labor - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The 1977 Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 801(c), authorizes the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to promulgate mandatory health or safety standards, conduct regular inspections of mines, and issue citations and orders for violations of the Act or regulations. If an operator has a pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards and has been given required notice and an opportunity to comply, the Act authorizes issuance of an order requiring the operator to vacate the mine until the violation has been abated. The MSHA promulgated the first pattern of violations rule in 1990. The final rule issued in 2013, as 30 C.F.R. Part 104. Mining interests challenged the rule. The Sixth Circuit dismissed, concluding that the rule is not within the definition of a mandatory health or safety standard over which the Act grants appeals courts jurisdiction.

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20.10.2014 - Sustainable Treasure - Court of Appeal State of California

The Project area includes Treasure Island, 404 acres of landfill placed on former tidelands in San Francisco Bay, plus Yerba Buena Island, an adjacent, 160-acre, natural rock outcropping. Treasure Island and the causeway to Yerba Buena Island were constructed in the 1930s for the Golden Gate Exposition. During World War II, the area was converted to a naval station, which operated for more than 50 years. Conditions include aging infrastructure, environmental contamination, deteriorated buildings, and impervious surfaces over 65 percent of the site. In 2011, after more than a decade of planning, study, and input, the board of supervisors approved the Project, amended the general plan and code maps and text, and approved policies and standards for the redevelopment. The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) envisions a new, mixed-use community with about 8,000 residential units (about 25 percent designated as affordable units); up to 140,000 square feet of commercial and retail space; about 100,000 square feet of office space; restoration of historic buildings; 500 hotel rooms; utilities; 300 acres of parks, playgrounds, and public open space; bike and transit facilities; and a new ferry terminal and intermodal transit hub. Construction would be phased over 15-20 years. CSTI unsuccessfully challenged the EIR’s approval under the California Environmental Quality Act, Pub. Res. Code 21000. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting an argument that the EIR should have been prepared as a program EIR, not a project-level EIR. Opponents claimed that there was insufficient detail about matters such as remediation of hazardous materials, building and street layout, historical resources and tidal trust resources, for “project-level” review.

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20.10.2014 - Wallach v. Town of Dryden - New York Court of Appeals

These two appeals concerned the efforts of two corporations to explore and develop natural gas resources in two municipalities. In response, both municipalities adopted amendments to their zoning laws that prohibited all oil and gas exploration. The corporations brought actions challenging the zoning laws. Supreme Court declared the zoning laws valid, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law does not preempt the home rule authority vested in municipalities to regulate oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within municipal boundaries through the adoption of zoning laws.

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20.10.2014 - American Tower Corp. v. City of San Diego - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

ATC filed suit challenging the City's denial of its Conditional Use Permit (CUP) applications for three of its San Diego telecommunications facilities. ATC raised claims under, among other provisions, the California Permit Streamlining Act (PSA), Cal. Gov't Code 65956(b); the Federal Telecommunications Act (TCA), 47 U.S.C. 332; California Code of Civil Procedure 1094.5; and the Equal Protection Clause. The court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of ATC on the PSA claim because the court concluded that the CUP applications were not deemed approved before the City denied them. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the TCA claim where the City evaluated the CUP applications under the proper provision of the Land Development Code and supported its decision to deny them with substantial evidence; the City did not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services because ATC and the City are not "similarly situated" providers; and ATC has failed to show effective prohibition because it has not demonstrated that its proposals were the least intrusive means of filling a significant gap in coverage. ATC could not prevail on California Code of Civil Procedure 1094.5 because it does not have a fundamental vested right to the continued use of the Verus, Border, and Mission Valley Facilities. There was no violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the City's decision to deny the CUP applications was rationally related to the City's legitimate interest in minimizing the aesthetic impact of wireless facilities and in providing public communications services. Accordingly, the court reversed in part and affirmed in part.

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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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