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20.10.2014 - In re All Metals Recycling, Inc. - Supreme Court of Vermont

Thirteen Town of Williston residents appealed the Superior Court, Environmental Division’s grant of a discretionary permit to All Metals Recycling, Inc., to establish an outdoor storage area and install a scale and scale house. The discretionary permit allowed All Metals to continue operating a previously unpermitted scrap-metals recycling business in Williston. Finding no abuse of discretion, the Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's decision.

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20.10.2014 - Tuolumne Jobs & Small Bus. Alliance v. Superior Court - Supreme Court of California

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. sought to expand its store in the City of Sonora. The City Council postponed its vote on the project while a voter-sponsored initiative was circulated, which proposed to adopt a plan for the contemplated expansion. The Council subsequently adopted the ordinance. The Tuoloumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance sought a writ of mandate based on four causes of action, the first of which asserted that the Council violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by adopting the ordinance without first conducting a complete environmental review. The Court of Appeals granted the writ as to the first cause of action, concluding that when a land use ordinance is proposed in a voter initiative petition, full CEQA review is required if the city adopts the ordinance rather than submitting it to an election. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that CEQA review is not required before direct adoption of an initiative, just as it is not required before voters adopt an initiative at an election.

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18.10.2014 - CEnergy-Glenmore Wind Farm #1 v. Town of Glenmore - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CEnergy filed suit against Glenmore claiming a denial of its right under the Fourteenth Amendment to substantive due process and a violation of the town's state law obligation to deal in good faith. While CEnergy obtained a conditional use permit from Glenmore to develop a wind farm, the company failed to obtain required building permits in time to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity to sell electricity generated by wind turbines to a Wisconsin power company. The court concluded that the town board's decision to delay action on CEnergy's building permit requests could not have been arbitrary in the constitutional sense. Even if the board's treatment of the building permit applications had been arbitrary in the constitutional sense, CEnergy still would have failed to state a substantive due process claim where a plaintiff who ignores potential state law remedies cannot state a substantive due process claim based on a state-created property right. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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18.10.2014 - Minisink Residents for Enviro., et al. v. FERC - U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Petitioners challenged the Commission's approval of a proposal for the construction of a natural gas compressor station in the Town of Minisink, New York. Petitioners argued, among other things, that the Commission's approval of the project was arbitrary and capricious, particularly given the existence of a nearby alternative site (the Wagoner Alternative) they insist is better than the Minisink locale. The court concluded that the Commission's consideration of the Wagoner Alternative falls within the bounds of its discretion and the court had no basis to upset the Commission's application of its Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. 717-717z, authority on this point; the court was satisfied that the Commission properly considered cumulative impacts of the Minisink Project; the court reject petitioners' argument that the Minisink Project violates the siting guidelines; and the court rejected petitioners' claims of procedural errors. Accordingly, the court denied the petitions for review.

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18.10.2014 - El Dorado Estates v. City of Fillmore - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

El Dorado, a mobile home park owner located in the City of Fillmore alleged that the City interfered with an application for a subdivision of its seniors-only mobile home park by causing unreasonable delays and imposing extralegal conditions because of a fear that subdivisions would lead to El Dorado opening the Park to families. El Dorado's complaint was dismissed for lack of standing. The court concluded, however, that El Dorado had Article III standing where El Dorado suffered a concrete and particularized, actual, injury, in the form of added expenses caused by the City's interference of the application. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

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18.10.2014 - Chesapeake Bay Found. v. DCW Dutchship - Court of Appeals of Maryland

In 2000, DCW Dutchship Island, LLC (DCW), a corporation wholly owned by Daryl Wagner, purchased the Little Island in the Magothy River. At that time, the Island measured approximately 1.92 acres in area and was improved by a single-family house and related structures built in the 1920s. Wagner demolished the house and built a new one. In November 2004, the County authorities discovered the construction activities on the Island and notified DCW of numerous violations. In December, DCW sought variances from the unobserved requirements of the Critical Area Law for each of the structures and improvements on the Island. DCW sought also an amendment to the critical area buffer map, which prohibited most development activity within 100 feet of the shoreline. A County Administrative Hearing Officer heard the evidence for and against the requests for variances. The Magothy River Association (MRA) appeared at the variance hearings to oppose DCW’s requests. The Hearing Officer granted some of the variances. Wagner administratively appealed the denials, and the MRA, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), and the Maryland Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays appealed the decision to grant the variances, all to the County Board of Appeals. At the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals (the “Board”) hearing, Wagner moved to dismiss MRA and CBF as parties to the administrative proceedings. The Board ultimately concluded that CBF did not have standing to appeal the granted variances because it did not participate in the hearing before the Administrative Hearing Officer (“AHO”). After 24 evenings of hearings on the subject, the Board revised the decision of the AHO to include certain conditions on the variances.The Maryland Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays (the Commission), MRA, CBF, and Wagner all sought judicial review of the Board’s decision at the Circuit Court. In addition, CBF filed a Motion for Summary Judgment limited to the issue of whether the Board improperly excluded CBF from the variance portion of the proceedings. The court denied all motions relevant to the variance matter. The Circuit Court then affirmed the decision of the Board. The Commission and CBF appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the Court of Special Appeals, arguing that the Critical Area Act applied to the variance proceedings, that the Board erred in refusing to allow CBF to participate as a party in the administrative process, and that the Board did not base its decision on substantial evidence in the record. In an unreported opinion, the Court of Special Appeals rejected these arguments and affirmed the Circuit Court. MRA and CBF then petitioned the Court of Appeals for certiorari. The issues this case presented for the Court's review were: (1) whether CBF had standing to participate in the variance proceedings before the Board of Appeals on the grounds that MRA, which advocated the same position, had standing; (2) whether AACC 3-1-104(a) violated the Express Powers Act, thus making the Board’s denial of standing to CBF on the basis of it erroneous; (3) whether the Board of Appeals violated its own rules when it held that CBF could not cross-examine witnesses, resulting in CBF being denied due process; and (4) whether the Board of Appeals erred in granting Wagner after-the-fact variances. The Court answered the first three questions in the negative and the fourth in the affirmative, but only in part.

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18.10.2014 - Hollis v. Chestnut Bend Homeowners Ass'n - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The Hollis family, with five children, lived in a house in Franklin, Tennessee. The two youngest children have Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities. The parents wanted to attach a sunroom to their house to permit the children to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of sunlight, as recommended by a pediatric cardiologist who treated the children. The house is in a residential subdivision, which is subject to restrictive covenants. The homeowners association rejected several applications for approval to build the addition. The Hollises sued under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604, individually and as “next friends” of the children. The district court dismissed their personal-capacity claims for want of standing and then, applying the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting test to the claim under the reasonable-modification provision of the Act, awarded summary judgment to the association on the “next friend” claim. The Sixth Circuit vacated and remanded. Intent is irrelevant in reasonable modification claims: a reasonable modification plaintiff must prove the reasonableness and necessity of the requested modification; that she suffers from a disability; that she requested an accommodation or modification; that the defendant refused to make the accommodation or to permit the modification; and that the defendant knew or should have known of the disability at the time.

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18.10.2014 - Citizens Opposing A Dangerous Environ. v. Co. of Kern - Court of Appeal State of California

CODE appealed the superior court's denial of a petition for writ of mandamus to set aside an environmental impact report (EIR) certification and project approval on the grounds that Mitigation Measure 4.8-8 was ineffective and respondents failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code, 21000 et seq. The EIR concerned North Sky River and Jawbone's application to rezone and for a conditional use permit for mobile concrete batch plants in order to build and operate a wind farm in the Tehachcapi Wind Resource Area. The court concluded: (1) as a matter of law, the County's EIR described a legally feasible mitigation measure; (2) as a matter of law, the County was not required to respond to late comments; (3) substantial evidence supported the Board's conclusion that MM 4.8-8 mitigated significant impacts on aviation safety; and (4) the Board was not required to consider either CODE's proffered mitigation measure or the EIR's "environmentally superior alternative." Accordingly, the court affirmed the superior court's order denying CODE's petition for a writ of mandamus.

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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 - Unified Government of Athens-Clarke Co. v. Stiles Apartments, Inc. - Supreme Court of Georgia

In 1954, Stiles Apartments, Inc. and the City of Athens entered into an agreement to create a drive-in parking area and new sidewalk on the western side of South Lumpkin Street in Athens. The purpose was to relieve traffic congestion due to cars parking parallel to the raised sidewalk along the street. Stiles Apartments paid all construction costs, and the public sidewalk was relocated onto its private property, and a parking lot was created that contained 22 spaces. About two thirds of each space lies on land owned by Stiles Apartments and the other third lies on what was the old public sidewalk. The agreement provided that the parking spaces and sidewalk will be maintained by the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County. In 2003, Stiles' commercial tenants, including the now-closed Five Points Deli, began complaining about non-customers using the parking area, with some leaving their cars for days. Stiles Apartments attempted to tow the vehicles, but was forced to stop when its president, Barry Stiles, was threatened with arrest by the county attorney, William Berryman. Berryman took the position that the parking area was created for use by the public, not just Stiles' tenants, and therefore Stiles Apartments did not control who could park there. After losing several tenants due in part to the parking problems, Stiles sued the local government, asserting ownership over the parking area and asking the court to grant a temporary injunction and prohibit the city and county government from exercising any control over the spaces while the case was being litigated. Athens-Clarke County counterclaimed and following a hearing, the trial court issued an order granting the injunction against the government's attempt to assert control over the parking area. Athens-Clark County then appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Court upheld the temporary injunction. The question that still needed to be answered was whether the parties to the 1954 agreement intended to reserve public property rights in the land owned by Stiles Apartments. The trial court entered a final order, concluding that under the agreement, the parties did not intend for the parking area to be available to the public. The trial court noted it would be unlikely for a landowner to give up control over property for which it paid taxes. Athens-Clarke County appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which found that according to the agreement signed 60 years ago by the local government and apartment complex, "the parties never intended that the parking area be kept open for the public."

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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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