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15.10.2014 - Lamar Co., LLC v. City of Richmond - Circuit Court of the City of Richmond

Lessee leased property owned by Owners pursuant to a lease agreement. A billboard was located on the property that had been declared illegal because it exceeded the permitted height limitations. Lessee and Owners filed a joint application for a variance with the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to allow the billboard to remain at its existing height. The BZA denied the variance. The circuit court upheld the BZA’s decision. Lessee appealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred by applying an improper standard of review when considering the BZA’s decision to deny the request for a variance. Remanded.

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15.10.2014 - T-Mobile Northeast LLC v. The Loudoun Cty. Bd. - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

T-Mobile filed suit under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B), challenging the Board's denial of T-Mobile's application for permits to build two telecommunications towers in Loudoun County - one disguised as a bell tower and one disguised as a silo on a farm. The district court concluded that the Board improperly denied T-Mobile's application for the silo tower and affirmed the Board's decision denying permits for the bell tower. The court concluded that the Board's decision to deny T-Mobile's Bell Tower Site application was supported by substantial evidence; did not have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services in view of the possibility of other alternatives; and was not made on the basis of health concerns about radio frequency emissions. In regards to the Silo Site, the court concluded that while the aesthetic concerns that the Board gave for denying T-Mobile's application were supported by substantial evidence, its decision to base the denial of T-Mobile's application on improper environmental concerns about radio frequency emissions was prohibited by the Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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15.10.2014 - Doherty vs. Planning Board of Scitutate - Planning Board of Scituate

Plaintiff was the owner of two adjacent unimproved lots in the town of Scituate. The lots were located in a flood plain and watershed protection district (FPWP district). Plaintiff applied for special permits from the Town’s planning board to construct residential dwellings on the lots. The Board denied the applications, concluding that Plaintiff had not demonstrated that her lots were not “subject to flooding” within the meaning of the applicable zoning bylaw. A land court judge affirmed the Board’s decision. The appeals court reversed. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding that the appeals court adopted an incorrect definition of the phrase “subject to flooding,” and the land court judge adopted the correct meaning of the phrase.

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14.10.2014 - White v. Valley County - Supreme Court of Idaho

A certified question of law from the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho was presented to the Idaho Supreme Court. Karen White and her development company, Elkhorn, LLC, sought to recover $166,496 paid to Valley County for "capital investments for roads in the vicinity of [their] White Cloud development." Phase I of White Cloud was completed and it was undisputed by the parties that the tax monies paid for Phase I were used by the County to complete capital investments for roads in the vicinity of the White Cloud development. The County conceded that it did not adopt an impact fee ordinance or administrative procedures for the impact fee process as required by the Idaho Development Impact Fees Act (IDIFA). The County also conceded it did not enact an IDIFA-compliant ordinance, because, at the time, the County believed in good faith that none was required. Plaintiff filed suit against the County claiming that the road development fee imposed by the County as a condition for approval of the White Cloud project violated Idaho state law and deprived Plaintiff of due process under both the federal and Idaho constitutions. In her Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff raised two claims for relief. The first claim for relief alleged that “Valley County’s practice of requiring developers to enter into a Road Development Agreement ("RDA," or any similar written agreement) solely for the purpose of forcing developers to pay money for its proportionate share of road improvement costs attributable to traffic generated by their development is a disguised impact fee, is illegal and therefore should be enjoined." The first claim for relief also alleged that, because the County failed to enact an impact fee ordinance under IDIFA, the imposition of the road development fees constituted an unauthorized tax. Plaintiff’s second claim for relief alleged that the County’s imposition of the road development fee constituted a taking under the federal and Idaho constitutions. The County argued Plaintiff voluntarily agreed to pay the RDA monies. Plaintiff denies that the payment was voluntary since it was required to obtain the final plat approval. The issue the federal district court presented to the Idaho Supreme Court centered on when the limitations period commences for statutory remedies made available under Idaho law to obtain a refund of an illegal county tax. The Court answered that the limitations period for statutory remedies made available under Idaho law to obtain a refund of an illegal county tax commences upon payment of the tax.

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14.10.2014 - Pike Indus., Inc. v. City of Westbrook - Supreme Court of Maine

Pike Industries operated a quarry in the City of Westbrook. Smiling Hill Farm owned property and operated businesses near Pike’s quarry. After the City concluded that Pike did not have a grandfathered right to quarry and attempted to rezone the property and end Pike’s quarrying operations, Pike filed a complaint seeking to enjoin the City from enforcing its zoning ordinances. The City and Pike subsequently entered into a consent decree that allowed Pike to continue its quarrying operations subject and established a set of governing performance standards. Smiling Hill appealed. In Pike I, the Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions for the parties to formalize the performance standards. The parties then entered into a second consent decree. Smiling Hill appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the decree conformed to the requirements laid out in Pike I; and (2) the decree did not result in a forfeiture of the City’s enforcement power or an illegal contract zone.

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14.10.2014 - Hale v. Ward County - Supreme Court of North Dakota

Robert Hale, individually and on behalf of the State of North Dakota, and Susan Hale appealed a summary judgment dismissing their public nuisance claim against Ward County and the City of Minot. The Hales had a house on agricultural land about one mile southeast of a shooting range in Ward County, which was used to train local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. Several other farms and homes are located near the Hales' property and the law enforcement shooting range, and County Road 12 runs adjacent to the west side of that shooting range. In "Gowan v. Ward Cnty. Comm.," (764 N.W.2d 425), the Supreme Court affirmed a Ward County Commission zoning decision denying an application to rezone neighboring land, which is about one-quarter mile downrange from the law enforcement shooting range, from agricultural to residential for construction of a residential subdivision. The Ward County Commission denied Gowan's application, citing safety concerns resulting from the proximity of his land to the law enforcement shooting range. In "Hale v. Ward Cnty.", the Supreme Court affirmed the summary judgment in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings on the Hales' public nuisance claim. The Court discussed the differences between a private and a public nuisance and explained different evidence was relevant to the Hales' claims for a private and a public nuisance. The Court affirmed the summary judgment dismissing the Hales' private nuisance claim, concluding they failed to present competent evidence supporting their claim the law enforcement shooting range posed a danger to their property. The Court reversed the summary judgment on the Hales' public nuisance claim about use of County Road 12 and remanded for further proceedings on that claim. The Court recognized, however, that Ward County and Minot had not argued the Hales failed to meet the "specially injurious" requirement for a public nuisance claim under N.D.C.C. 42-01-08, and neither the parties nor the district court had addressed the propriety of the Hales bringing an action to abate the law enforcement shooting range under N.D.C.C. ch. 42-02. On remand, the district court concluded "private citizens can bring an action 'ex rel.', but as a threshold matter, such citizens must first satisfy the special injury showing of N.D.C.C. § 42-01-08 or their public nuisance claim must be dismissed." The court granted Ward County and Minot summary judgment on the remanded claim for public nuisance regarding the Hales' use of County Road 12, concluding as a matter of law they failed to meet the "specially injurious" requirement for a private person to maintain a public nuisance claim under N.D.C.C. § 42-01-08. The court also denied the Hales' request to join additional neighbors as parties to their action. The Hales argue the district court erred in granting summary judgment on their public nuisance claim, and in denying their joinder request. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court.

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14.10.2014 - Seherr-Thoss v. Teton County Bd. of County Comm’rs - Supreme Court of Wyoming

Roger Seherr-Thoss (RST) owned and operated a gravel operation since at least 1977. In 1978, Teton County enacted its first Land and Development Regulations (LDRs). In 2011, Teton County issued RST an amended "notice to abate" requiring RST to reduce his production levels to pre-1978 levels because the business had expanded in volume and footprint since the LDRs were adopted. After a contested case hearing, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners entered an order recognizing that all aspects of RST’s gravel crushing and extraction operations were grandfathered but requiring RST to reduce its operation to its 1978 extent. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Board’s order was an improper agency determination and exercise of authority.

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14.10.2014 - County of Teller Bd. of County Comm'rs v. City of Woodland Park - Supreme Court of Colorado

The Board of Commissioners of the County of Teller filed a petition seeking the district court's review of the City of Woodland Park's annexation of certain real property. Upon review of the petition and the district court's order denying the City's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the Supreme Court reversed the district court's order: the district court indeed did not have jurisdiction to review the County's petition under 31-12-116 C.R.S. (2013).

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14.10.2014 - Sherman v. Town of Chester - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Plaintiff filed suit against the Town after a decade of dealing with the Town in plaintiff's efforts to apply for subdivision approval. The court reversed the district court's decision to dismiss plaintiff's federal takings claims, concluding that his claim became ripe because of the way the Town handled his application under Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City where the Town employed a decade of unfair and repetitive procedures, which made seeking a final decision futile. The Town also unfairly manipulated the litigation of the case in a way that might have prevented plaintiff from ever bringing his takings claim. The court vacated the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's non-takings claims based on ripeness grounds and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his state law claims. The court affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1981 claim, to deny plaintiff leave to amend to add a 42 U.S.C. 1982 claim, and to dismiss plaintiff's procedural due process claim based on the consultants' fee law.

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14.10.2014 - City of Baton Rouge v. Myers - Supreme Court of Louisiana

The City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge sought injunctive relief against defendant Stephen Myers to compel him to cease his alleged violation of the City-Parish’s Unified Development Code (the “UDC”), Title 7, Chapter 8, Section 8.201, Appendix H, entitled “Permissible Uses.” The City-Parish alleged that more than two unrelated persons were residing in a home owned by the defendant in an area zoned “A1” and restricted to “single-family dwellings.” The defendant answered the petition, admitting that he was the owner, but denying that he occupied the premises, as he had leased the property to other occupants. The defendant sought dismissal of the action for injunctive relief and asserted, both as an affirmative defense and as the basis for his reconventional demand for declaratory judgment: that the UDC zoning law’s restrictive definition of “family” was unconstitutional on its face and as applied, violating his state and federal constitutional rights of freedom of association; deprived him of his property without due process of law; denied him an economically viable use of his property; and violated his equal protection rights, contending the ordinance “impose[d] greater limitations on owners who choose to rent their homes . . . than it does on owners who choose not to rent their homes” and also by prohibiting “foster children and non-adopted stepchildren without a living biological parent from being able [to] reside with their respective foster parents and stepparents . . . while allowing an unlimited number of very distant relatives via blood, marriage or adoption to reside together.” The defendant also urged, along with defenses and/or matters not relevant hereto, that the zoning law’s definition of “family” should be declared void for vagueness because its prohibitions were not clearly defined and it does not contain an unequivocal statement of law. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded the district court erred in its rulings; therefore, the Court reversed the declaration of unconstitutionality and the denial of a suspensive appeal, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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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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