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14.10.2014 - Kentner, et al. v. City of Sanibel - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Plaintiffs, property owners in the City of Sanibel, filed suit against the city challenging a municipal ordinance that prohibits them from building a boat dock or accessory pier on their properties. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the dismissal of their substantive due process claims. The court rejected plaintiffs' argument that Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. created a new "substantial advancement" test for substantive due process claims based on state-created property rights. The district court correctly concluded that the riparian rights asserted by plaintiffs were state-created rights, not fundamental rights. Because plaintiffs challenged the ordinance on its face rather than contesting a specific zoning or permit decision made under the auspices of the ordinance, the court concluded that they were challenging a legislative act. Under the court's existing precedent, the court concluded that plaintiffs could not show that the ordinance lacked a rational basis and the court declined to adopt a new standard of review. Plaintiffs themselves plead at least two rational bases for the ordinance in their Amended Complaint: protection of seagrasses and aesthetic preservation. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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14.10.2014 - Alliance Pipeline L.P. v. 4.360 Acres of Land, et al. - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

The Smiths appealed from the district court's order condemning portions of their property for the construction of a natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Alliance and granting Alliance immediate use and possession of the condemned land. The court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the Smiths' statutory challenges based on 18 C.F.R. 157.6(d) and North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) 69-06-08-01. The court also concluded that the Smiths received reasonable notice that Alliance was applying to FERC for the right to condemn their land; the court rejected the Smiths' allegation that Alliance violated several state procedural rules in bringing the condemnation action because Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 71.1 preempted all of these state procedures; Alliance satisfied any duty to negotiate with the Smiths in good faith pursuant to the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. 717f(h); and the district court did not abuse its discretion in holding that Alliance was entitled to immediate use and possession pursuant to Dataphase Sys., Inc. v. C L Sys., Inc. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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12.10.2014 - City of Lebanon v. Goodin - Supreme Court of Kentucky

The City of Lebanon sought to annex several hundred acres of nearby property. The owners of the property subject to the annexation, including Appellees, filed a lawsuit against the City to invalidate the annexation ordinance. The trial court granted Appellees’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that the City, by intentionally manipulating the annexation boundaries to guarantee a successful annexation, violated Appellees’ constitutional rights. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the boundaries of territory to be annexed must be “natural or regular” and that the boundaries of the proposed annexation in this case did not meet this standard. The Supreme Court reversed and declared the annexation valid, holding (1) the court of appeals erred in applying a “natural or regular” standard; and (2) the City’s annexation fully complied the the statutory requirements and did not violate Appellees’ constitutional rights.

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01.10.2014 - Bd. of Zoning Appeals of the Town of Shepherdstown v. Tkacz - Supreme Court of West Virginia

After Patricia Kelch, a resident of the Town of Shepherdstown, constructed a fence around the perimeter of her property, Kelch filed an application for a building permit with the Shepherdstown Planning Commission, seeking to make the fence a permanent fixture. The Planning Commission denied the application. On appeal, the Board of Zoning Appeals of the Town of Shepherdstown (“BZA”) granted a variance with regard to the fencing material and ordered Kelch to lower the fence height, finding that Kelch met all the requirements for the granting of a variance. Borys Tkacz, an adjoining property owner of Kelch, appealed the BZA’s decision. The circuit court vacated the decision of the BZA and awarded Tkacz attorney’s fees and costs. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court (1) erred in concluding that the BZA had no jurisdiction over the matter; (2) erred in finding that the BZA applied an erroneous principle of law; and (3) improperly substituted its judgment for that of the BZA.

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23.09.2014 - Boone Creek Props., LLC v. Bd. of Adjustment - Supreme Court of Kentucky

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Board of Adjustment (Board) filed a motion for a temporary injunction pursuant to Ky. R. Civ. P. 65.04 seeking to enjoin Boone Creek Properties, Inc. (Boone Creek) from operating certain commercial recreational activities on property in Fayette County. The circuit court granted the temporary injunction, finding that the activities were in violation of a zoning ordinance and a conditional use permit issued by the Board. The court of appeals concluded that the circuit court had properly granted the injunction. Boone Creek appealed, arguing that the Board failed to satisfy the “irreparable harm” prong of rule 65.04. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) when a governmental entity charged with enforcement of a civil law seeks an injunction restraining an ongoing violation of the law, irreparable harm is presumed; and (2) under the circumstances of this case, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by granting the requested injunction.

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31.08.2014 - Holt v. Town of Stonington - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Plaintiff filed suit seeking equitable relief to prevent the Town from denying her the ability to build on a lot that she owns in the Town. The district court granted plaintiff an injunction following a bench trial. The Town appealed, arguing that plaintiff did not avail herself to state law proceedings to seek relief concerning her property's zoning status before she filed her municipal estoppel claim in federal court. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as required by state law and, therefore, the district court lacked jurisdiction over the case. The court vacated and remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint.

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18.08.2014 - Tweedy v. Matanuska-Susitna Borough Board of Adjustment and Appeals - Supreme Court of Alaska

Clifton Tweedy leased property from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough since May 1988. The property included a house that was built in 1968 and located less than 18 feet from the lakeshore. When Tweedy assumed the lease, the existing structure was exempt from the Borough’s 75-foot shoreline setback ordinance because it was constructed before any setback requirement existed. Shortly after he took possession of the property, Tweedy added a stairwell on the exterior of the house. In 2010 Tweedy applied with the Borough to purchase the property. Because structures on the property were located less than 75 feet from the shoreline, the sale required an exemption from the Borough’s setback requirement. The Borough Planning Director determined that Tweedy’s addition was unlawful and that the application could not be processed until Tweedy removed it. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Board of Adjustment Appeals affirmed the Planning Director’s decision. Tweedy appealed to the superior court, which also affirmed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court also affirmed.

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13.08.2014 - Pearson's Fireworks, Inc. v. City of Hattiesburg - Supreme Court of Mississippi

This case arose from the City of Hattiesburg’s annexation of property in 2007. Pearson’s Fireworks leased land which was part of the annexed property for the purpose of selling fireworks during the Fourth of July and New Year’s holiday seasons. Prior to the annexation, the City passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of fireworks within city limits. After the annexation, the City notified Pearson’s that it could no longer sell fireworks on the newly annexed land. Pearson’s then filed suit against the City. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the City, and Pearson’s appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.

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13.08.2014 - Borough of Merchantville v. Malik & Son, LLC - Supreme Court of New Jersey

Malik & Son, LLC owned property in the Borough of Merchantville. The Property contained a fifty-four unit apartment building and had been designated by the Borough as an area in need of redevelopment. Malik assumed a mortgage loan issued by LB-RPR REO Holdings, LLC’s (LB) predecessor, and defaulted on the loan. LB’s predecessor in interest filed a complaint to foreclose the mortgage, and Malik did not file an answer. In early 2011, the court entered a final judgment of foreclosure. LB’s predecessor in interest transferred all its rights and interest in the Property to LB the next day. Once it acquired the loan, LB had a receiver appointed for the Property and made substantial repairs to the building. In an effort to protect its interest in the Property, LB sought, and the court entered, an order that directed that Malik could not sell the Property without the express approval of the sale price by LB. Throughout 2010 and 2011, the Borough pursued a plan to redevelop the Property. The Borough designated Citadel Wellwood, LLC (Citadel) as the redeveloper of the Property, and adopted the redevelopment and rehabilitation plan for the Property. Months before Citadel was designated as the redeveloper of the Property, Citadel entered a contract to purchase it for $1,250,000. Richard DePetro, the principal of Citadel, cancelled the contract after seeking a $200,000 reduction in the purchase price due to the deteriorated condition of the building. Malik rejected the offer, citing the amount due on the LB mortgage. Prior to cancelling the contract, Citadel contacted LB and offered to purchase the Property for $1,250,000 if LB agreed to a short sale to permit satisfaction of other liens. In the course of those discussions, DePetro mentioned to LB’s representative that the Borough would probably condemn the Property. In June 2011, in response to an inquiry from an LB representative, the Borough denied any intention to condemn the Property. However, once the Borough adopted the redevelopment plan on September 26, 2011, the Borough engaged an appraiser to ascertain the fair market value of the Property. The appraiser opined that as of August 24, 2011, its fair market value was $0. He calculated that value because the cost to renovate the Property far exceeded its market value following renovation and rehabilitation. The appraiser also assigned a fair market value of $270,000 without renovations. In a letter dated November 11, 2011, the Borough offered Malik $270,000 for the Property. Malik declined the Borough's offer. That same date, LB’s attorney contacted the Borough, expressing its surprise that the Borough intended to condemn the Property and noted that the Borough’s offer was far less than the price offered by Citadel in June 2011. LB’s attorney informed the Borough that it had obtained a final judgment of foreclosure and that the Property was scheduled to be sold at Sheriff’s Sale. Noting that it would soon own the Property, LB expressed its desire to meet with the Borough to discuss reasonable compensation for the Property. In this appeal, the issue this case presented to the Supreme Court was whether N.J.S.A. 20:3-6 required a condemning authority to engage in bona fide negotiations with a mortgage holder that has obtained a final judgment of foreclosure for the property sought to be condemned. In this case, the condemning authority initiated eminent domain proceedings after the property owner rejected its offer to acquire the property, just days before the holder of the foreclosure judgment expected the property to be sold at a Sheriff’s Sale. The judgment holder contended it was the real party in interest, and that the condemning authority had an obligation to negotiate with it rather than the property owner prior to initiating condemnation proceedings. The trial court concluded that the condemning authority had properly submitted the offer to the owner of record, and the subsequent rejection of the offer satisfied the statutory requirement of bona fide negotiations prior to the exercise of eminent domain authority. The trial court also determined that the condemning authority had no obligation to advise the foreclosure judgment holder of its intention to condemn or to engage in bona fide negotiations with it. In a reported decision, the Appellate Division affirmed. The Supreme Court agreed and affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division.

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19.07.2014 - Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States - U.S. Supreme Court

The General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 provides railroad companies “right[s] of way through the public lands of the United States,” 43 U.S.C. 934. One such right of way, created in 1908, crosses land that the government conveyed to the Brandt family in a 1976 land patent. That patent stated that the land was granted subject to the right of way, but it did not specify what would occur if the railroad relinquished those rights. A successor railroad abandoned the right of way with federal approval. The government sought a declaration of abandonment and an order quieting its title to the abandoned right of way, including the stretch across the Brandt patent. Brandt argued that the right of way was a mere easement that was extinguished upon abandonment. The district court quieted title in the government. The Tenth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed. The right of way was an easement that was terminated by abandonment, leaving Brandt’s land unburdened. The Court noted that that the government had argued the opposite position in an earlier case. In that case, the Court found the 1875 Act’s text “wholly inconsistent” with the grant of a fee interest. An easement disappears when abandoned by its beneficiary.

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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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