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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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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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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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