The Law of the Land blog focuses on land use law and zoning. This blog, maintained by Albany Law School Associate Dean and Professor Patricia Salkin, is designed to provide a forum for the discussion of current laws, policies, and decisions that affect the use of land. It highlights new court decisions, new state and federal laws and policies, and actions at the the local government level that guide and/or impact land use and community development.
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The Beekmantown Zoning Board of Appeals approved an application for a conditional use permit to allow the construction of a wind farm on a 700-acre parcel in an R-2 Residential District. According the Town’s zoning law, conditional use permits are required for essential services defined in part...
Wisconsin Appellate Court finds Local Billboard Regulation does not Preempt County from Regulating Billboards
The Adams Outdoor Advertising company sought to construct a billboard in the Town of Madison. Adams obtained permits from the Town and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, but did not from the County of Dane. Adams brought this action, seeking declaratory judgment ascertaining whether or...
Indiana Appellate Court Finds Restrictive Covenant in Planned Unit Development does not Amount to a Zoning Ordinance
Heide and Wilkerson own residences in the Benjamin Crossing planned unit development and sought to operate child care homes in their respective residences. The applicable restrictive covenants and local law did not permit such a use in their residences, and thus the landowners filed a complaint...
Arizona Appellate Court Finds Lower Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Hear Appeal on Nonconforming Status of Mobile Homes For Failure to Follow State Administrative Procedure
In 1998, new zoning regulations became effective implementing minimum space requirements for mobile home lots; however, these regulations were not immediately enforced. From 2003-2010, Stagecoach sought and received permits for thirty-four mobile homes that did not meet the space requirements. In...
The plaintiff, Bench Billboard Company (“BBC”), has a business running advertising benches throughout Kentucky. The defendant city of Covington enacted an ordinance prohibiting advertising benches on the public right of way. BBC failed to remove their benches to comply with the ordinance and,...
The plaintiffs purchased five lots in the Beverly Hills subdivision of San Antonio, Texas, with the intent to develop high-end homes. After the housing crises, the plaintiffs reevaluated their plans, and as a result sought a rezone of their lots. The plaintiffs’ application was denied. ...
Florida Appeals Court Holds That Board Member is Entitled to Challenge Action Taken on Matter After She Had Voted and Left the Meeting
Ms. Brodeur, an elected member of the Miami-Dade County Community Zoning and Appeals Board (hereinafter “CZAB”) appeals a decision of the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court dismissing her complaint. Miami-Dade County and a local developer (hereinafter “appellees”) filed an application for approval...
Plaintiff, “Tini Bikini’s” (hereinafter “bar”), filed this suit against Saginaw Charter Township, following the denial of the bar’s liquor license application. Saginaw denied the liquor license as the local code does not permit the operation of adult oriented business within one...
Fed. Dist. Court in New Hampshire Finds Granting of Rehearing on Wireless Communications Tower Application May have Created Unreasonable Delay Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996
Cingular attempted to build a wireless communications tower in the Town of Stoddard. The FCC’s “shot clock ruling” requires, pursuant to the “reasonable period of time” requirement found in the Act, that the application be resolved within a 150 days of submission. This requirement can be extended...
Fed. Dist. of Connecticut Finds no RLUIPA Violations in Denial of Certificate of Appropriateness in Historic District
Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County sought declaratory relief and damages as a result of alleged discriminatory behavior perpetrated by the Borough of Litchfield, the Historic District Commission of the Borough, and individual members of the Commission. The Borough defendants sought summary...