Justia Zoning, Planning & Land Use Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law
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In 2010, Pacific Grove authorized “transient use of residential property for remuneration,” subject to licensing. One-year “STR” Licenses were subject to revocation for cause. In 2016, the city capped the number of short-term rental licenses citywide at 250 and established a density cap of “15 [percent] per block.” In 2017, the city prohibited more than one license per parcel and required a 55-foot buffer zone between licensed properties. The changes provided that a license could be withdrawn, suspended, or revoked for any reason and that renewal was not guaranteed. The city resolved to “sunset” certain licenses using a random lottery. In 2018, Pacific Grove voters approved Measure M, to prohibit and phase out, over an 18-month sunset period, all existing short-term rentals in residential districts, except in the “Coastal Zone,” as defined by the California Coastal Act. Measure M did not restrict short-term rentals in nonresidential districts or otherwise modify existing rules.The court of appeal affirmed the dismissal of a suit by licensees. The Plaintiffs’ economic interest in renting their homes for transient visitors was not an entitlement subject to state or federal constitutional protection. The curtailment of short-term rental licenses is related to legitimate state interests. View "Hobbs v. City of Pacific Grove" on Justia Law

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Long Beach Harbor Resort, LLC (the Resort), leased a parcel of land located on the Public Trust Tidelands from the City of Long Beach. The issue this case presented for the Mississippi Supreme Court to determine was whether the Resort was required to enter into a separate lease with the Secretary of State for the use of the tidelands property or whether the Resort already had a valid lease allowing use of the tidelands in question. The Supreme Court found that the State of Mississippi had, through its Boundary Agreement and Tidelands Lease with the City of Long Beach, ratified the prior lease entered into between the City and the Resort. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the chancery court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Resort and found that the Resort had a valid tidelands lease as ratified by the Secretary of State. View "Mississippi v. Long Beach Harbor Resort, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition seeking a writ of prohibition to halt an ongoing appropriation case in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, holding that Petitioner failed to establish that he was entitled to a writ of prohibition.In the appropriation case, the Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District sought to take Petitioner's property so it could build a biking trail. During the pendency of the case, the General Assembly passed a law stating that a park district in Mahoning County may not use its power of eminent domain to build a recreational trail. Arguing that the new law divested the Mahoning County court of jurisdiction, Petitioner brought suit asking for a writ of prohibition halting the appropriation proceeding. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding (1) the anti-appropriation provision did not patently and unambiguously eliminate the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court's subject matter jurisdiction; and (2) because Petitioner had an adequate remedy by way of an appeal and the trial court did not patently lack jurisdiction, Petitioner was not entitled to a writ of prohibition. View "Schlegel v. Sweeney" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Hanson County Drainage Board granting a drainage permit sought by James Paulson to clean out a pre-existing ditch, holding that Appellants were not entitled to relief on their allegations of error.On appeal, Appellants argued that the Board failed to follow the relevant approval procedures and that the Board abused its discretion by approving the drainage permit. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board complied with the proper procedures for approving the permit; (2) the circuit court did not err in denying Appellants' request to present additional testimony; and (3) the circuit court did not err by denying Appellants' request to take judicial notice of an earlier proceeding. View "Little v. Hanson County Drainage Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal brought by the City of Martinsburg of the judgment of the circuit court entering an injunction halting the City's efforts to regulate the County's excavation and construction of a parking lot on a parcel of property owned by the Berekley County Council (the County) but located within the City's boundaries, holding that the appeal was moot.In appealing the injunction, the City sought to compel the County to comply with a municipal stormwater ordinance in the parking lot's excavation and construction. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that where the excavation and construction the City sought to regulate had been completed by the County and where the City's briefing failed to address novel questions of law with a potential to arise again in the future properly and clearly, this appeal is moot. View "City of Martinsburg v. County Council of Berkeley County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals in this matter involving the 1882 transfer of property known today as Wade Park located in the city of Cleveland, holding that the Marketable Title Act (MTA), Ohio Rev. Code 5301.47 et seq., did not extinguish the reverter rights of Appellants and cross-Appellees (collectively, the Heirs).At issue was the interpretation and application of park-use restrictions in the deed donating the subject property to the city. The trial court interpreted the deed to both restrict the park's use and to promote its development, thus finding that Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG), the City, and University Circle, Inc. did not violate the park-use restrictions. The court further found that the MTA extinguished the Heirs' reverter rights. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's finding that CBG's operation in the park did not violate the deed's park-use restrictions but reversed the judgment regarding application of the MTA. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no violation of the deed's park-use restrictions; and (2) the MTA may not be used to extinguish the Heirs' interests. View "Cleveland Botanical Garden v. Worthington Drewien" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision and judgment of the superior court affirming the decisions of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) denying the application of Champlin's Realty Associates to expand its marina on the Great Salt Pond in the Town of New Shoreham, holding that there was no error.The trial justice found there was sufficient evidence to support the CRMC's denial of Champlin's application to expand its marina and held that the CRMC had acted within its authority in denying the application. Champlin's and the CRMC later filed a motion seeking to incorporate and merge a joint memorandum of understanding (the MOU) purporting to serve as the CRMC's decision relative to this matter into a consent order of the Court. Certain entities (intervenors) and the attorney general contested the propriety of the purported settlement and the validity of the MOU. The superior court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed and denied the request by Champlin's and the CRMC to incorporate and merge the MOU into a consent order of the Supreme Court, holding that the remand justice erred in determining that the CRMC and Champlin's had authority to meditate. View "Champlin's Realty Associates v. Coastal Resources Management Council" on Justia Law

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Oakland County took title to the plaintiffs’ homes under the Michigan General Property Tax Act, which (after a redemption period) required the state court to enter a foreclosure judgment that vested “absolute title” to the property in the governmental entity upon payment of the amount of the tax delinquency or “its fair market value.” The entity could then sell it at a public auction. No matter what the sale price, the property’s former owner had no right to any of the proceeds.In February 2018, under the Act, Oakland County foreclosed on Hall’s home to collect a tax delinquency of $22,642; the County then conveyed the property to the City of Southfield for that price. Southfield conveyed the property for $1 to a for-profit entity, the Southfield Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which later sold it for $308,000. Other plaintiffs had similar experiences.The plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, citing the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Sixth Circuit reversed the dismissal of the suit. The “Michigan statute is not only self-dealing: it is also an aberration from some 300 years of decisions.” The government may not decline to recognize long-established interests in property as a device to take them. The County took the property without just compensation. View "Hall v. Meisner" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-Appellant, Ocean Bay Mart, Inc. (“Ocean Bay”), owned a 7.71- acre parcel of real property in the City of Rehoboth Beach (“the City”). In June 2015, Ocean Bay submitted a Site Plan to the City proposing to develop the property into 63 residential condominium units. Under the plan, the 7.71 acres would remain a single, undivided parcel. The development would be known as “Beach Walk.” The submission of the Site Plan set into motion a chain of events over whether Beach Walk could be approved as a single, undivided parcel or whether the project had to be subdivided into individual lots corresponding to the residential units. The events included a decision by the City’s Building Inspector that the project could not be approved as a single, undivided parcel; a decision by the City’s Board of Adjustment overruling the Building Inspector’s decision; a decision by the City’s Planning Commission, rendered after the Board of Adjustment’s decision, that the Site Plan could not be considered unless it was resubmitted as a major subdivision application; a decision by the City Commissioners upholding the Planning Commission; an appeal of the Commissioners’ decision to the Superior Court, which reversed the Commissioners; and the City’s adoption of three amendments to its zoning code. Ocean Bay filed this action with the Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging that it had a vested right to have its Site Plan approved substantially in the form submitted without going through major subdivision approval, and that the City was equitably estopped from enforcing the zoning code amendments against Beach Walk. After a trial, the Court of Chancery ruled that Ocean Bay did not have a vested right to develop Beach Walk as laid out on the Site Plan and the City was not equitably estopped from enforcing its new zoning amendments. Ocean Bay appealed, but finding no reversible error, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed. View "Ocean Bay Mart, Inc. v. The City of Rehoboth Beach Delaware" on Justia Law

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The Indiana Southwestern Railway Company sought to abandon railway easements, in which the owners had reversionary interests. The Surface Transportation Board (49 U.S.C. 10903) issued a Notice of Interim Trail Use and Abandonment (NITU). Negotiations with potential railbanking sponsors failed. Eventually, the NITU expired, Railway abandoned its easements without entering into a trail use agreement, and the landowners’ fee simple interests became unencumbered by any easements.The landowners sought compensation for an alleged taking arising under the National Trails System Act Amendments of 1983, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), claiming that the government had permanently taken their property in April 2001, when the NITU became effective. The Claims Court found that the government had taken the property but that the taking lasted only from the date the NITU went into effect until it expired. The Federal Circuit affirmed in part. The landowner’s property was temporarily taken under the Trails Act. The NITU delayed the reversion of the owners’ interests. The Railway would have otherwise relinquished its rights to its right-of-way during the NITU period. The court remanded for a determination as to the compensation and interest to which the owners are entitled. View "Memmer v. United States" on Justia Law