Friday, March 7, 2014
If you're looking for the book to give that person in your family who doesn't understand what land use law is, you might consider Leigh Gallagher's The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. The book has been called "prophetic," though I'd note that it is, in many ways, a recounting of data any land use scholar has seen reproduced in numerous forms over the last several years (e.g., the Census).
And so, most land use scholars won't find much new here, but it is packaged in an easy to read way that might make that nagging family member understand why land use is the most fascinating area of law ever, as we all know it to be.
Stephen R. Miller
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Those who teach or care about the case of Norwood v. Horney, a 2006 Supreme Court of Ohio post-Kelo case that restricted the state's use of economic development takings, will be interested to know that there appears to be an end to the story that provides an interesting book-end to Kelo. While the city won in Kelo at the U.S. Supreme Court, it lost the Pfizer plant it hoped to build in the poverty-stricken city. In Horney, the city lost in court but, in the end, it got to build a complex called Rookwood Exchange.
To build, the developers paid the remaining holdout--er, property rights advocate self-styled as a Mrs. Kelo on the banks of the Ohio--$1.25 million for the boarded-up property below [updated: previous image link stopped working].
The project broke ground in 2011 and comes to full fruition this year. Click here to see more of the Rookwood Exchange as built out.
H/t to my sister, who stayed at the Marriott on the site and tells me it's quite nice.
Stephen R. Miller
The Idaho Legislature is currently considering legislation that would require registration of all local special districts with state. The registration would require, in part, the following information:
(a) Administrative information:
(i) The terms of membership and appointing authority for the governing board member of the local governmental entity;
(ii) The official name, mailing address and electronic mailing address of the entity;
(iii) The fiscal year of the entity;
(iv) Except for cities and counties, the section of Idaho Code under which the entity was established, the date of establishment, the establishing entity and the statute or statutes under which the entity operates, if different from the statute or statutes under which the entity was established.
(b) Financial information:
(i) The most recent adopted budget of the entity; and
(ii) An unaudited comparison of the budget to actual revenues and expenditures for the most recently completed fiscal year.
(c) Bonds or other debt obligation information:
(i) The cumulative dollar amount of all bonds or other debt obligations issued or incurred by the entity; and
(ii) The average length of term of all bond issuances or other debt obligations and the average interest rate of all bonds or other debt obligations.
I wonder how common such state registries of special districts are? Are these ubiquitous, or would this be something new? Anyone out there know?
Stephen R. Miller
In the aftermath of major storms such as Sandy and Katrina in the United States and the ravages of earthquakes, tornados, typhoons, tsunamis, and other natural disasters worldwide, the Section of State and Local Government Law (SLG) invites participation in a new program to address planning for resilience in anticipation of disasters, to include impacts on property rights, land use, development, public health, emergency management, and respective public and private sector roles and responsibilities.
SLG will sponsor and lead this initiative. We anticipate that this will be an interdisciplinary program across the ABA and will also involve related organizations such as IMLA and APA. Our goal is to develop education and outreach through a series of programs, presentations, and publications.
At the Section Council meeting in Santa Fe in October 2013, we developed an informal working group, including Ernie Abbott, Lai Sun Yee, Ed Thomas, Anita Miller, Rob Thomas, and Erica Levine Powers, and SLG Chair Andy Gowder (ex officio), to brainstorm these issues and report back to the Council at the 2014 Spring Meeting in Ashville, North Carolina.
If you would like to join our effort, please contact Tamara Edmonds-Askew, Tamara.EdmondsAskew@americanbar.org, so she can set up a working group conference call early in 2014.
Stephen R. Miller
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
March 14: Cal ARB lecture series webcast: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Regulations: Lessons Learned from the Past 30 Years
Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Regulations: Lessons Learned from the Past 30 Years
Richard D. Morgenstern, Ph.D., Resources for the Future (RFF)
Friday, March 14, 2014,
12:00 Noon PDT
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA
LIVE WEBCAST can be viewed the day of the event
Webcast viewers: Please send your questions during broadcast to: email@example.com
Federal, state and local environmental laws have achieved significant improvements in public health over the past several decades. The development of these regulations also resulted in growing scrutiny about the costs and benefits of environmental rules. Traditionally the costs and benefits of a regulation are estimated prior to implementation of a law or regulation (what is known as “ex ante’ analysis), but there is also an increasing push to retrospectively analyze the impact of a regulation after implementation, through what is known as “ex post” analysis. The question is: how do the two forms of analysis compare? How accurate are the anticipated ex ante analyses when measured against the actual, measured costs of the ex post analysis?
Dr. Richard Morgenstern will present and discuss his research on the evaluation of environmental regulations and compare the costs and benefits of federal environmental regulations estimated both before and after implementation. Dr. Morgenstern's work highlights pitfalls that can lead to inaccurate results and proposes a way to conduct retrospective analyses in the future--to ensure that the estimation of regulatory costs is as targeted and focused as the underlying environmental regulations.
Richard D. Morgenstern, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). Dr. Richard Morgenstern's research focuses on the economic analysis of environmental issues with an emphasis on the costs, benefits, evaluation, and design of environmental policies, especially economic incentive measures. His analysis also focuses on climate change, including the design of cost-effective policies to reduce emissions in the United States and abroad.
Immediately prior to joining RFF, Dr. Morgenstern was senior economic counselor to the undersecretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where he participated in negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol. Previously he served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he acted as deputy administrator (1993); assistant administrator for policy, planning, and evaluation (1991-93); and director of the Office of Policy Analysis (1983-95). Formerly a tenured professor at the City University of New York. Dr. Morgenstern has taught at Oberlin College, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yeshiva University, and American University. He has served on expert committees of the National Academy of Sciences and as a consultant to various organizations.
Dr. Morgenstern received his A.B. degree in economics at Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Morgenstern has published dozens of articles on environmental economics and policy and he has authored/edited of several books, including New Approaches on Energy and the Environment: Policy Advices for the President (with Paul R. Portney) and Reality Check: "The Nature and the Performance of Voluntary Environmental Programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan" (with William A. Pizer).
Stephen R. Miller
WVU College of Law LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law 2014 - 2016 Fellowship applications now open
From the announcement:
West Virginia University College of Law’s Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic is now accepting applications for the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Fellowship. The fellowship combines the opportunity to work with attorneys, planners and students at one of the leading Land Use Clinics in the United States with the opportunity to obtain the WVU Law LL.M. degree in Energy and Sustainable Development Law. The LL.M. program provides a uniquely deep and balanced curriculum in perhaps the nation’s richest natural resource region.
Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic
The Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic (LUSD Law Clinic) provides legal services to local governments, landowners and non-profit organizations to develop land conservation strategies and practices. Legal services include, but are not limited to, title examinations, advising landowners and land trusts, drafting conservations easements, negotiating with mineral owners/lessees, working with communities to identify alternative wastewater solutions, drafting comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances, training local officials on land use issues, and facilitating public meetings.
LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law
The WVU College of Law LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law is the only LL.M. program in the United States that provides a balanced curriculum in both energy law and the law of sustainable development. Working with WVUCollege of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, LL.M. students will develop the expertise to advise clients and provide leadership on matters covering the full range of energy, environmental and sustainable development law.
The LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law provides a broad and deep offering of courses, experiential learning opportunities, and practical training for every part of the energy sector. Our broad spectrum of courses allows our students to prepare to be lawyers serving energy companies, investors, environmental organizations, landowners, utilities, manufacturing companies, lawmakers, policymakers, regulators and land use professionals.
Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Fellow
This fellowship is a part-time (at least twenty hours per week), two-year position from August 2014 through July 2016. The Fellow will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 and tuition remission for the LL.M. program. The Fellow would take 6-7 credits per semester allowing time for part-time work at the Clinic.
The position involves policy and legal research and writing; facilitating public meetings and workshops; supervising law students in the LUSD Law Clinic; and administrative responsibilities as needed. Many of our clients and partners work throughout the state and some travel is expected.
The Fellow will support all aspects of the Clinic’s missions in the areas of land conservation, land use planning, alternative wastewater solutions and the education of law students in these areas. There is frequent overlap in the areas of energy and land use planning, including the reduction of vehicle miles travelled, energy siting, and energy efficient buildings. Efforts will be made to match project assignments with the Fellow’s interest.
Candidates should possess a J.D.; a strong academic record; excellent analytical and writing skills; a demonstrated interest and background in land use and sustainable development law and policy; and admission to the LL.M. program at West Virginia University (application for LL.M. admission can occur concurrently with the fellowship application). Preference will be given to candidates who have relevant experience in law, land use, or sustainable development. Admittance to the West Virginia Bar is preferred.
Applicants should apply to Samatha.Stefanov@mail.wvu.edu. Please submit a letter discussing qualifications and interests, a resume, a law school transcript, a recent writing sample and contact information for three references.
We are now accepting applications. The application deadline is June 1, 2014 or until the post is filled.
Visit our website at landuse.law.wvu.edu for more information about our programs.
West Virginia University College of Law is an equal opportunity employer and has a special interest in enriching its intellectual environment through further diversifying the range of perspectives represented by its faculty and teaching staff.
Stephen R. Miller
Last week I had the chance to chat with a former General Services Administration regional administrator. She mentioned that section 432 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires extraordinary disclosures of energy and resource usage in US government buildings, which are available at this Department of Energy website. If you love green building, then the EISA 432 Compliance Data Warehouse is a dream come true. Detailed energy and resource usage is trackable for GSA buildings and can be sorted by state, by agency, even by city. A great resource for green building types...
Stephen R. Miller
Monday, March 3, 2014
Both houses of the Virginia General Assembly have passed legislation that would limit zoning of agritourism uses--even amplified concerts--in ag districts. Will McAuliffe sign it? More here.
This appears just the latest salvo in the zoning of agritourism that is getting hotter all over the country. See, e.g., the Oregon Court of Appeals' December, 2013 ruling in Greenfield v. Multnomah County and the Tennessee Supreme Court's January, 2013 ruling in Shore v. Maple Land Farms.
Stephen R. Miller
The 2014 University of Idaho Law Review symposium, Resilient Cities: Environment | Economy | Equity, will be held in Boise, Idaho on April 4, 2014. The symposium will focus on defining city resilience, as well as cutting-edge, non-traditional legal approaches to implementing environmental and social projects that promote city resilience. If you'll be in Boise on April 4, stop on by and register here!
As with last year, we will be simulcasting the symposium on the Internet and also archiving it on-line. Non-Idaho attorneys can watch remotely and receive a certificate of attendance that may permit an attorney to receive CLEs in other states (many states permit this, but we have not catalogued every state that permits remote CLE viewing). If you have any questions on this option, please contact me at millers at uidaho dot edu and I'll get you to the right place.
I am honored to be the faculty advisor for the Idaho Law Review symposium for the second year in a row and am really looking forward to an amazing event.
Here is the schedule of events for April 4:
|8:00 – 8:30||Registration and Continental Breakfast
|8:30 – 9:00||Introduction and Welcome
Symposium Introduction: Alexandra Grande; Tori Osler (ILR symposium student editors)
Welcome: David Bieter (Mayor, City of Boise)
Faculty Advisor Welcome: Stephen R. Miller (Idaho)
|9:00 – 10:30||
Disaster, Destruction, and Resilient Cities
|10:45 – 12:00||Social Aspects of Resilient Cities
Moderator: Anastasia Telesetsky (Idaho)
Palma Strand (Creighton) – Increasing City-System Resilience by Cultivating Civic Social Networks
Melissa Berry (University of Missouri) – Resilient Cities as Social-Ecological Systems: Choosing Sustainability Over Substance
|12:00 – 1:30||Lunch with Keynote
Moderator: Barbara Cosens
Ken Alex (California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research) – 20-30 minute presentation
|1:30 – 1:45||Break|
|1:45 – 3:15||Resiliency, Equity, and Economy
Moderator: Jerrold Long
Christopher Odinet (Southern University Law Center) – Fairness, Equity, and a Level Playing Field: Land-use Goals for the Resilient City
Jeff Litwak (Columbia River Gorge Commission) – Implementing Resiliency: Urban Services Without Borders
Jon Rosenbloom (Drake) – Funding Resiliency
|3:15 – 3:30||Break|
|3:30 – 5:00||Resiliency and Planning for City Growth
Moderator: Stephen Miller
Tom Bergin (Blaine County Land Use & Building Services) and Tom Wuerzer (Department of Community and Regional Planning Boise State University) – Fire Resilience Policy and Planning at the Wildland-Urban Interface: Impressions from Idaho
Keith Hirokawa (Albany) – Planning for Scarcity: Enabling Resilient Urban Water Planning Through Eco System Services
|5:00 – 5:15||Concluding Remarks|
|5:15 – 6:15||
Stephen R. Miller
Friday, February 28, 2014
Much anticipated, here are links to all the land use articles posted on SSRN in February!
As I noted when I started doing this monthly list last month, I use the search term "land use" in the SSRN database. This does not grab everything a land use scholar might find of interest. For instance, Robin Craig's latest article, posted in January, wasn't captured in the January list of SSRN land use articles I posted. Despite the admitted weaknesses of my search approach, I think it's still a valuable way to get a broad snapshot of land use scholarship both in law and across the disciplines useful for the blog format. When I get some time, I'll try to figure out a better search strategy that is still easy to present on the blog.
Stephen R. Miller
|1||Land Use Regulation: It Just Gets Worse U. Balt. J. Land & Dev.1 (2012), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series Michael Lewyn Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
31 Jan 2014Accepted Paper Series 30 Downloads
|2|| Government Forbearance: Myth or Reality? 3 Brigham-Hanner Property Rights Conference Journal 2014, Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-2, Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-2 James W. Ely Jr. Vanderbilt University - Law School
04 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 21 Downloads
|3|| Slum Redevelopment by Linking Social Conditions with Spatial Fabric Through Morphological Study OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 06, No. 09, pp. 37-46, 2013 Dinesh Singh , Preeti Singh and Krishna Kumar Dhote Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology - Department of Architecture and Planning , Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology - Department of Architecture and Planning and Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology - Department of Architecture and Planning
03 Feb 2014
07 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 14 Downloads
|4|| Preserving Perpetuity?: Exploring the Challenges of Perpetual Preservation in an Ever-Changing World 43 Environmental Law 941 (2013) Jess R. Phelps Historic New England
04 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 11 Downloads
|5|| Spatial Policies and Land Use Patterns: Optimal and Market Allocations FEEM Working Paper No. 8.2014 Efthymia Kyriakopoulou and Anastasios Xepapadeas Athens University of Economics and Business and Athens University of Economics and Business
11 Feb 2014working papers series 11 Downloads
|6|| The Struggle Over the Columbia River Gorge: Establishing and Governing the First National Scenic Area 4 Washington Journal of Environmental Law and Policy no. 2 (2014, Forthcoming) Michael C. Blumm Lewis & Clark Law School
10 Feb 2014
20 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 9 Downloads
|7|| Affordable Housing and Exactions 37 Real Property Law Reporter #1 (Cal CEB Jan. 2014, © The Regents of the University of California, reprinted with permission of CEB), Roger Bernhardt Golden Gate University - School of Law
05 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 8 Downloads
|8|| Environmental Preservation and the Fifth Amendment: The Use and Limits of Conservation Easements by Regulatory Taking and Eminent Domain Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Vol. 20, No. 215, 2014 Beckett G. Cantley Atlanta's John Marshall Law School
31 Jan 2014Accepted Paper Series 7 Downloads
|9|| LA SOLIDARIDAD DE LA SOJA EN ARGENTINA (Soybeans Solidarity in Argentina) Revista Internacional Administración & Finanzas, v. 6 (6) pp. 115-130, 2013, Marisa Daniela Goytia and Silvina Beatriz Marcolini Universidad Nacional de Rosario-Argentina and Universidad Nacional de Rosario-Argentina
10 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 3 Downloads
|10|| Preserving Preservation Easements?: Preservation Easements in an Uncertain Regulatory Future 91 Nebraska Law Review 121 (2012) Jess R. Phelps Historic New England
04 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 3 Downloads
|11|| Using Development Financing Tools to Help Cover Costs of Adapting to Climate Change in Tornado Alley and Beyond Carl J. Circo
30 Jan 2014working papers series 3 Downloads
|12|| Bargaining for Development Post-Koontz: How the Supreme Court Invaded Local Government Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 1-14 Sean F. Nolon Vermont Law School
24 Feb 2014working papers series 2 Downloads
|13|| Case Study on Potential Agricultural Responses to Climate Change in a California Landscape Louise E. Jackson, Stephen M. Wheeler, Alan D. Hollander, Toby O'Geen, Benjamin S. Orlove, Johan Six, Daniel Sumner, Fernando Santos-Martin, Joel Kramer, William Horwath, Richard E. Howitt, and Thomas Tomich. 2011 Case study on potential agricultural responses to climate change in a California lands Louise E. Jackson , S. M. Wheeler , Allan D. Hollander , Toby O'Geen , Ben Orlove , Johan Six , Daniel A. Sumner , Fernando Santos Martin , Joel M. Kramer , William R. Horwath , Richard E. Howitt and Thomas P. Tomich University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis , University of California, Davis and University of California, Davis: Ag Sustainabilit Inst; Humanity & Community Development; Environmental Science & Policy; SAREP
19 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 2 Downloads
|14|| 'The Holy Grail' or 'the Good, the Bad and the Ugly'?: A Qualitative Exploration of the ILUAs Agreement-Making Process and the Relationship between ILUAs and Native Title (2010) 14(1) Australian Indigenous Law Review 71-85 Deirdre Howard-Wagner and Amy Maguire University of Sydney and University of Newcastle, Australia
27 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 1 Downloads
|15|| Begone, Euclid! Leasing Custom and Zoning Provision to Meet Flash Mobs, 3-D Printing, Incubator Stalls and Novel Retail Mayhem in Thriving Urban Centers Michael N. Widener Arizona Summit Law School
25 Feb 2014working papers series 1 Downloads
|16|| Dumping the 'Anti-Dumping' Law: Why EMTALA Is (Largely) Unconstitutional and Why It Matters Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2014 E. H. Morreim University of Tennessee Health Science Center- College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
20 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 1 Downloads
|17|| El Patrimonio Arqueológico Como Herramienta De Gestión Ambiental En La Zona Costera De Baja California, México (The Archaeological Heritage as a Tool for the Baja California Coastal Zone Management) Costas, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 2013 Carlos Figueroa-Beltran Sr. and Omar Cervantes Sr. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and Universidad de Colima
09 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 1 Downloads
|18|| Moving Beyond Preservation Paralysis?: Evaluating Post-Regulatory Alternatives for Twenty-First Century Preservation 37 Vermont Law Review 113 (2012) Jess R. Phelps Historic New England
04 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series 1 Downloads
|19|| Are Poor Really Poor in Pune City Department of Management Studies by Women’s Christian College, Chennai, held on 7th and 8th October, 2010., Swati Shukla Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies
18 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series
|20|| Bidding Wars for Houses Real Estate Economics, Vol. 42, Issue 1, pp. 1-32, 2014 Lu Han and William C. Strange University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management and University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management
18 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series
|21|| Ecological Footprint Policy? Land Use as an Environmental Indicator Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 10-19, 2014 Jeroen C. J. M. Van den Bergh and Fabio Grazi Autonomous University of Barcelona - Faculty of Economics and Business Studies and Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement
15 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series
|22|| Water Footprint of Cereals and Vegetables for the Beijing Market Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 40-48, 2014 Jing Huang , Bradley G. Ridoutt , Hailin Zhang , Changchun Xu and Fu Chen China Agricultural University - College of Agriculture and Biotechnology , CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture National Research Flagship, Animal, Food and Health Sciences , Independent , Independent and China Agricultural University - College of Agriculture and Biotechnology
15 Feb 2014Accepted Paper Series
Thursday, February 27, 2014
An old friend of mine, Erica Gies, has done a lot of great environmental journalism over the past few decades, including a number of major stories for the New York Times (see here, here, etc.) and a number of other top journal outlets. Along with five other environmental reporters, she is embarking on a new endeavor to self-fund environmental journalism following the kickstarter model. They are calling it "Climate Confidential." I think it's a brave new project, and I thought I'd pass it along as it may be something of interest to readers. Check out their website here and the video at that site (sorry, I can't figure out how to embed it) describing what they intend to do. Maybe you'll even toss them a few coins or more to get this started.
Stephen R. Miller
Lots of exciting stuff happening at Touro Law nowadays, where leading land use star Patricia Salkin is now the Dean. One thing I'm particularly excited about is their upcoming conference on law firm incubators. From the conference website:
The job announcement:
The Touro Law Center Clinical Program is hiring two full-time Staff Attorneys. These attorneys will be helping vulnerable Superstorm Sandy-affected households on Long Island, while working to promote a fair and sustainable recovery.
One position is with the Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic and will involve advocacy for households at risk of foreclosure because of Sandy-related losses or displacement. The other is with the Disaster Relief Clinic and will involve federal flood insurance litigation and related advocacy.
We have extended the application deadline beyond what is stated in these announcements. Applications are due by 2:30pm ET on Friday, March 14 by email to Dean Linda Baurle, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Baker Roskie
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
|Date/Time :||4/11/2014 8:15 AM - 6:00 PM|
|Location :||UCLA Faculty Center|
|Organizer :||Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy|
|Cost :||$135 for public; $65 for academics, non-profit, & new lawyers who have been practicing for less than 5 years; Admission is free to UCLA School of Law faculty and currently enrolled UCLA School of Law students.|
Friday, April 11, 2014 | 8:15 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | UCLA Faculty Center
UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.
This activity qualifies for 6.25 hours of general MCLE credit.
Food-related litigation has surged in recent years, with a significant increase in cases attacking labels on the basis claims about the quality of ingredients, or claims a food is “healthy” or “natural.” These developments have evoked considerable discussion of the emerging “Food Court” and its implications for consumers, industry, and lawmakers - but much uncertainty remains. This conference will bring together practitioners, academics, and law students to examine emerging issues in food litigation, its broader context, and the role for litigation in policy-making.
- David Biderman, Partner, Perkins Coie
- Steve Gardner, Director of Litigation, Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Samuel R. Wiseman, Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law
- Joanna Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
- Michael Reese, Reese Richman LLP
- Diana Winters, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
- Dean Panos, Partner, Jenner & Block
- Kim Kessler, Policy and Special Programs Director, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
- Dennis Stearns, Professor from Practice, Seattle University School of Law; Founding Partner, Marler Clark Firm
- Bruce Silverglade, Principal, Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Matz PC
- Michele Simon, President, Eat Drink Politics
- Neal Fortin, Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law
- Margot Pollans, Teaching Fellow, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
- Robert Bodzin, Chair of The Litigation Section of The State Bar of CA and Partner, Burnham Brown
- Leslie Brueckner, Senior Attorney, Public Justice, Food Safety and Health Attorney
- Avinash Kar, Senior Attorney, National Resources Defense Council
- Sean Hecht, Executive Director, Environmental Law Center, UCLA School of Law
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The "$50 million op-ed": The big story of how a little law clinic helped bring New Markets Tax Credit financing to its state
Last week, Idaho Law was fortunate to have Dave Glaser, president of the Montana Community Development Corporation, come to speak to my Economic Development Clinic in Boise and also to address a group of local developers, city officials, and attorneys.
Glaser's visit was the culmination of almost three years of effort, originating with my Economic Development Clinic, to bring New Markets Tax Credit financing to Idaho. To my mind, it's a great story about what law school clinics can do aided by a lot of smarts and, I'll admit, a little serendipity. Here's the story...
About three years ago, I wrote an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman based upon work conducted by my Clinic for a client seeking investment strategies in a low income urban area. In the op-ed, I noted that most other states around Idaho, and especially Montana, were using New Markets Tax Credits to lower financing costs for projects in low income census tracts. Download Miller op-ed.
A lot of Idaho qualified for NMTCs, including all of downtown Boise. I urged Idaho's leaders to hop on the NMTC bandwagon. I did not receive a welcome response. In fact, an e-mail chain--later forwarded to me--sent to most of the Idaho Legislature stated that my op-ed was "misleading." The e-mail continued:
”An NMTC project is incredibly complex and expensive to put together and administer for the life of the financing. Since we have gone almost 12 years since the program began without a CDE requesting or receiving a direct NMTC allocation for economic development in Idaho, probably indicates that it has not been feasible to do so.”
About the same time as that "no go" e-mail was forwarded to me, Glaser gave me a call out of the blue. He'd read my op-ed and, yeah, it didn't make sense that Idaho wasn't doing NMTCs either. Several more calls occurred and a lot of hard work by the Montana CDC ensued. Today, the Montana CDC has moved into Idaho and is substantially assisting low income communities here with some amazing projects that would not have happened otherwise.
As Glaser recently joked in a radio interview, my little 500-word article turned out to be "a $50 million op-ed." In the last three years, the Montana CDC has used NMTC financing for two hospital/clinic expansions in Rexburg and Coeur D’Alene totaling nearly $27 million and created hundreds of construction and permanent jobs. The Montana CDC will also be closing an additional manufacturing project in the spring in East Idaho that will nearly double that amount (around $24 million) and create nearly 300 permanent jobs in a very rural community. From what I hear, other Idaho NMTC projects are in the works, too!
The experience has been a great vindication of the effects of what a little law school clinic out on the prairie (well, in the sage-brush desert, really) can do. One little idea has, certainly, gone a long way in this instance.
You can hear the radio interview with Glaser below (reference to the Clinic's participation in minutes 6:00 - 9:00). Below is also a YouTube presentation Glaser did later in his visit in Boise. The Montana CDC does tremendous work and, to my mind, deserves to be better known than it is. They are well worth a look for those seeking rural models for sustainable economic development.
Stephen R. Miller
The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will host its annual Law Review Symposium Friday, March 7, 2014. The topic for this year's symposium is GOING TO SEED: URBAN AGRICULTURE IN DISTRESSED CITIES. Scholars from across the country will gather in Detroit, one of the leading cities to pursue development of urban agriculture within the city, to discuss current issues and trends in the industry and its future. The Symposium will also include a panel of local leaders in Detroit's urban agriculture movement. Attendance is free, but advance registration is required; please visit http://www.law.udmercy.edu/index.php/symposium to register or for more information.
Stephen R. Miller
Publisher's Weekly has just published a collection of sentence diagrams--let's call them maps for a land use angle--of first sentences of great American novels. For fiction lovers out there, it's a fun way to noodle away a few minutes. Go to this link to see a full screen version and click the "zoom in" text.
Stephen R. Miller
Monday, February 24, 2014
Jim Holway (Sonoran Institute), along with Don Elliot and Anna Trentadue, has written Combating Zombie Subdivisions: How Three Communities Redressed Excess Development Entitlements, Land Lines Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 4-13. Not only is the article available through the Land Lines website, but so is the larger report on which it is based. That is called Arrested Developments: Combating Zombie Subdivisions and Other Excess Entitlements. Here's a summary of the magazine piece:
The Teton County Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) stepped in and petitioned the county to create a process to encourage the redesign of distressed subdivisions and facilitate replatting. VARD realized that a plat redesign could reduce intrusion into sensitive natural areas of the county, reduce governmental costs associated with scattered development, and potentially reduce the number of vacant lots by working with landowners and developers to expedite changes to recorded plats.
On November 22, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a replatting ordinance that would allow the inexpensive and quick replatting of subdivisions, PUDs, and recorded development agreements. The ordinance created a solution-oriented process that allows Teton County to work with developers, landowners, lenders, and other stakeholders to untangle complicated projects with multiple ownership interests and oftentimes millions of dollars in infrastructure.
The ordinance first classifies the extent of any changes proposed by a replat into four categories: 1) major increase in scale and impact, 2) minor increase in scale and impact, 3) major decrease in scale and impact, 4) minor decrease in scale and impact. Any increases in impact may require additional public hearings and studies, whereas these requirements and agency review are waived (where possible) for decreases in impact. In addition, the ordinance waives the unnecessary duplication of studies and analyses that may have been required as part of the initial plat application and approval. Teton County also waived its fees for processing replat applications.
The first success story was the replatting of Canyon Creek Ranch Planned Unit Development, finalized in June 2013. More than 23 miles from city services, Canyon Creek Ranch was originally approved in 2009 as a 350-lot ranch-style resort on roughly 2,700 acres including approximately 25 commercial lots, a horse arena, and a lodge. After extensive negotiations between the Canyon Creek development team and the Teton County Planning Commission staff, the developer proposed a replat that dramatically scaled back the footprint and impact of this project to include only 21 lots over the 2,700 acre property. For the developer, this new design reduces the price tag for infrastructure by 97 percent, from $24 million to roughly $800,000, enabling the property to remain in the conservation reserve program and creating a source of revenue on it while reducing the property tax liability. The reduced scale and impact of this new design will help preserve this critical habitat and maintain the rural landscape, which is a public benefit to the general community.
While recovery from the most recent boom and bust cycle is nearly complete in some areas of the country, other communities will be impacted by vacant lots and distressed subdivisions well into the future. Future real estate booms will also inevitably result in new busts, and vulnerable communities can build a solid foundation of policies, laws, and programs now to minimize new problems stemming from the excess entitlement of land. Communities and others involved in real estate development would be well-served by ensuring they have mechanisms in place to adapt and adjust to evolving market conditions. For jurisdictions already struggling with distressed subdivisions, a willingness to reconsider past approvals and projects and to acknowledge problems is an essential ingredient to success. Communities that are able to serve as effective facilitators as well as regulators, as demonstrated in the case studies presented here, will be best prepared to prevent and then respond and treat distressed subdivisions and any problems that may arise from excess development entitlements.
Friday, February 21, 2014
I've blogged in the past about Walmart and community opposition. From Bloomberg Business Week, here's a story indicating maybe Walmart has finally figured out that smaller stores might be better (although, truth be told, this has been in the works for awhile):
For Wal-Mart, becoming more relevant to consumers means becoming more convenient. You could run in and out of a dollar store in about the time it takes to find your car in a Walmart Supercenter parking lot. And smaller stores might—just might—be more palatable to cities that have fought against the big-box stores. Simon said Wal-Mart is planning to open between 270 and 300 smaller stores this fiscal year, a big increase from plans revealed back in October to build just 120 to 150 new small stores.
Jamie Baker Roskie
The US Census just released the numbers from the 2012 US Census of Agriculture. Here is the Census' highlights document:
The scoop: number of farms down, size of farms up, number of new farmers down, average age of farmers up, value of agricultural sales up, but most small farmers need off-farm income to survive. In other words, it appears industrial agriculture is doing fantastic. The rest of the farming world is doing kind of "meh."
Stephen R. Miller