Monday, July 24, 2017

Patricia Salkin on Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 2: Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John NolonPatricia SalkinStephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 2:  Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

by Patricia Salkin

 

The material on the Standard Zoning Enabling Act and the Standard City Planning Enabling Act that appears in Chapter 1, Section 3 of the new edition of the casebook provides rich teaching opportunities as demonstrated by the last two posts. I start by asking the students to think about what comes first - planning or zoning?  Is it a good idea to enact land use regulations without first thinking about the desired character of a particular community or neighborhood?  Of course this is a great segue to Chapter 2 and the comprehensive plan discussion. Inevitably, students quickly conclude that planning should precede zoning - and then I point out that the Standard Zoning Enabling Act was promulgated two years before the Standard City Planning Enabling Act. Since planning and zoning is influenced temporally by public policy, I find it useful to set the backdrop of major events within an historical context.  There is a terrific article on the history behind these model acts in APA's Land Use Law (February 1996) available here.

I also use this material in conjunction with a class assignment to obtain a copy of a zoning ordinance from a municipality of the student's choice. As the Teacher's Manual to the book points out, there are many important practice points from the assignment (access to local laws, Freedom of Information Laws, cost of obtaining print copies and pitfalls in relying solely on ordinances from the Internet, whether he zoning map routinely accompanies the test, etc.),  However, as related to these model acts, students are asked to compare the sections headings in the model zoning enabling act with the topical organization of their local zoning ordinance.  We discuss, for example, the creation and designation of zoning districts, and use this as a springboard to discuss differences in the number of zoning districts, the nomenclature of zoning districts and the different uses allowed in the zoning districts.  Having seen a copy of a zoning ordinance prior to reading "the early cases" in the next section of the book, it provides an important context for what the zoning ordinance actually is and how it works.  Up to this point in their law school education, most students have never seen a copy of a local law.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Land Use Book Image

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

Question 2:  Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

July 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Michael Lewyn: Government Intervention and Suburban Sprawl: The Case for Market Urbanism

Michael Lewyn (Touro) has just published Government Intervention and Suburban Sprawl: The Case for Market Urbanism.  Here is the abstract:

This book shows how suburban sprawl is at least partially a consequence of government spending and regulation, and suggests anti-sprawl policies that can make government smaller and/or less intrusive. 
 
Thus, the book responds to the widely held view that automobile-dependent suburban development (also known as “suburban sprawl”) is a natural result of the free market and of affluence, and accordingly cannot be altered without massive government regulation.  
 

July 23, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Urban Institute Launches Online Policy Debate: Land Use Regulation: What's it Worth Anyway?

Today, the Urban Institute launched an online policy debate on "Land-Use Regulation: What's It Worth Anyway?", which will be live until Monday, July 24, at 5 pm ET. It features several critics of land-use regulation and several advocates of land-use regulation, including the Land Use Prof Blog's very own Tony Arnold. The link to the policy debate is: http://www.urban.org/debates/land-use-regulation-whats-it-worth-anyway.

July 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CFP: State & Local Government Law Works-in-Progress Conference

GGU Law State and Loval Govt Conference Call for Papers

July 18, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 17, 2017

John Nolon on Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 2: Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John NolonPatricia SalkinStephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 2:  Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

by John Nolon

The New York City zoning ordinance, the Standard Zoning Enabling Act, and the zoning laws in the village of Euclid and in the city of Cambridge cases, described in Chapter 1 of our casebook, provide an opportunity to discuss the basics of statutory law in the U.S.  It takes a while in my classes for students to realize that the federal government had nothing to do with regulating land use when the Hoover Commission “promulgated” the SZEA. How did New York City get its power to adopt zoning in 1916, six years before the SZEA was distributed to the states, and a few more years before New York and other states actually delegated land use authority to local governments. New York is a charter city and received discrete authority from the state legislature to adopt zoning, creating a strategic precedent for the federal Commission and the SZEA. What is a charter city and what is the nature of a local government, with or without a charter? 

If the federal government and the Commission didn’t have the power to enable state legislatures to delegate zoning authority to municipalities, where does that power reside?  This provides the first chance during the course to discuss the state police power.  What is that power, how broad is it, and how does its breadth affect the scope of power that local governments are delegated  to serve the public health, safety, welfare, and morals through zoning? 

What really are these other municipalities: a village in Ohio and a city in Massachusetts?  How were charter cities, statutory cities, and villages (later we encounter counties) created and what is their function?  Why would the state legislature decide to delegate this incredible power to hundreds of local governments, which, by the way, have other functions as instrumentalities of the state, such as taxing property and providing public services and infrastructure—functions that could not be well served without the power to zone. 

Most students have participated in campaigns to lobby Congress, write to POTUS, or descend on their state lawmakers to argue one cause or another, but most have a foggy view of the distinctions among the three different legislatures whose powers are implicated in Chapter 1: Congress, state legislatures, and local legislatures: all of which adopt laws.  As Jonathan says, what a great opportunity to show students that they have to find and read the relevant law to represent land use clients and, most of the time, that law is local and varies greatly from one place, like Euclid, to another, like Cambridge.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Land Use Book Image

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

Question 2:  Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

July 17, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 14, 2017

California Supreme Court splits the baby in landmark Cleveland National Forest climate change / land use and transportation planning decision

In the much anticipated Cleveland National Forest v. SANDAG decision, the California Supreme Court split the baby yesterday on major planning issues including the adequacy of climate change analysis in state environmental impact reports and, more importantly, the underlying question of how seriously the state will take efforts to integrate land use and transportation planning.  For the uninitiated, California's SB375 was a landmark piece of legislation that required the integration of land use and transportation planning...at least on paper.  What was never certain was whether SB375 had an enforcement remedy for failure to take the process seriously.  In this vein, an important question was whether the state's environmental review law, CEQA, could act as a de facto enforcement mechanism even if SB375 provided no remedy.  That is what made the Cleveland National Forest case such a big deal:  it would answer that remedy question on what to do if land use and transportation proceeded apace without considering one another.

But the California Supreme Court, after over a year of deliberation, appeared to wilt under the potential reach of the decision.  They split the baby, instead, giving a win to the local government--technically, San Diego's regional planning body charged with the land use/transportation plan--but only in this instance, and only on the narrow question of the viability of the climate analysis.  In light of that narrow win, the Court expressly noted that future environmental review would face an evolving, scientific standard:

We emphasize the narrowness of today's holding. Our decision is not a general endorsement of the adequacy of SANDAG's EIR, much less an endorsement of the adequacy of the regional plan that the EIR analyzes. Specifically, we do not address whether SANDAG's responses to the indisputably significant greenhouse gas impactsof the 2011 regional plan were adequate. The Court of Appeal concluded that the EIR failed to sufficiently consider feasible mitigation measures and project alternatives that would reduce vehicle miles traveled and curb the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. These issues are not before us, and we express no view on them. We hold only that SANDAG, in analyzing greenhouse gas impacts at the time of the EIR, did not abuse its discretion by declining to adopt the Executive Order as a measure of significance or to discuss the Executive Order more than it did.

Moreover, we caution that our conclusion that SANDAG did not abuse its discretion in its analysis of greenhouse gas emission impacts in the 2011 EIR does not mean that this analysis can serve as a template for future EIRs. Under CEQA, “[t]he determination of whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment calls for careful judgment on the part of the public agency involved, based to the extent possible on scientific and factual data.” (Guidelines, § 15064, subd. (b).) As more and better data become available, analysis of the impact of regional transportation plans on greenhouse gas emissions will likely improve. Indeed, SANDAG explains that its EIR, in analyzing its 2015 regional transportation plan, “was able to account for many factors in the GHG inventories that were not accounted for in 2011, reflecting ‘additional certainty regarding the regulatory environment, including future projections of renewable energy, building energy efficiency, water conservation programs, and solid waste diversion.” A regional planning agency like SANDAG, charged with assisting the implementation of the state's climate goals, must straightforwardly address in the relevant environmental review documents whether its regional transportation plan as a whole is in accord with those goals. Its capacity to do so will likely improve over time.
*11 Furthermore, after briefing was submitted in this case, the Legislature in 2016 enacted Senate Bill No. 32 (SB 32) (2015–2016 Reg. Sess.), adding Health and Safety Code section 38566, which adopts a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. This 40 percent reduction is widely acknowledged as a necessary interim target to ensure that California meets its longer-range goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. (See Governor's Executive Order No. B–30–15 (Apr. 29, 2015) [explaining the significance of the 40 percent reduction].) SB 32 thus reaffirms California's commitment to being on the forefront of the dramatic greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to stabilize the global climate. The legislation directs CARB to craft regulations to implement its goal. (Health & Saf. Code, § 38566.) These regulations may further clarify the way forward for public agencies to meet the state's 2050 climate goals. This regulatory clarification, together with improved methods of analysis, may well change the manner in which CEQA analysis of long-term greenhouse gas emission impacts is conducted.
In sum, nothing we say today invites regional planners to “shirk their responsibilities” under CEQA or other environmental statutes. (Dis. opn., ante, at p. 16.) To the contrary, we affirm that planning agencies like SANDAG must ensure that CEQA analysis stays in step with evolving scientific knowledge and state regulatory schemes.
 
CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION et al., Plaintiffs & Appellants, v. SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS et al., Defendants & Appellants; THE PEOPLE, Intervener & Appellant. CREED-21 et al., Plaintiffs & Appellants,, No. S223603, 2017 WL 2980146, at *10–11 (Cal. July 13, 2017).
 
In short, SANDAG won, but they may not win next time, and no one can rely on this decision.  After the years of waiting for the decision, whether California will take land use and transportation planning seriously, and its commensurate effects on climate change, remains an open question.  
 

July 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Request for Proposals: RMLUI Annual Western Places / Western Spaces Conference: Disruption, Innovation, and Progress


  
RMLUI Annual Western Places/Western Spaces Conference
Request for Proposals

Each year, the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute (RMLUI) convenes land use experts and practitioners at the Western Places/Western Spaces conference to discuss the biggest issues facing communities across the Rocky Mountain West. We cover everything from tiny homes to large landscape conservation, urban planning to rural economies.

Request for Proposals
As land use practitioners—legal, planning, academic, or non-profit—you know the challenges we're facing first-hand, so who better to guide the content for the conference?

We are currently seeking proposals for the 2018 Western Places/Western Spaces conference, which will be held March 8 & 9 at the University of Denver. Please read on to learn more about this year's event.

 

 

Western Places/Western Spaces:
Disruption, Innovation, and Progress

How do we plan for the future when we don’t know what it holds? This is a common dilemma for planners and land use practitioners everywhere. Despite the best-laid plans, new practices or technology can disrupt the entire process. Cities are experimenting with smart technology and driverless cars. The suburbs are facing a changing landscape as the rise of e-commerce is leading to the closure of both the big box stores and Main Street shops. In rural areas, landscape managers are tracking livestock and grazing patterns using drones. In addition to all the change being brought about by technology and innovation, communities also have to contend with the disruptions brought on by natural processes.

In a world full of disruptions, how do we build infrastructure and craft policies that not only meet our present-day needs, but also have the flexibility to adapt to future scenarios? These questions will help frame our discussions at the 2018 Western Places/Western Spaces conference.

 

Submitting Your Proposal
The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, August 25. Please visit the RMLUI website to learn more about the conference theme and topics, as well as instructions on submitting your proposal. You will be able to download the Session Guidelines, which contains a description of the themes and tracks for the 2018 conference, as well as information about the conference, guidelines for crafting your proposal, and the criteria used to select sessions.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us atrmlui@law.du.edu or 303-871-6319.

We look forward to reading your proposals!


Susan Daggett
Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute


Lisa Loranger
Program Coordinator
Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

New to the RMLUI Annual Land Use Conference?
Each year, RMLUI attracts 500 land use professionals and practitioners from the Rocky Mountain West to the University of Denver campus. Now in its 27th year, the conference has become the place for land use and development professionals from private practices, local governments, non-profits, and educational institutes to share knowledge and network.

You can view programs and materials from previous conferences on the RMLUI website.

Videos from the 2017 Western Places/Western Spaces conference, Creating Inclusive Communities, are available to download through the Home Study Program.


Contact Us

www.law.du.edu/rmlui
rmlui@law.du.edu
303-871-6319

 

 


Sponsorship & Promotional Opportunities

Our conference is not possible without the generous support of our sponsors. These financial contributions help fund our programs and conference activities, including providing top-notch keynote speakers, plenary lunch events, and tours. Conference sponsorship provides visibility and underscores your company's commitment to sustainable communities and informed and ethical land use and development practices. For more information, please contact Susan Daggett.

 




 

 

July 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jonathan Rosenbloom on Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 2: Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John NolonPatricia SalkinStephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 2:  Teaching the 1916 NYC Zoning Ordinance and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act

by Jonathan Rosenbloom

In this series of four blog posts, we ask:

Do you teach the 1916 NYC zoning ordinance (NYC ordinance) and/or the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (SZEA) and, if so, what do you want the students to understand?

While these two pieces of legislation provide an abundance of teaching opportunities, in this short blog I’d like to explore them as opportunities to hone students’ ability to analyze land use laws.

Throughout law school, students have significant exposure to cases and case analysis. They often have less exposure to legislative interpretation and even less exposure to state and local legislative interpretation. Many land use lawyers’ practice, however, is focused on interpreting local land use codes and the relevant state statutes, often for purposes of presenting before boards and commissions or negotiating with local governments. The NYC ordinance and the SZEA offer students a great opportunity to hone critical legislative interpretation skills necessary for any land use attorney.

Because we cover the NYC ordinance and SZEA in Chapter I, the students have an opportunity for land use legislative interpretation very early in the course. In our casebook, we cover the NYC ordinance and SZEA (as well as the Standard City Planning Enabling Act) immediately after nuisance. The text of the ordinance helps bridge the gap between zoning and nuisance. It states:

In a business district no building or premises shall be used, and no building shall be erected, which is arranged, intended or designed to be used for any trade, industry or use that is noxious or offensive by reason of the emission of odor, dust, smoke, gas or noise; but car barns or places of amusement shall not be excluded.

This provides an opportunity to elucidate some of the short-comings of nuisance law and the differences between nuisance and zoning. It also provides a reason to delve into the text and discuss legislative interpretation.

The text of the NYC ordinance and SZEA also provide an opportunity to discuss legislative interpretation in the context of state authorization. Keeping the excepts concise, we provide enough of the SZEA to illustrate how state statutes authorize local governments to zone. For example, the excerpted portion of the SZEA authorizes local zoning of height, area, and use. Building off the SZEA provisions, the students can be asked whether the NYC ordinance would comply with the SZEA. As the excerpt in our book illustrates, the NYC ordinance provides classic Euclidean zoning (before it was Euclidean zoning), consisting of use restrictions (section 2), height limitations (section 8), and area restrictions (section 10).

The text of the SZEA also helps establish a foundation to understand and study more recent changes in zoning later in the course. In Chapter 7, for example, we discuss Smart Growth, New Urbanism, Form-based Zoning, and others. As we cover these newer approaches, it is helpful to ask the students whether they would fall within local authority as laid out in the SZEA; and what, if any, additional authority local governments would need to pass such new forms of zoning and what that authority might look like.

Following the NYC ordinance and SZEA we discuss the police power and power to zone in Carter and Goldman and, most notably, in Euclid and Nectow. While these cases help describe the basics of zoning and its legality, covering the NYC ordinance and SZEA first help contextualize the cases. They help paint a more complete picture of the laws at issue before evaluating their legality.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Land Use Book Image

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

July 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Flying Flags on Harrison: Gay Pride, Liberty, and Reaching across the Divide

 I am on a local neighborhood association board here in Boise.  About fifteen years ago, some enterprising members of the association went through the complicated process of getting the appropriate licenses to place flag holders on historic street lamps on Harrison Boulevard, the most prominent residential street in the city.  For most of that time, when volunteers were available, the association flew the American and Idaho flags on several occasions, primarily Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.  It was always a volunteer effort, and it didn't always happen, but when it did, it was beautiful.

 Last month, we received a request to fly the gay pride flag during Boise's pride week.  The neighborhood association unanimously approved.  But no sooner had the flags gone up, than a counter-movement began.  Flag Day, it so happened, occurred during Boise's pride week.  Here are some of the e-mails we received:

I live on Harrison Blvd. why didn't I get information about the gay pride flags on my street? Don't we have any say on matters that affect us, sure thought we did. I am a 100% disabled veteran, where are the American flags for flag day ?

***

We are North End property owners and have in the past been so appreciative of the Association’s efforts to display the appropriate state and national emblems on special occasions. Kudos to those responsible.

We recently noticed the many rainbow flags on the intersections on Harrison Boulevard. This was totally unexpected and surprising to us, given the history of patriotic pride usually on display.

Assuming we all know what these current flags are about, I am still hoping that they will not be in evidence during the annual June 14thcelebration of Flag Day, honoring the stars & stripes of our country.

Please replace the  current emblems with the star spangled banner being honored nationwide on Flag Day.

 

***

Rainbow flags:  I hope these flags will be removed by Wednesday -- Flag Day.  I want to see the American flag!!!

***

And that is just some of the responses we got.  Clearly, the intent was to force a removal of the rainbow flags through an appeal to patriotism.  Notably, none of those insisting that the association fly the American and Idaho flags had ever volunteered previously and the flags had never been flown on Flag Day in this volunteer effort.

But I write this story on Independence Day to highlight the admirable folks in my association.  Because they did not give in to the effort to remove the rainbow flags, but they also did something that so often seems missing in our national politics.  They found a third way:  quite literally.  Late, on the night before Flag Day, two of the association members went out, standing on a ladder in the back of a pickup truck in the dark, and placed American flags in a third holder in the posts that typically goes unused.  They did it to make people happy who had, well let's be honest, picked a fight.  And so, on  Flag Day, there were two pride flags on each light fixture, and one American flag.  The night after Flag Day, the same two volunteers went out with the pickup truck and the ladder, and they took down the American flags once Flag Day was over.  The pride flags stayed the rest of the week.  

It was an incredible amount of work on their part.  But it said something remarkable.  It said that we weren't going to back down on the pride flags, but we also took the others who wanted to see the American flag on Flag Day seriously.  We held firm to our values, but we also did what we could to make others feel like they were recognized on a day that mattered to them.  At the end of the day, it's really about how we relate to people who aren't like us that live in the same places we do.  Today's hyper-partisanship seeks to build a world where such third ways can't ever happen, but if we move beyond ideology, most of what divides us is a lot like the flags we fly, and many times, those flags look good together.

 

 

July 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Stephen R. Miller on Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John Nolon, Patricia Salkin, Stephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 1:  Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

by Stephen R. Miller

In rounding out this discussion of how to teach the interplay between nuisance and zoning, I thought I would focus on the case of Shore v. Maple Lane Farms (p.14), a 2013 Tennessee Supreme Court case that is probably the least well known case in this chapter.  I may be the biggest proponent of this case in the country:  according to Westlaw, the case has only been cited twice in academic literature, and both times by me.  I want to explain why I think it is such a good teaching case.

First, I like Maple Lane Farms because, unlike many nuisance cases, the facts are simple, fun, and I find my students relate to them easily.  The basics of the case are essentially this:  an elderly woman moves from the hubbub of the city and settles in what she believes is the bucolic Tennessee countryside.  However, the farm next door, in an effort to supplement its income from traditional agricultural operations, begins operation of a pumpkin patch.  That operation became increasingly popular over the years and, in time, the diversified agritourism operation is accompanied by weekend amplified music concerts that are so loud that Ms. Shore must leave her home when they occur.  These facts invite a discussion of suburban and exurban development issues.  Teaching in a rural, fast growth state, every time I have taught the case, students have loved the facts and supplemented class discussion with their own experiences of the externalities of living near agricultural uses that are often noisy, smelly, and not always bucolic.  (Many times, my students are sons and daughters of farmers and ranchers that can speak firsthand to the complexity of farming and ranching adjacent to residential areas.)

Second, I like the case because it is a tour de force of nuisance doctrine.  The excerpt in the casebook, which was expertly edited by Jon Rosenbloom, provides just the highlights.  But it must be said that the Tennessee Supreme Court outdid itself in clearly presenting the basic tenets of nuisance law.  There is plenty of Prosser and Keeton, Restatements, and even a shout-out to Dean Salkin’s treatise on zoning.  If you want a black letter definition of nuisance, which is really how we use the case here, Maple Lane Farms is a great option.  In addition, Tennessee nuisance law hews close to national norms.  This is helpful for me because Idaho nuisance law is filled with some quirky provisions.  Maple Lane Farms is a useful comparison to illustrate the general rules from which I can then discuss the idiosyncrasies of local law.  I supplement with Idaho law in class and we discuss how certain provisions of local law differ from the norms stated in the Tennessee case.

Third, I like this case because it involves the interplay between common law nuisance and state right to farm statutes.  Most, if not all, states have adopted a right to farm statute, and the Tennessee statute at issue in this case is the model language that was adopted by most states.  These right to farm statutes are generally believed to protect farmers from nuisance claims, but the facts of this case present a chance to closely read a statute with relation to common law.  Close investigation discovers that the statute only provides a “presumption” of an agricultural operation not being a nuisance, and moreover, that the presumption only applies to those activities that relate to the “land, buildings and machinery” used in “farm operations.”  Is an amplified music concert a “farm operation”?  The court here holds no, which permits the common law nuisance claim to proceed.

But the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision to permit the nuisance claim to advance invites other questions about “use” that take us into the question of what constitutes “zoning,” which is the fourth reason I love this case.  What is “agriculture” in the state right to farm statute, and what is “agriculture” as it might be defined by local zoning codes?  For instance, many agricultural nuisance cases discuss noise, but they typically have to do with farmers getting up early and using their tractors at hours when most residential dwellers are asleep.  In this case, if the noise were generated from tractors or the agricultural operation, it would clearly be preempted by the right to farm statute.  But we are not simply regulating “noise,” but a “use.”  Here, the noise comes from an amplified music concert.  That difference in the use matters because it explains why the nuisance claim is not preempted by the right to farm statute.

There is another aspect of “use” at issue here.  The lower appellate court had held that amplified music concerts were “farming operations” sufficient to permit protection under the right to farm statute.  The appellate court noted that the changing nature of agriculture meant that most farmers did not make their livings anymore exclusively from traditional farming.  Indeed, Maple Lane Farms made 75% of its income from its agritourism operations.  If non-traditional operations are necessary for most farmers to survive financially these days, should we come to view such operations as tantamount to an “agricultural use,” or are these “accessory uses,” or are they wholly incompatible uses that should not be permitted here?  What is the relationship between regulating uses and changing business models of traditional industries?

In short, Maple Lane Farms provides a professor the chance to open numerous avenues of discussion that will be picked up later in the course with greater detail.

Note:  in another part of the case not excerpted in the casebook, the Tennessee Supreme Court also interprets the local county zoning code and determines that amplified music concerts do not fit within the definition of “agricultural” uses in that code.  The analysis is similar and virtually redundant to the right to farm statute analysis, which is why it is not provided.  However, a professor that wanted to illustrate uses in the zoning code could also supplement the excerpt with that section of the case.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Pages from Nolon Land Use and Sustainable Development Law 9e

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

 

July 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Library of Congress begins digitizing its Sanborn Maps

You know you are a true land use junkie if the idea of an old Sanborn fire map gives you goose bumps (guilty, as charged).  If you haven't had the pleasure, Sanborn maps present extraordinarily detailed records of building conditions in almost every major--and most smaller--American cities.  The purpose, of course, was to determine relative fire risk.  From a perspective of history, they are invaluable tools that tell the story of how our cities evolved.  Just recently, the Library of Congress began digitizing its Sanborn Maps, and it plans to eventually digitize all of them.  You can view the current online collection here.  Below is a sample page from the New York City Sanborns.

Sanborn

June 29, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Patricia Salkin on Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John Nolon, Patricia Salkin, Stephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 1:  Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

by Patricia Salkin

Jonathan Rosenbloom posed the first question: “What do you consider to be some of the most important lessons stemming from the materials on the migration from nuisance to zoning and what do you want the students to understand?”

My favorite case in Chapter One is Boomer v Atlantic Cement Company from New York because it portends so many issues later chapters in the casebook discuss, and quite frankly if time permitted this case could take the entire class period (but alas, that is luxury not afforded the typically 3-credit class). For example, it demonstrates judicial activism in the land use area.  Where there is no useful regulatory solution and where existing case law is not developed to arrive at what the court believes is a “just result,” a court may craft solutions that address evolving community or societal challenges (for example in the area of affordable housing, the Mt.Laurel case from New Jersey).  Boomer was decided in 1970 just as the notion of environmentalism and the need for governmental regulation in the areas of clean air and clean water were beginning to be seriously debated at national and state levels. It can also segue into the later discussion in Euclid on the separation of incompatible land uses.   

A second take-away from Boomer is the role courts play in balancing various interests in the land use context.  Without government regulation to protect the air we breathe, here the court was left to balance the public health concerns of neighboring property owners with the greater community-wide benefits of an industrial factory that is an economic engine for the region in terms of jobs/employment and the fact that the product manufactured was needed for ongoing construction and development (which activities also produce jobs and fuel the economy).   The economics of land use regulation is more formally introduced to the students in Chapter Two and it is a critical foundational concept for the students to grapple with especially for the takings material in Chapter Five.

A third point of discussion with students is the dissent’s compelling argument that the majority does not go far enough to protect the public health. This discussion is a prequel to the environmental and social justice movement of today.  Is it reasonable to simply mandate that the polluter responsible for negatively impacting public health be solely responsible for paying permanent damages one time to the neighboring property owners?  In the full opinion the dissent queries whether the public health is for sale.  We should ask our students what happens when the property owners receive their payment and then move on to a healthier community and less affluent people move in to ongoing polluted area because it is what they can afford (presumable the market makes the housing less expensive).  The Company is no longer required to make payments to new people who may be coming to the nuisance.  Is it acceptable that new homeowners are assuming the public health risk or now almost fifty years later given the weight of the social justice movement would the balance achieve a different outcome (removing the fact that environmental regulation has since stepped in)?  Was or should notice be required to be given to new purchasers of property where there may be significant health concerns? This can be juxtaposed with more recent statutorily required notices in the right-to-farm protections raised in the notes in Chapter Six.

The Boomer case helps to bring students of land use regulation to the important questions of balancing property rights, economic protection, public health concerns and notice.  These concepts are necessarily threaded throughout the casebook and I find that many times during the semester I am referencing “the Boomer case we read at the start of the semester.”

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Pages from Nolon Land Use and Sustainable Development Law 9e

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

June 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Zach Arnold: Preventing Industrial Disasters in a Time of Climate Change: A Call for Financial Assurance Mandates

Zach Arnold (Independent) has just published "Preventing Industrial Disasters in a Time of Climate Change: A Call for Financial Assurance Mandates" in the Harvard Environmental Law Review.  The piece is available at HELR here and SSRN here.  The abstract is below:


In the current era of accelerating climate change, rising sea levels, and increasingly extreme weather, coastal industrial disasters pose a large and growing risk to society. The private sector and public officials are both failing to adequately respond to this risk, and the familiar regulatory tools in this context, such as design mandates and adaptation subsidies, have significant drawbacks. This paper proposes a novel policy framework to prevent coastal industrial disasters. I argue that financial assurance requirements (FAMs), such as insurance mandates, can induce coastal industry to adapt to the coastal impacts of climate change and can ensure that the public will be fully compensated for any disasters that nonetheless occur. FAMs can mobilize the considerable expertise of third-party financial assurance providers and provide efficient incentives for private adaptation. Moreover, they are relatively simple to implement, making them especially suitable for state, regional, and municipal policymakers facing locally concentrated climate impacts, tight resources, and federal gridlock. FAMs are a promising remedy for a significant and increasingly urgent danger.

 

 

 

June 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet, by John Nolon

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John Nolon, Patricia Salkin, Stephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 1:  Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

by John Nolon

Our casebook reviews the law of nuisance and the advent of zoning in the same chapter for a reason.  In Euclid, the Court notes that zoning is rooted in the police power of the state, which is exercised to protect the public welfare. The scope of legitimate zoning regulation, the Court states, can be discerned by consulting the law of nuisance for "the helpful aid of its analogies in the process of ascertaining the scope of... the power." 

In introducing nuisance law on p. 5 of Chapter 1, we write: "Offensive intrusions included the effects of smoke, dust, noise, odors, heat, or other discernable effects that interfered with or diminished the normal uses of nearby property."  In Euclid, the Court justifies the separation of land uses, particularly multifamily buildings from single-family uses, by noting that apartments interfere with the free circulation of air, monopolize the rays of the sun, bring disturbing noises, cause traffic congestion, and thus detract from safety, depriving children of the privilege of quiet and open spaces for play, until the residential character of the single family neighborhood is utterly destroyed.  "Under such circumstances, apartment houses...come very near to being nuisances."

The Chapter also makes a useful point about the evolution of the law as circumstances change. The Euclid Court states that regulations that would be invalidated as arbitrary and oppressive a half a century ago "are now uniformly sustained."  "And in this, there is no inconsistency, for while the meaning of constitutional guarantees never varies, the scope of their application must expand or contract to meet the new and different conditions which are constantly coming within the field of their operation.  In a changing world, it is impossible that it should be otherwise." 

This same principle arises in the nuisance cases in the Chapter, as does the continuing viability of nuisance law.  In Prah v. Marietti, the Wisconsin court holds that interference with solar access can be an actionable nuisance, reversing settled law because it was based on principles that "are no longer fully accepted or applicable. They reflect factual circumstances and social priorities that are now obsolete."  Today, in Wisconsin, nuisance law can be used to support the viability of solar power systems just as our society is turning toward renewable energy resources as a critical method of mitigating climate change. That nuisance law is still viable is demonstrated by the fact that, under Prah, nuisance remedies can trump land use regulation.  The neighbor, who proposed building in the plaintiff's solar space, was in full compliance with zoning and site plan regulations, yet, under the holding, could be subject to a court-ordered revision of the approved building plans.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Pages from Nolon Land Use and Sustainable Development Law 9e

Previous posts in the Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use series

Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet [Rosenbloom | Nolon | Salkin | Miller]

 

 

June 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use: Question 1: Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet, by Jonathan Rosenbloom

[While updating the recently released ninth edition to the casebook Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, the four co-authors engaged in numerous spirited discussions about teaching land use. We wanted to open this discussion to others to get their comments and thoughts as we continue to rethink the teaching of this important subject. Each month on this blog, we will introduce a new topic relevant to teaching land use. The topics will loosely follow our casebook chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. We'll explore each topic through four blog posts, one from each of us. We hope you find the discussion enriching, and encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section below or off-line.  -- John Nolon, Patricia Salkin, Stephen Miller, & Jonathan Rosenbloom.]

Contemporary Issues in Teaching Land Use

Question 1:  Teaching the Crossroads Where Nuisance & Zoning Meet

by Jonathan Rosenbloom

One land use “coming-to-age” moment is the conceptual and legal shift from nuisance to zoning. This shift provides numerous teaching opportunities and valuable lessons concerning land use and the law generally. Thus, the first question in our series on teaching land use is:

What do you consider to be some of the most important lessons stemming from the materials on the migration from nuisance to zoning and what do you want the students to understand?

On one level, there are valuable lessons that can be gleaned by comparing the legal approach of zoning versus nuisance, including a discussion of proactive action (zoning) versus reactive action (nuisance), district-wide regulation (zoning) versus single lot(s) regulation (nuisance), and executive decision-making (zoning) versus judicial decision-making (nuisance).

However, in this brief blog I’d like to consider a more generalized educational moment. The nuisance/zoning materials provide a good opportunity to make clear that land use law has a concrete and significant impact on the physical conditions that form communities. While this seems like an obvious point, students can easily get lost in text and disassociate the law (cases, ordinances, statutes) from the physical manifestation of the law that really makes-up the community and its ecology.

In few topics is this more important than land use, as the law directly dictates physical form, structure, movement, and others. The nuisance/zoning materials are helpful to bring this point to the fore as they partially explain the value zoning adds and where nuisance is unable to address confrontations occurring in communities. In this regard, the nuisance/zoning materials present a great opportunity to explore how the law translates directly into the landscape we see around us. It is also a good chance for the students to begin to get out of the classroom and into the community to see the power of land use laws. As a topic that can be taught at the beginning of the semester (we have these materials in Chapter 1), this is a critical lesson that can be revisited throughout the course in more complicated ways, including asking the students to consider the ramifications of judicial decisions and ordinances on their community.

The  ninth edition of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law, is now available for the 2017-18 academic year.  Feel free to contact any of the co-authors if you would like to discuss the book--or just teaching land use law in general.

Pages from Nolon Land Use and Sustainable Development Law 9e

Future posts in this series will be archived 

June 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Anatomy of a Land Use Hearing: You've Got Law and Urban Design on Your Side, But They've Got Matching T-Shirts and the Numbers

 

In an effort to promote the rule of law and principles of urban design and environmental stewardship, I found myself the enemy of about 150 parents and teachers on Tuesday night.  I came with the law and principles of school site design on my side; they came with coordinated t-shirts and a united sense of spite against me and a small band of smart growth advocates.  Anyone with experience in land use decisions knows how that decision ends at a city council.  They won the vote.  But in my opinion, admittedly biased, they lost the battle for a better school. 

The school district gave the parents and students in a “busting-at-the-seams” school for low income children a Faustian bargain:  a cheap-to-build school now or uncertain prospects for something better at a later, far-delayed time.  Faced with crushing overcrowding, the parents and teachers took the bird in the hand, even if they would privately admit their own misgivings. 

After a day’s reflection, I am writing this blog post to talk a little bit about how things went to remind all of us just how complicated it is to get cities right, even when law and policy would otherwise guide us towards urbanism and sustainability.  In the end, I am upset at none of the parents or students, and bearing the spite of 150 of my neighbors is part of what any land use lawyer has to accept upfront. 

I will admit that I am dismayed at the school district, an educational institution that chose to pit neighbor against neighbor rather than organize any meaningful effort at teaching or engaging the community about urban planning.  It was a lost opportunity to engage in a democratic, collective process aimed at making a better decision; instead, the school district took the road too common in today’s culture:  divide and conquer.

As background facts, the Whittier school in Boise serves primarily low income students, as well as a dual-language immersion program.  It was built for 300 students but now has 500.  The neighborhood is urban, near Boise’s downtown, though many of the students are currently bused in, a fact that wasn’t true a decade ago, and likely will change again in the course of the new building’s use.  A recent bond was passed allocating funds for a new Whittier school that would have room for up to 700 students.  That money was specifically earmarked for the Whittier school:  it could be used for no other purpose. 

The school district hired an architect who proposed a suburban campus for the location, which would pave over 46% of a 6-acre site.  In its original iteration, there was so much pavement that they could not even fit a soccer field; currently, there are three soccer fields on the site.  After initial opposition from me and several others, the school district moved the proposed new school slightly to permit one soccer field…if they tore down all of the mature trees on the southern end of the site.  The school was to be built to current energy standards in Idaho, which are notoriously among the lowest in the country.

We asked for something different.  Here were our proposed principles of school site design:

  • Protect park-land and student outdoor play area on the interior of school sites.
  • Keep parking on the exterior of sites to reduce potential conflict points with pedestrians and bicyclists and make better use of the land.
  • Prioritize walking and biking to school (bulb-outs, curb cuts, striping, etc.).
  • Build for life-cycle cost savings today (reduce long-term operations costs to save taxpayers money).
  • Preserve history of Boise’s schools.
  • Preserve mature trees.
  • Involve the community early in the decision-making, including Neighborhood Associations, neighbors, teachers, and students, prior to the creation of a site plan.
  • Follow Blueprint Boise, the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

All of these principles are supported by Boise’s comprehensive plan.  We purposefully made no effort to address the functioning of the school building itself, which we considered to be the prerogative of the educational mission of the school.  It seemed that ascribing to these principles were all kind of no-brainers.  But we were wrong.

The school district dug in.  They held several meetings presenting their proposed plan with neighborhood groups, but made only nominal changes.  They expressly refused any upgrades to energy efficiency, even though it was pointed out multiple times that it would actually lessen long-term costs of the district and taxpayer expenditures over time.

Moreover, the school began to spin a narrative of us-versus-them.  The “us” was the Whittier community, which simply wanted a new school.  The “them” were folks like me, who were standing in the way.  They managed to paint us as bad guys holding up a good thing long delayed to low income students. 

Of course, in fact, we were trying to stand up for those low income students who, we realized, were getting the “low bid” school.  We were trying to make it something better for them, but it fell on deaf ears.

We also tried to encourage a more robust engagement process that would model, both for the families and the students, a robust and community-centered planning process. We suggested working groups with facilitators.  I personally offered to fund and bring in facilitators from Growing Up Boulder, which works with students to help them understand urban decisionmaking and involve them in the process.  The school district never replied to either of those ideas.

In addition, I have had an ongoing effort to facilitate better legal procedure in the planning process here in Boise.  In my comments, I explained the origins of the substantial evidence test and the arbitrary and capricious test, as they apply here.  With no offense to the Boise city attorneys, they simply are not trained to handle these kinds of matters or advise decisionmakers on them.  In Idaho, local attorneys only utilize these standards in land use decisionmaking.  Most Idaho city attorneys grow up through the ranks as criminal attorneys, and it is a promotion to join the civil side.  But truth is, they receive little training in administrative law matters, and because the land use procedure in Idaho is imported from state agency law for just the purpose of land use decisions, the city attorneys do not really get it. 

For instance, the boilerplate language for land use memos the city uses speaks of “objective facts” and “subjective facts,” which is a distinction in Idaho criminal law, but is not a distinction used in any Idaho administrative proceeding, much less a land use hearing.  Similarly, the city attorney and the school district’s attorney both ardently proffered that “substantial evidence” was any information in the record; rather, Idaho case law clearly shows that the test focuses only on the written findings of the planning and zoning commission.

As someone who teaches administrative law in addition to land use, it is really hard for me to see the slippage between law on the books and law as practiced.  It is especially hard when, as here, it played an important part in the decision.  For instance, two council members expressly noted that they thought their review was limited to simply a finding of error.  It is, in a technical sense, but on a conditional use permit, which requires findings of compliance with the comprehensive plan, such a finding of error can simply be a failure to not consider other elements of the comprehensive plan in written findings, which would violate the substantial evidence test.  I, and others, had expressly shown about twenty sections of the comprehensive plan with which the plan did not comply, which would have certainly been sufficient for a finding of error.  But with a poor understanding of the law, the council members openly said they did not like the plan, but felt they were forced to vote in favor of it because they could not find error with the commission’s decision.  What frustrates me, in that case, is not that I lost their votes, but that I lost their votes because of a misunderstanding of law.

After the hearing, I could not sleep that night.  It was not that the school district had managed to vilify me; frankly, it was good to be back in the saddle arguing a case in that kind of a heated situation.  Moreover, some of my students came out for the hearing, and I think it gave them great pleasure to see a professor in action, not just as an academic, but as an advocate in a real setting for the rule of law.  But it was precisely the effect that the nature of the decision would have on my students that concerned me most.  When I teach administrative law and land use law, I take great pains to make sure students understand the details, and that we make sense of the parameters of these seemingly mushy standards—substantial evidence and arbitrary and capricious—that sound colloquial but in fact are quite technical.  My concern was that the hearing, and the clear violation of everything we’d talked about over that semester, would make them lose faith  that law, which reigns in the court, could ever be followed in an administrative proceeding.

I know there remains actionable legal claims in this case because of the numerous procedural errors in the proceeding.  But I will not litigate here, mostly because, by the time the school district has managed to convince 150 people to buy matching t-shirts and show up and talk about how bad the school is now, I realize that I have lost the battle for hearts and minds.  Despite the express funding in the bond for this school, the school district had convinced the parents that they could end up with nothing if they dared to ask for more than the bare bones.  Yes, they’ll give the low income kids a new school, and no doubt, it will be better than what they’ve got.  But now there will be 500 kids, and ultimately up to 700 in the new build out, with just one soccer field to play on instead of the current three (and there were no soccer fields in the original plan before I and others got involved).  Yes, there will be separated bus and car drop-off, but there will be 9 new points of pedestrian-vehicle conflict.  Yes, the school will meet decade-old energy minimums, but it won’t have a single solar panel or efficiency component that might be a way to engage students in a discussion of climate change.

And maybe most important, I worry about what this process has taught the students about civic engagement.  On the one hand, it did get them to mobilize for their school; they got out to a public hearing en masse and fought for what they thought was right.  I give them credit for that.  But I also worry that what students saw was the us-versus-them choice:  either we beat back this awful Miller guy and his smart growth cronies or we get nothing.  They probably don’t know that I wanted to bring in folks to engage them in learning about planning.  Their parents probably don’t know I wanted working groups to find alternative design solutions that wouldn’t create the problems the current proposal ensures.  Of all of the tens of folks that testified at the hearing, not a single one spoke about how to improve the design, their experience with the current school that might affect the design, or anything else related to improving what many, in private, would concede was not their ideal.  Their engagement was limited to ensuring they got something over nothing, which is how the school district played it out.  I think that is an unfortunate local version of the national polarization that our country now suffers:  all opposition is bad, even if it argues for a middle ground that could improve all lots.

It has been a remarkable few months back being an advocate.  The occasion does not have much to recommend it, unless you either you remain committed to ideals of law and urban design, or are a glutton for punishment and the vitriol of your neighbors.  Case in point, I was booed and given the thumbs down by a woman and her two sons as I walked from the meeting chambers to the restroom.  My response to her was simply, “I’m here for the civic engagement and a better school for your kids.”  She said, “I know, but…”  The elevator came, and she didn’t finish.

And so, the school will be built, and I hope it gives the parents and students what they want.  I had hoped it would give them something more, but maybe that was just naïve idealism.  We will all scatter back to our lives.  We will all take with us the experience and what it means for how we think of government and its processes.  Despite the loss, which was 5 votes against me to 0 for me, I remain committed to the ideals of law and urban design for which I fought, and I accept the pummeling as part of the good fight for the future. 

I will continue to teach the ideals of law, as well, to my students, no matter how little they are followed in practice, because done right, these standards are the guardians of democracy in the administrative state.  As I’ve quoted before, Scalia again on substantial evidence:

“Substantial evidence” review exists precisely to ensure that [a government] achieves minimal compliance . . . , which is the foundation of all honest and legitimate adjudication.

And on the arbitrary and capricious standard:

Reasoned decisionmaking, in which the rule announced is the rule applied, promotes sound results, and unreasoned decisionmaking the opposite. The evil of a decision that applies a standard other than the one it enunciates spreads in both directions, preventing both consistent application of the law by subordinate agency personnel . . . , and effective review of the law by the courts.

Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 522 U.S. 359 (1998).

Good process matters at the Supreme Court; it matters equally in the chambers of a city council out on the sagebrush steppe.

As a valedictory to the episode, I take some satisfaction that I and the other project appellants retained at least one soccer field for the students and ensured that a mid-century modern building will remain and become a community center.  It's something, even if the students deserved more.

 

 A picture of the hearing:

 WhittierHearing2

 Another picture of the hearing:

WhittierHearing1

 The final site plan:

Whittier elementary 1

 A promo video from the school district focusing on over-crowding:
 

 

 

 

June 8, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 5, 2017

OECD publishes second report detailing country-by-country planning processes

Earlier this month, I blogged about OECD's excellent new report, The Governance of Land Use in OECD Countries.  OECD has also published a companion volume, Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD, that provides a background on the land use governance systems of each of the 32 OECD countries in the report.  It is a great comparative document that summarizes the land use planning systems of mostly western, developed countries.  

 

 

 

June 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Vermont Law's Hot Topics in Environmental Law Lecture Series - Available by livestream throughout the summer

Vermont Law School’s Environmental Program is once again offering a full lineup of 17 notable speakers in the Hot Topics in Environmental Law Lecture Series. These talks offer a range of timely issues including human rights and the environment, ocean and wildlife, energy, environmental enforcement, and international issues. The talks take place every Tuesday and Thursday at noon throughout the summer, and are free and open to the public with CLE credit available.

View the online brochure (see p.2): http://www-assets.vermontlaw.edu/Assets/summer/Summer%202017/VLS.204.17_HOT_TOPICS_2017_POS_P3.pdf

To watch these talks, go to the VLS Livestream channel: http://vermontlaw.edu/live

June 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Loneliest Battle:  Fighting for Procedural Integrity in Land Use Decisions:  A Case Study from Boise, Idaho

In addition to my work as a law professor, from time to time, I am asked to enter the fray in local land use decisions here in Boise.  Typically, this happens through the means of a request to a local neighborhood association to weigh in on a matter.  As a board member on a neighborhood association, I often assist in these land use issues.  Previously, I served about 20 months on Boise’s planning and zoning commission, as well, a post I left largely because of some of the issues I will discuss below.  In any case, I thought I would share some of what has been going on here in Boise, in large part because I have never encountered anything like it before, and it strikes me as an important case study in the importance of process in making land use decisions work.  As I note in the title, fighting for good process in land use decisions may be one of the “loneliest battles” anyone can undertake.  But as I’ll hope to illustrate below, where there is bad process, the whole planning apparatus can quickly devolve into a sham.  In Boise, what purportedly applies in outward facing principles—such as those announced in the comprehensive plan and other city documents—is vastly different from what happens in practice.  When stated law and practiced law diverge as greatly as they do in Boise, there is significant room for mischief to enter.  Justice Scalia once put this in stark relief:

Reasoned decisionmaking, in which the rule announced is the rule applied, promotes sound results, and unreasoned decisionmaking the opposite. The evil of a decision that applies a standard other than the one it enunciates spreads in both directions, preventing both consistent application of the law by subordinate agency personnel . . . , and effective review of the law by the courts.

Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 522 U.S. 359, 375, 118 S. Ct. 818, 827, 139 L. Ed. 2d 797 (1998).  When I teach administrative law, I always linger over this passage by Scalia because, regardless of your political proclivities, he is right on this one:  where a decision diverges from its stated standards and, with subterfuge, works to implement another standard, there is an “evil” there that upends the entirety of the decisionmaking process.  In the land use context, I suggest that there is another problem:  where such divergence occurs, there can be a loss of faith in government, suspicions of corruption, and ultimately, either a resolve to “kick the bums out” or an apathetic retreat from institutions altogether.  But I get ahead of myself.  Here is what goes on.

Background on Boise’s Planning Process

On the surface, Boise’s planning process looks like almost any other Euclidean-based zoning code in the country.  There is a modestly progressive comprehensive plan that exclaims a desire to make Boise “the most livable city in America,” a land use map and zones that implement the plan (conformity requirement in Idaho, but nothing more), and the usual dose of discretionary entitlements such as conditional use permits and planned unit developments. 

But it is how the process is managed that the structural problems begin to seep in.  Here is the general gist.  Every project application that goes before the planning and zoning commission gets an “approve” recommendation from staff in the staff report.  The staff report is also problematic because, on a prefatory page, there is a summary paragraph that is referred to as the “Reason for the Decision.”  Then, on the second page of the file, there is a title called “Planning Division Project Report,” which is followed by a table of contents, which includes two important sections”  “Analysis/Findings,” and “Recommended Conditions of Approval.”  More on the interplay between the “Reason for the Decision” and the “Analysis/Findings” in a moment (though the administrative law junkies out there are likely to see problems emerging:  a reason for the decision that is separate from the findings…what?!). 

The staff report is delivered to the public and the planning and zoning commission at the same time, about 10 days before the hearing.  The commission never holds working groups, and because Idaho has strict ex parte laws, there is no communication between commissioners and the project sponsors or opponents.  The project description is strictly a one-time “on the record” proceeding.  Staff expressly tell the commission not to defer but instead to vote up or down.  Staff also strongly oppose the commission making any of their own conditions of approval.  Because Idaho has no environmental review and its state land use law does not otherwise dictate it, there is never a project alternative provided by the project applicants.  So, what happens is that the staff report essentially dictates the terms of the approval and the commission just votes yes or no.  Almost all of the time, the commission votes yes.  If there is no appeal on an approval, the project sponsor goes forward and builds and that is that.

Community involvement is elaborately stage-managed to be ineffective.  The application for almost any project goes live in a computer-based system about a month before the project is heard at the commission.  There is also very circumscribed notice; the city refuses to provide notice to anyone but for close neighbors and the immediate neighborhood association.  Project applicants must have a neighborhood meeting; however, they almost always come with the completed plan, tick off the meeting, and then proceed with their plan anyway or offer some very minor change.  There is hardly ever a real effort to engage the community prior to design.  In addition, the city takes the perspective that it does not have to respond to any of the community testimony or alternatives other than “objective facts” so long as their position is supported in the record.  It is unclear what the city considers to be an objective fact, but I have never seen the city believe that it has encountered one presented from the community.  Instead, any community opposition or proposed alternative is universally derided.  Presumably, an “objective fact” would be an alternative study conducted by an expert.  But again, consider the time frame:  because the city has sped up the discretionary permitting clock, there is not really time to even hire and conduct a alternative expert study.  As a result, the process stacks the deck against the community in input.  The courts have also conspired against meaningful process through an elaborate standing doctrine; as an example, the Idaho Supreme Court just recently held that one of the largest farmers in a fast-developing county, whose family had farmed in that county continuously since the late nineteenth century, did not have standing to challenge comprehensive plan updates.  (Case available here:  https://isc.idaho.gov/opinions/42756.pdf). 

When the commission votes to deny a discretionary permit, the city traditionally wrote up a brief, several sentence description of the oral hearing and then sent that as the “reason for the decision” to the project sponsor.  Developers’ attorneys had a field day with this.  Notably, Idaho law requires the commission to make the findings, and here the findings were written by the staff and never approved by the commission.  In large part because of my objection to this process, the staff now get the commission’s approval of the “reason for the decision,” but it remains a several sentence rambling description of what happened in the meeting.  Of course, developers attorneys continue to have a field day with this:  any student who has passed through an administrative law class knows that there are requirements for findings that are embedded in the legal standards that apply to quasi-judicial decisionmaking.  For some reason, Boise refuses to acknowledge this.  And so, whenever a project is denied, the developers’ attorneys, who appear to be the only ones in Boise who took administrative law, line up and make all the right arguments about the paucity of findings, a lack of substantial evidence and the arbitrary and capricious nature of the decisionmaking.  The city council, seeing a clear violation and attorneys fees coming out of general fund coffers, almost always back down and approve the project.

So, let us summarize.  A project sponsor wants a discretionary permit.  The staff write a staff report with a “reason for the decision” and “findings.”  The staff recommendation is always “approve.”  The commission, largely kept in the dark about the project and told to vote just yes or no, almost always votes yes.  When the commission votes no, the staff draft a legally insufficient “reason for the decision,” developers’ attorneys pounce, and the city council retreats fearing a loss and approves.  In short, one way or another, no matter what the comprehensive plan says, no matter what the community says—and note how law is used to isolate the community—every project is either approved, or because of sloppy process, ultimately gets approved after an initial denial.  In the words of Scalia, here we have the “evil of a decision that applies a standard other than the one it enunciates.”

Procedural Appeals of Land Use Decisions in Boise:  Does Anyone Understand What Is Going On?

I just filed my first appeal of a commission decision and it goes before the city council next week.  Obviously, my hope is that the city council will simply reverse the decision of the commission—in this case, a highly suburbanized school design for one of Boise’s urban neighborhoods—but I have also been somewhat shocked by how both the city, as well as a leading attorney hired by the school district, have displayed their knowledge of land use administrative procedure.  In both instances, it is so shockingly incorrect, I cannot decide if it is a purposeful misrepresentation of the law, or if really no one understands what they are supposed to be doing.

Tracking the applicable standards of land use appeals in Idaho is actually quite easy for a national audience.  Idaho’s land use planning enabling act incorporates the judicial review provisions from the Idaho Administrative Procedure Act, or “IDAPA.”  The most common of standards of review in quasi-judicial decisions are familiar to most land use lawyers:  lack of substantial evidence; arbitrary and capricious decisionmaking; and procedural error. 

Both the city’s memo in response to my appeal, and the school district’s attorney, seem to have no familiarity with these standards, much less what they stand for.  This is made even weirder by the fact that Idaho has largely “federalized” these standards:  state court opinions have largely adopted federal interpretations of how these standards operate within the context of federal administrative law and made them applicable to Idaho state law.  This makes sense for a small state without much litigation, but it seems to have largely confused the local bar.

Take, for instance, this sentence from the school district’s attorney:  “The appellants allege that the Commission’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record making the Commission’s decision arbitrary.”  Is anyone else cringing?  In other words, the school district’s attorney conflates the two major standards of review into one.  Of course, that is completely incorrect, which is why “substantial evidence” and “arbitrary and caprious” review are two separate standards of review.  Things go downhill from there.

Similarly, the city’s memo in response to my own seems to lack basic understanding of the administrative process.  The city attorney gets hung up on a provision in the land use planning enabling act that requires a “reasoned statement” (I.C. § 67-6535 (2)).  True, that is what the planning act references; but the city attorney seems to have no idea of the standards to which such a statement will be held in court.  Moreover, the city attorney chastises my reference to the need for “findings” because that term is not used in the statutory section of the land use planning act requiring the reasoned statement.  Apparently they are unaware of the provisions governing judicial review to which that statement must ultimately be accountable.

Here, I think, is where the incorporation of the IDAPA standards has confused both the city and the school district attorney.  Because neither seem to have even a passing familiarity with the requirements of the substantial evidence standard or the arbitrary and capricious, or “reasonableness” requirement.  Of course, the substantial evidence test is there to ensure basic fact-finding, while the arbitrary and capricious test is there to ensure analytical reasoning comports with statutory requirements and basic requirements of reasonableness.

For the uninitiated, Idaho case law has largely imported the Universal Camera definition of “substantial evidence.”  Here is how the Idaho Supreme Court summarized it:

[i]n deciding whether the agency's findings of fact were reasonable, reviewing courts should not “read only one side of the case and, if they find any evidence there,” sustain the administrative action and ignore the record to the contrary. Universal Camera, supra, 340 U.S. at 481, 71 S.Ct. at 460; quoted in Local 1494, supra, 99 Idaho at 634, 586 P.2d at 1350. Certainly reviewing courts should not “displace the [agency's] choice between two fairly conflicting views, even though the court would justifiably have made a different choice had the matter been before it de novo.” [Citations omitted.] Nevertheless, reviewing courts should evaluate whether ‘'the evidence supporting that decision [under review] is substantial, when viewed in the light that the record in its entirety furnishes, including the body of evidence opposed to the [agency's] view.” Universal Camera, supra, 340 U.S. at 488, 71 S.Ct. at 464; quoted in Local 1494, supra, 99 Idaho at 634, 586 P.2d at 1350; accord, Local One, Amalgamated Lithographers v. National Labor Relations Board, 729 F.2d 172, 175 (2d Cir.1984).

Idaho State Ins. Fund v. Hunnicutt, 110 Idaho 257, 260–61, 715 P.2d 927, 930–31 (1985) [note:  because Idaho imports this IDAPA provision to local land use decision review, much of the case law references agencies but is also relevant to local governments in land use decisions].  What this basically means is that an agency essentially gets deference to its fact-finding but there must be some findings of fact that address the whole record including that which is “contrary” to the decision.  This requires findings.  Maybe the best known statement of this is the “basic facts”—what the project is—into “ultimate facts”—the project as compliant within the terms of the statutory findings--requirement of Saginaw Broadcasting, another federal case adopted by Idaho courts.  That is more than a rambling "reason for the decision."

Of course, this standard is where things get weird for the city.  The “reason for the decision” clearly doesn’t meet this standard,” but on the other hand, the findings in this particular report express equivocal analysis and, in fact, many reasons why the school district should not have been given the permit.  In other words, the “reason for the decision” is not findings as required for substantial evidence, but the findings actually illustrate that there was severe reservation by the planning department.

Another confusion both the city and the school district make is that, now, they want to point to other evidence in the record as support for the commission’s finding.  But the whole point of the findings requirement is that the commission has to clearly state what facts they relied upon in making the decision.  They don’t do that in this case and, bizarrely, the city does not believe it has to do so.

Another confusion is that the bargain for deference in the substantial evidence test is that the zoning board needs to address what is “contrary,” or in the words of Universal Camera, “detracts from” the holding.  This is a very modest requirement—Universal Camera calls for “more than a scintilla”—but it can’t be nothing.  Here, my memo points out numerous provisions of the comprehensive plan that clearly are violated by the project; however, the city and the school district claim that there is no need to address these contrary matters. 

The city and the school district also do not seem to realize that the “reasoned decision” requirement is based upon the reasonableness requirement of case law, both Idaho specific and federal law that has been brought into Idaho law.  This reasonableness requirement is stated in one way here: 

For “effective judicial review of the quasi-judicial actions of zoning boards, there must be ... adequate findings of fact and conclusions of law.” Workman Family P'ship v. City of Twin Falls, 104 Idaho 32, 36, 655 P.2d 926, 930 (1982). Conclusory statements are not sufficient; instead “[w]hat is needed for adequate judicial review is a clear statement of what, specifically, the decisionmaking body believes, after hearing and considering all of the evidence, to be the relevant and important facts upon which its decision is based.” Id. at 37, 655 P.2d at 931 (quoting S. of Sunnyside Neighborhood League v. Bd. of Comm'rs, 280 Or. 3, 21–22, 569 P.2d 1063, 1076–77 (1977)). . . .

Cowan v. Bd. of Comm'rs of Fremont Cty., 143 Idaho 501, 511, 148 P.3d 1247, 1257 (2006).  Another Idaho case states the reasonableness requirement as requiring the action to be supported by a rational basis with regard to the facts and circumstances presented with adequate determining principles.  “Where there is room for two opinions, action is not arbitrary or capricious when exercised honestly and upon due consideration, even though it may be believed that an erroneous conclusion has been reached.”  Enter., Inc. v. Nampa City, 96 Idaho 734, 739, 536 P.2d 729, 734 (1975).  Both the city and the school district do not seem to realize that this is a separate reasoning requirement, which requires the commission to articulate its decision.

The city and the school district also do not believe that they need to address any proposed alternatives provided by the community.  State Farm, anyone?

Perhaps even more remarkably, the city argues that a reliance on comprehensive plan policies is “subjective.”  However, it is a discretionary permit and the key question in a discretionary permit is almost always whether it complies with the comprehensive plan.  This is a fundamentally subjective analysis, but that is the analysis that is called for by the city’s permit.

Where Do We Go From Here?

What this initial foray into appeals in Boise has taught me is that there is either not a strong understanding of the basics of administrative law that undergird land use decisionmaking, or there is such a disconnect between the applicable standards as announced, and as practiced, that the land use law in Idaho is without any meaningful mooring as practiced.

I don’t know where this goes, and how much further I will pursue it, but I have found the experience troubling.  It evinces to me a department, and a planning culture, that fundamentally does not believe in—and does not even care to—understand the procedural rules by which the game is played.  The process, of course, is there to keep decisionmaking honest.  Scalia again:  “’Substantial evidence’ review exists precisely to ensure that [a government] achieves minimal compliance with this obligation, which is the foundation of all honest and legitimate adjudication.”  Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 522 U.S. 359, 378–79, 118 S. Ct. 818, 829, 139 L. Ed. 2d 797 (1998).  My fear, in Boise, is that we are so far beyond honest and legitimate adjudication that even basic application of the rules won’t happen without sustained litigation to force it.  That saddens me, but it makes me wonder how common this is in other places.  These administrative law standards that apply to land use decisions are tricky and complicated.  How realistic is it to expect local governments out on the sagebrush steppe to comply with them?  But if they are too complicated for a remote place like this, what are the processes that keep honesty and legitimacy at the fore, and keep people believing in their local governments?  What keeps people from apathy in the decisionmaking process, and believing that the whole lot of them are against the people, or even worse—bought off and corrupt?  

What is there to build a sustainable future with if the law is not enforced as it is written?

May 31, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 13 - National Preservation Law Conference - Georgetown Law & National Trust for Historic Preservation

From Peter Byrne:

National Preservation Law Conference 

Conference Agenda
Tuesday, June 13. 2017

*Optional 2-hour stand-alone webinar, Preservation in a Nutshell (Peter Byrne; Sara Bronin; Ryan Rowberry)

8:25 a.m.—Welcome

Peter Byrne, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

Paul Edmondson, General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

8:30 a.m.—Leveraging Historic Preservation in Real Estate Development

Tax Credits

  • Economic Benefits of the National Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
  • Recent IRS Guidance

New Tools

  • Form-Based Codes as Historic Preservation Tool
  • Using GIS as a Data Visualization Tool for Preservation Law
  • Adaptive Reuse, Tax Credits, and Special Use Districts: Success Stories from Baltimore

Sara C. Bronin, University of Connecticut School of Law

Merrill Hoopengardner, National Trust Community Investment Corporation

Reina Murray, GIS Project Manager, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Ernst Valery, President, Ernst Valery Investment Corp.

10:00 a.m.—Preservation on the Federal Level

  • National Trends
  • ACHP Engagement Section 106 Litigation
  • Advocacy Update
  • Legislative Update

Will Cook, Associate General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Javier Marques, General Counsel, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Betsy Merritt, Deputy General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Hilary Tompkins, Hogan Lovells

11:00 a.m.—Break

11:15 a.m.—Preserving America’s Cities

  • Historic Districts and Urban Economics
  • Lessons from Foreign Cities
  • Amendments to local preservation ordinance
  • Damages award for illegal demolition of historic buildings

            Moderator:

David Lewis, Goulston & Storrs

Panelists:       

Chris Bowers, Miklos Law PLLC

Caroline Cheong, University of Central Florida

Omar Izfar, Former Houston City Attorney

Mark Silberman, Counsel, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

12: 15 p.m.—Lunch  

  • The Baltimore Food Hub: Using Historic Preservation Tax Incentives to Support the Food Innovation Economy

China Boak Terrell, American Communities Trust

1:15 p.m.—National Monuments and Traditional Cultural Properties

  • Antiquities Act, Bears Ears, Dakota Access Pipeline
  • Using State and Federal Law to Protect Native Hawaiian Burials

Matt Adams, Dentons, LLP

Brian Turner, Public Lands Attorney, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Heidi McIntosh, Managing Attorney, Rocky Mountain Office, Earthjustice

Joel West Williams, Native American Rights Fund

2:15 p.m.—International Cultural Heritage

  • International Criminal Court Prosecutions and Cultural Heritage
  • Strategies in Preventing Illegal Looting

Leila Amineddoleh, Amineddoleh & Associates and Fordham University School of Law

Tess Davis, Antiquities Coalition and the University of Glasgow

Tom Kline, Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC

3:15 p.m.—Break

3:30 p.m.—Managing Climate Change

  • Climate Change Adaptation and Historic Resources
  • How the National Park Service is Planning for Climate Change
  • Threats to World Heritage Sites: Climate Change & the Paris Agreement and Road to the Conference of the Parties 22
  • Confronting Sea Level Rise: Hazard Mitigation Planning & Implementation

Peter Byrne, Faculty Director, Georgetown Climate Center

Lisa Craig, Chief of Historic Preservation, City of Annapolis

Marcia Rockman, NPS Climate Change Planner

Jess Phelps, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel, Natural Resource & Environment Division

Andrew Potts, Nixon Peabody, Former Executive Director, US/ICOMOS

4:45 p.m.—Conclusion

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Historic Preservation

Tom Mayes, National Trust for Historic Preservation

5:15 p.m.—Reception

 

Download NTHP Georgetown Law Conference 2017

About the organizers:

Preservation Leadership Forum

The Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a network of preservation professionals. Forum is the single place where preservation leaders— professionals, students, volunteers, activists, experts—can keep up with what is happening in the preservation world, as well as share and network with one another. Member benefits include exclusive access or deep discounts on high-quality publications, regular communication pieces, conferences and trainings, events for networking or educational purposes, and grant opportunities for organizations. The Preservation Leadership Training (PLT) training series provides cutting-edge information and training for preservation leaders, covering topics such as law, real estate, technology and advocacy. Visit Forum.SavingPlaces.org for more information.

About Georgetown Law

Georgetown University Law Center is one of the world´s premier law schools. It is pre-eminent in several areas, including constitutional, international, tax and clinical law, and the faculty is among the largest in the nation. Drawing on its Jesuit heritage, it has a strong tradition of public service and is dedicated to the principle that law is but a means, justice is the end. Visit www.law.georgetown.edu for more information.

Georgetown Law CLE

Georgetown University Law Center Continuing Legal Education provides high-quality continuing legal education programs and materials to meet the ever-changing educational needs of the legal profession. Our speakers consist of experienced legal professionals who share in our commitment to deliver highly relevant, timely, and practical information. Our programs address the specific interests of practicing attorneys and help to develop their critical competencies, while also meeting the mandatory CLE requirements of state bars associations. Visit www.law.georgetown.edu/continuing-legal-education for more information.

May 31, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)