Thursday, February 27, 2014

Touro Hosts Incubator Conference

Lots of exciting stuff happening at Touro Law nowadays, where leading land use star Patricia Salkin is now the Dean.  One thing I'm particularly excited about is their upcoming conference on law firm incubators.  From the conference website:

In striving to create sustainable post-graduate programs, law school, Legal Aid and bar association administrators, in conjunction with faculty members, alumni relations directors, career service providers and local NGOs, are working together to create meaningful support programs for their graduates or members. The challenges lie in managing limited resources available for the programs and ultimately ensuring sustainability of the programs and the law practices created by the participants.
This conference will explore ways to overcome institutional obstacles to program development and implementation, promote collaboration among interested organizations, define costs involved in creating new programs, and highlight the best practices for successful post-graduate incubators and residency programs. It will use a range of formats: speaker presentations, round-table discussions and visits to programs in New York City metropolitan area.
The conference is April 3-4 in Long Island.  I plan to attend, and I hope to meet some of you there!
Jamie Baker Roskie

February 27, 2014 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Touro Hiring Staff Attorneys to Help Sandy-Affected Households

The job announcement:

The Touro Law Center Clinical Program is hiring two full-time Staff Attorneys. These attorneys will be helping vulnerable Superstorm Sandy-affected households on Long Island, while working to promote a fair and sustainable recovery.

One position is with the Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic and will involve advocacy for households at risk of foreclosure because of Sandy-related losses or displacement. The other is with the Disaster Relief Clinic and will involve federal flood insurance litigation and related advocacy.

We have extended the application deadline beyond what is stated in these announcements. Applications are due by 2:30pm ET on Friday, March 14 by email to Dean Linda Baurle,

Jamie Baker Roskie

February 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

April 11: Food Fight: An Examination of Recent Trends in Food Litigation and Where We Go From Here

Date/Time : 4/11/2014 8:15 AM - 6:00 PM
Location : UCLA Faculty Center
Organizer : Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy
Website :
Cost : $135 for public; $65 for academics, non-profit, & new lawyers who have been practicing for less than 5 years; Admission is free to UCLA School of Law faculty and currently enrolled UCLA School of Law students.
Description :


Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy


Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy
In Conjunction With The Litigation Section of The State Bar of California presents
Food Fight: An Examination of Recent Trends in Food Litigation and Where We Go From Here

Friday, April 11, 2014 | 8:15 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | UCLA Faculty Center

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

This activity qualifies for 6.25 hours of general MCLE credit.

Food-related litigation has surged in recent years, with a significant increase in cases attacking labels on the basis claims about the quality of ingredients, or claims a food is “healthy” or “natural.”  These developments have evoked considerable discussion of the emerging “Food Court” and its implications for consumers, industry, and lawmakers - but much uncertainty remains. This conference will bring together practitioners, academics, and law students to examine emerging issues in food litigation, its broader context, and the role for litigation in policy-making.  

Registration information is below.
Registration will include entrance into conference, light breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception.
Conference will feature the following speakers and topics:
Welcome and Introduction by Dean Rachel Moran, UCLA School of Law
Panel 1: Is “Food Court” Helping Consumers? The Historical Context of Food Labeling Litigation and the Role of Litigation in System Reform 
A discussion of what is driving the recent surge in food related litigation, the social utility of litigation, and how food litigation compares to other types of class actions directed at driving industry changes.


  • David Biderman, Partner, Perkins Coie
  • Steve Gardner, Director of Litigation, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Samuel R. Wiseman, Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law
  • Joanna Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Panel 2: Recent Food Litigation Trends: What’s Healthy, What’s Natural, and Who Says So? 
A discussion of recent case law, emerging legal theories and settlement trends.
  • Michael Reese, Reese Richman LLP
  • Diana Winters, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Dean Panos, Partner, Jenner & Block
  • Kim Kessler, Policy and Special Programs Director, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
Panel 3: Regulatory and Legislative Landscape:  A Look Ahead 
A review of the key regulatory actions and legislative changes that will shape the litigation landscape in 2014 and 2015, to include discussion of the Food Safety Modernization Act, federal rulemaking, and state level activity regarding GMO labeling laws.  What changes may limit or curtail litigation, and what changes are likely to create more legal risks or uncertainty?
  • Dennis Stearns, Professor from Practice, Seattle University School of Law; Founding Partner, Marler Clark Firm
  • Bruce Silverglade, Principal, Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Matz PC
  • Michele Simon, President, Eat Drink Politics
  • Neal Fortin, Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Margot Pollans, Teaching Fellow, Resnick Program, UCLA School of Law
Panel 4: Beyond Labeling: The Role of Litigation in Broader Food System Reform
While “Food Court” activity is primarily focused on consumer protection and labeling actions, litigation is currently being used as a strategy to address various negative implications of the food system, from food safety to the environment.  This panel features examples of these types of cases and explores the possibilities and limitations of litigation to address food system challenges.
  • Robert Bodzin, Chair of The Litigation Section of The State Bar of CA and Partner, Burnham Brown
  • Leslie Brueckner, Senior Attorney, Public Justice, Food Safety and Health Attorney
  • Avinash Kar, Senior Attorney, National Resources Defense Council
  • Sean Hecht, Executive Director, Environmental Law Center, UCLA School of Law
Wrap-up and closing remarks by Michael Roberts, Executive Director, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law.
Lunch Speaker: Paul Miller, President of the Australian Olive Association
 Networking Reception to follow directly after conference.
More details here.
Stephen R. Miller

February 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The "$50 million op-ed": The big story of how a little law clinic helped bring New Markets Tax Credit financing to its state

Last week, Idaho Law was fortunate to have Dave Glaser, president of the Montana Community Development Corporation, come to speak to my Economic Development Clinic in Boise and also to address a group of local developers, city officials, and attorneys.

Glaser's visit was the culmination of almost three years of effort, originating with my Economic Development Clinic, to bring New Markets Tax Credit financing to Idaho.  To my mind, it's a great story about what law school clinics can do aided by a lot of smarts and, I'll admit, a little serendipity.  Here's the story...

About three years ago, I wrote an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman based upon work conducted by my Clinic for a client seeking investment strategies in a low income urban area.  In the op-ed, I noted that most other states around Idaho, and especially Montana, were using New Markets Tax Credits to lower financing costs for projects in low income census tracts.  Download Miller op-ed.

A lot of Idaho qualified for NMTCs, including all of downtown Boise.  I urged Idaho's leaders to hop on the NMTC bandwagon.  I did not receive a welcome response.  In fact, an e-mail chain--later forwarded to me--sent to most of the Idaho Legislature stated that my op-ed was "misleading."  The e-mail continued:

”An NMTC project is incredibly complex and expensive to put together and administer for the life of the financing.  Since we have gone almost 12 years since the program began without a CDE requesting or receiving a direct NMTC allocation for economic development in Idaho, probably indicates that it has not been feasible to do so.”

About the same time as that "no go" e-mail was forwarded to me, Glaser gave me a call out of the blue.  He'd read my op-ed and, yeah, it didn't make sense that Idaho wasn't doing NMTCs either.  Several more calls occurred and a lot of hard work by the Montana CDC ensued.  Today, the Montana CDC has moved into Idaho and is substantially assisting low income communities here with some amazing projects that would not have happened otherwise.

As Glaser recently joked in a radio interview, my little 500-word article turned out to be "a $50 million op-ed."  In the last three years, the Montana CDC has used NMTC financing for two hospital/clinic expansions in Rexburg and Coeur D’Alene totaling nearly $27 million and created hundreds of construction and permanent jobs.  The Montana CDC will also be closing an additional manufacturing project in the spring in East Idaho that will nearly double that amount (around $24 million) and create nearly 300 permanent jobs in a very rural community.  From what I hear, other Idaho NMTC projects are in the works, too!

The experience has been a great vindication of the effects of what a little law school clinic out on the prairie (well, in the sage-brush desert, really) can do.  One little idea has, certainly, gone a long way in this instance.

You can hear the radio interview with Glaser below (reference to the Clinic's participation in minutes 6:00 - 9:00).  Below is also a YouTube presentation Glaser did later in his visit in Boise.  The Montana CDC does tremendous work and, to my mind, deserves to be better known than it is.  They are well worth a look for those seeking rural models for sustainable economic development.



Dave Glaser Interview by Building A Greener Idaho on Mixcloud



Stephen R. Miller



February 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 7: Detroit Law Symposium: Going to Seed: Urban Agriculture in Distressed Cities

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will host its annual Law Review Symposium Friday, March 7, 2014.  The topic for this year's symposium is GOING TO SEED: URBAN AGRICULTURE IN DISTRESSED CITIES.  Scholars from across the country will gather in Detroit, one of the leading cities to pursue development of urban agriculture within the city, to discuss current issues and trends in the industry and its future.  The Symposium will also include a panel of local leaders in Detroit's urban agriculture movement.  Attendance is free, but advance registration is required; please visit to register or for more information.

Download Going to Seed Symposium in Detroit

Stephen R. Miller

February 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mapping first sentences of great American novels

Publisher's Weekly has just published a collection of sentence diagrams--let's call them maps for a land use angle--of first sentences of great American novels.  For fiction lovers out there, it's a fun way to noodle away a few minutes.  Go to this link to see a full screen version and click the "zoom in" text.


Stephen R. Miller

February 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 24, 2014

What if They Don't Build It and/or No One Comes?: Combating Zombie Subdivisions

Jim Holway (Sonoran Institute), along with Don Elliot and Anna Trentadue, has written Combating Zombie Subdivisions: How Three Communities Redressed Excess Development Entitlements, Land Lines Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 4-13.  Not only is the article available through the Land Lines website, but so is the larger report on which it is based.   That is called Arrested Developments:  Combating Zombie Subdivisions and Other Excess Entitlements.  Here's a summary of the magazine piece:

The Teton County Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) stepped in and petitioned the county to create a process to encourage the redesign of distressed subdivisions and facilitate replatting. VARD realized that a plat redesign could reduce intrusion into sensitive natural areas of the county, reduce governmental costs associated with scattered development, and potentially reduce the number of vacant lots by working with landowners and developers to expedite changes to recorded plats.

On November 22, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a replatting ordinance that would allow the inexpensive and quick replatting of subdivisions, PUDs, and recorded development agreements. The ordinance created a solution-oriented process that allows Teton County to work with developers, landowners, lenders, and other stakeholders to untangle complicated projects with multiple ownership interests and oftentimes millions of dollars in infrastructure.

The ordinance first classifies the extent of any changes proposed by a replat into four categories: 1) major increase in scale and impact, 2) minor increase in scale and impact, 3) major decrease in scale and impact, 4) minor decrease in scale and impact. Any increases in impact may require additional public hearings and studies, whereas these requirements and agency review are waived (where possible) for decreases in impact. In addition, the ordinance waives the unnecessary duplication of studies and analyses that may have been required as part of the initial plat application and approval. Teton County also waived its fees for processing replat applications.

The first success story was the replatting of Canyon Creek Ranch Planned Unit Development, finalized in June 2013. More than 23 miles from city services, Canyon Creek Ranch was originally approved in 2009 as a 350-lot ranch-style resort on roughly 2,700 acres including approximately 25 commercial lots, a horse arena, and a lodge. After extensive negotiations between the Canyon Creek development team and the Teton County Planning Commission staff, the developer proposed a replat that dramatically scaled back the footprint and impact of this project to include only 21 lots over the 2,700 acre property. For the developer, this new design reduces the price tag for infrastructure by 97 percent, from $24 million to roughly $800,000, enabling the property to remain in the conservation reserve program and creating a source of revenue on it while reducing the property tax liability. The reduced scale and impact of this new design will help preserve this critical habitat and maintain the rural landscape, which is a public benefit to the general community.


While recovery from the most recent boom and bust cycle is nearly complete in some areas of the country, other communities will be impacted by vacant lots and distressed subdivisions well into the future. Future real estate booms will also inevitably result in new busts, and vulnerable communities can build a solid foundation of policies, laws, and programs now to minimize new problems stemming from the excess entitlement of land. Communities and others involved in real estate development would be well-served by ensuring they have mechanisms in place to adapt and adjust to evolving market conditions. For jurisdictions already struggling with distressed subdivisions, a willingness to reconsider past approvals and projects and to acknowledge problems is an essential ingredient to success. Communities that are able to serve as effective facilitators as well as regulators, as demonstrated in the case studies presented here, will be best prepared to prevent and then respond and treat distressed subdivisions and any problems that may arise from excess development entitlements.

Jim K.


February 24, 2014 in Community Design, Density, Mortgage Crisis, Sprawl, Subdivision Regulations, Suburbs, Zoning | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Walmart Finally Adopts a Strategy for Smaller Stores

I've blogged in the past about Walmart and community opposition.  From Bloomberg Business Week, here's a story indicating maybe Walmart has finally figured out that smaller stores might be better (although, truth be told, this has been in the works for awhile):

For Wal-Mart, becoming more relevant to consumers means becoming more convenient. You could run in and out of a dollar store in about the time it takes to find your car in a Walmart Supercenter parking lot. And smaller stores might—just might—be more palatable to cities that have fought against the big-box stores. Simon said Wal-Mart is planning to open between 270 and 300 smaller stores this fiscal year, a big increase from plans revealed back in October to build just 120 to 150 new small stores.

Jamie Baker Roskie

February 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2012 US Census of Agriculture data released

The US Census just released the numbers from the 2012 US Census of Agriculture.  Here is the Census' highlights document:

Download 2012 US Agriculture Census Highlights

The scoop:  number of farms down, size of farms up, number of new farmers down, average age of farmers up, value of agricultural sales up, but most small farmers need off-farm income to survive.  In other words, it appears industrial agriculture is doing fantastic.  The rest of the farming world is doing kind of "meh."

Stephen R. Miller

February 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Preventing the Ghost Town: What Rural Communities Need To Do To Survive in the Modern Economy

I'm excited to be a speaker at the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy symposium, which is happening tomorrow and will have a number of other great speakers.  The good news is that the event will be taped, so even if you can't stop by Lawrence, Kansas tomorrow, you can still check out all the action in the future.    Learn more here.


Preventing the Ghost Town: What Rural Communities Need to Do to Survive in the Modern Economy



Here is the schedule:

7:30-8:15 Check-in and Breakfast
8:15-8:25 Welcome & Overview of the Symposium Schedule
Dean Mazza, Dean and Professor, University of Kansas School of Law
Ashlee Yager, Editor-in-Chief, University of Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy
Amanda Marshall, Symposium Editor, Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy
8:25-9:15 Global Look at the Sustainability of the Rural Community (PDF)
In order to address the issue of the sustainability of rural communities, the topic needs to be addressed from a global perspective. Dr. Green will speak on how land use, business opportunities and needs, and governmental needs and challenges are inextricably connected for rural communities attempting to develop strategies for economic development.

Dr. Gary Green, University of Wisconsin
9:15-9:30 Break
9:30-10:20 Land Use and Sustainability (PDF)
Rural communities face many tough challenges when attempting to balance land use with sustainable development. As an expert in the field of land use and sustainable development law, Dr. Nolon will address the current legal challenges rural communities face when balancing economic development with environmental sustainability law and discuss potential solutions.

Professor John Nolon, Pace Law
10:20-10:35 Break
10:35-12:15 Panel Discussion: Issues Rural Communities Face When Attempting to Maximize Land Usage
In rural communities, as land owners attempt to maximize land usage to increase profit, unique challenges have arisen. This panel will discuss the challenges in attempting to maximize land usage from the perspectives of wind energy, oil and gas, and agriculture. The panel will take an in-depth look at the legal challenges and issues when wind and mineral rights are severed from each other and the land, as well as the agricultural issues that arise as land owners attempt to maximize land use for multiple functions.

Professor K.K. DuVivier, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (PDF)
Professor David Pierce, Washburn University School of Law (PDF)
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute (PDF)
12:15-1:15 Break for Lunch
1:15-2:05 Legal Institutions for Rural Economic Development (PDF)
Professor Stephen Miller will discuss the application of urban economic and environmentally sustainable development models to the rural community. As an expert in the field, Professor Miller will speak to how land use law, administrative law, state and local government law, and environmental law all impact the application of the urban economic development model to the rural community.

Professor Stephen Miller, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Economic Development Clinic, University of Idaho College of Law-Boise
2:05-2:25 Break
2:25-4:05 Panel Discussion: Governmental Needs and Challenges Faced by the Rural Community
This panel will address how the different governmental needs and challenges in the areas of health care, business development and Education intersect and conflict with each other. The speakers will discuss current programs available to help rural areas as well as address current needs and potential solutions. Panelist will discuss how the legal field can impact these various needs and challenges.

Sara Roberts, Director of Rural Healthcare in Kansas (PDF)
Patty Clark, Kansas Director of USDA Rural Development (PDF)
Donna Whiteman, Kansas Association of School Boards (PDF)
Andrew Kovar, Partner, Triplett, Woolf & Garretson (PDF)

February 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Farm Bill has more money for conservation than commodity subsidies for first time since 1933

The 2014 Farm Bill has passed through Congress and President Obama signed it into law last Friday.  The national news, which has focused on reductions to food stamps, has not heavily covered one component of the bill that will be of interest to land use types:  a dramatic restructuring of conservation programs.  Here is the beginning of a great summary from Outdoor Life, a hunting and fishing magazine and blog:

The bill consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, and trims $6 billion over a 10-year span in conservation-related spending compared to the 2008 bill, and includes a controversial $35 million, five-year expenditure -- $7 million a year -- to vaccinate wildlife, primarily elk and bison to address bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and “other zoonotic disease” in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Despite this, for the first time since the original omnibus farm bill was adopted in 1933, funding devoted to conservation ($56 billion) in the 2014 Farm Bill exceeds expenditures earmarked for commodity subsidies ($44.4 billion).

View the full 2014 Farm Bill, as enacted, here.

Stephen R. Miller


February 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Baby, I'm a heat island for you . . . and other land use-related Valentines

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and the blog has come up with some fabulous valentines for land use lovers everywhere.  My favorite so far:  "Baby, I'm a heat island for you."  More at the link here.



Stephen R. Miller

February 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Land use articles posted on SSRN in January

I've been contemplating ways to get land use scholarship--legal and otherwise--onto the blog in a way that is not duplicative of the SSRN eJournals.  The list of "top 50" downloads for 2013 seemed to go over well, and so I've decided to inaugurate a monthly tradition of simply listing all articles posted to SSRN with the term "land use" in the title, abstract, or keywords.  If you want your article to show up on the list, simply put "land use" in the keywords section.  If I find a more robust way to do this search, I'll switch at that time and make it clear how the search terms change.

For now, here are all of the land use articles posted to SSRN in January listed in order of the number of downloads:

1 Incl. Electronic Paper The Rebirth of the Neighborhood 
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 1595-1609, 2013
J. Peter Byrne 
Georgetown University - Law Center 
Date posted: 
09 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

2 Incl. Electronic Paper Local Government Financing Platforms in China: A Fortune or Misfortune? 
IMF Working Paper No. 13/243
Yinqiu Lu and Tao Sun 
International Monetary Fund and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 
Date posted: 
07 Jan 2014

working papers series

3 Incl. Electronic Paper Zoning and Land Use Planning: Plans are Not Enough 
42 Real Estate L. J. 240 (2013). , Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Michael Lewyn 
Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 
Date posted: 
16 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

4 Incl. Electronic Paper The Mortgage Interest Deduction and Its Impact on Homeownership Decisions 
Review of Economics and Statistics, Forthcoming
Christian A. L. Hilber and Tracy M. Turner 
London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment and Kansas State University - Department of Economics 
Date posted: 
07 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

5 Incl. Electronic Paper Pain Without Gain: Land Assembly & Acquisition for Infrastructure Megaprojects the Indian Experience with the Bangalore International Airport 
Kalpana Gopalan 
Government of India, Indian Administrative Service 
Date posted: 
11 Jan 2014

working papers series

6 Incl. Electronic Paper Missing the Connection: How SRLU Policy Fragments Landscapes and Communities in NSW 
Sherval, Meg and Graham, Nicole 'Missing the Connection: how the strategic regional land use policy fragments landscapes and communities in NSW' (2013) 38 (3) Alternative Law Journal 176-180.
Meg Sherval and Nicole G. Graham 
University of Newcastle (Australia) and University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law 
Date posted: 
21 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

7 Incl. Electronic Paper Careful What You Wish For: Positive Freehold Covenants 
(3) The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 191-207, 2011
Pamela O'Connor 
Monash University - Faculty of Law 
Date posted: 
10 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

8 Incl. Electronic Paper Land Use Regulation and Productivity -- Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain 
Spatial Economics Research Centre Discussion Paper Series No. 138
Paul C. Cheshire Christian A. L. Hilber and Ioannis Kaplanis 
London School of Economics & Political Science , London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment and London School of Economics (LSE) 
Date posted: 
10 Jan 2014

working papers series

9 Incl. Electronic Paper Using Development Financing Tools to Help Cover Costs of Adapting to Climate Change in Tornado Alley and Beyond 
Carl J. Circo 

Date posted: 
30 Jan 2014

working papers series

10 Incl. Electronic Paper Women's Right to and Control over Rural Land in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia 
Hussein Ahmed Tura 
Ambo University, School of Law, Ethiopia 
Date posted: 
25 Jan 2014

Last revised: 
30 Jan 2014

working papers series

11 Incl. Electronic Paper A Small Model of Equilibrium Mechanisms in a City 
Andre de Palma Stef Proost and Saskia Vanderloo 
University of Cergy-Pontoise - Department of Economics , KU Leuven - Department of Economics and KU Leuven - Department of Economics 
Date posted: 
20 Jan 2014

working papers series

12 Incl. Electronic Paper Can Pakistan Have Creative Cities? An Agent Based Modeling Approach with Preliminary Application to Karachi 
Malik, Ammar Anees, Andrew T. Crooks, and Hilton L. Root. 2014. “Can Pakistan Have Creative Cities? An Agent Based Modeling Approach with Preliminary Application to Karachi” 13. Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP) Working Papers. , 
Ammar Anees Malik Andrew T Crooks and Hilton L. Root 
George Mason University - School of Public Policy , George Mason University and George Mason University - School of Public Policy 
Date posted: 
27 Jan 2014

working papers series

13   Guest Editorial Rapid Motorization in Asian Cities: Urban Transport Infrastructure, Spatial Development and Travel Behavior 
Jamilah Mohammad and Ryuichi Kitamura 
University of Malaya and Independent 
Date posted: 
07 Jan 2014

working papers series

14 Incl. Electronic Paper Land Use Regulation and Productivity - Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain 
Spatial Economics Research Centre Discussion Paper No. 138
Paul C. Cheshire Christian A. L. Hilber and Ioannis Kaplanis 
London School of Economics & Political Science , London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment and London School of Economics (LSE) 
Date posted: 
16 Jan 2014

working papers series

15 Incl. Electronic Paper Land Use Regulation: It Just Gets Worse 
U. Balt. J. Land & Dev.1 (2012), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Michael Lewyn 
Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 
Date posted: 
31 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

16 Incl. Electronic Paper The Role of Local Ecological Knowledge in Sustainable Urban Planning: Perspectives from Finland 
Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2005
Vesa Yli-Pelkonen and Johanna Kohl 
University of Helsinki - Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Turku School of Economics 
Date posted: 
26 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

17   Contaminated Land Legislation in China: Status Quo and Challenges 
Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism, Volume II, Issue 2(4), Winter 2011, 268-275
Xiaobo Zhao 
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics 
Date posted: 
18 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

18   Legislating for Sustainability: A Framework for Managing Statutory Rights, Obligations and Restrictions Affecting Private Land 
(2010) 35(2) Monash University Law Review 233-61
Pamela O'Connor Sharon Christensen and Bill Duncan 
Monash University - Faculty of Law , Queensland University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology 
Date posted: 
11 Jan 2014

working papers series

19 Incl. Fee Electronic Paper Methodological Limitations in the Evaluation of Policies to Reduce Nitrate Leaching from New Zealand Agriculture 
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 58, Issue 1, pp. 78-89, 2014
Graeme J. Doole and Dan Marsh 
University of Western Australia - School of Agricultural and Resource Economics and University of Waikato 
Date posted: 
14 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

20   On the Origins of Land Use Regulations: Theory and Evidence from US Metro Areas 
Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 75, No. 1, 2013
Christian A. L. Hilber and Frederic Robert-Nicoud 
London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment and University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics 
Date posted: 
08 Jan 2014

Accepted Paper Series

Stephen R. Miller

January 31, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Next City's 40 Under 40 Vanguard Conference: Applications due February 14

See info below and here...

Vanguard is an annual gathering of the best and brightest young urban leaders working to improve cities across sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation, sustainability, design, art and media.

Each year, Next City selects 40 applicants whose bright ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise to become members of the new Vanguard class. Vanguard members — non-profit directors, city council members,
 artists, private sector leaders 
and others influencing the direction of their cities — along with alumni, host city committee representatives and Next City staff gather for an intensive (and fun) series of presentations, workshops, neighborhood tours and more. The aim is to collectively learn and think about how to tackle challenges faced by the host city as well as cities across the country.

The conference now heads into its fifth year, and the impact is tangible. Spanning an ever-broader geographic reach (the 2013 Vanguard class was more geographically diverse than ever, with members hailing from 28 cities), this growing network of Vanguard alumni is catalyzing new collaborations and partnerships while spreading innovative ideas. Read about Vanguard alumni here, and click here for a recap of the 2013 Vanguard in Cleveland.



2014 marks the fifth annual Next City Vanguard conference and the first time a Southern city has hosted the event. Chattanooga is a city in a state of renewal. Its legacy rail networks have made way for new industry in fiber optics. The conversion of a major bridge into a pedestrian walkway, the expansion of a riverside aquarium, and the construction of a new pier and park are just a few examples of how the city has reclaimed its riverfront and continues to redevelop its downtown. Chattanooga has become a home for tech start-ups, popups and incubators, attracting professionals and giving the city a new face.

Please note that there will be opportunities for the public to engage in the conference through free public events. Details will be announced in March.

Made possible with support from the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Benwood Foundation and the Footprint Foundation, next year’s Vanguard conference will gather 40 ambitious individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated the ability to have an impact on their city or on the national dialogue about urban issues. Selected applicants’ lodging and all conference programming costs will be covered. In addition, breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Urban advocates under 40 are invited to apply between now and February 14, 2014. Selected participants will be notified by March 10 and the 2014 Vanguard class announced by the end of March.

Application Deadline: February 14 at 6:00pm (PST)
Application Fee: $20 
Questions? Email

Scroll down to complete the 2014 Vanguard Application. Please note, upon submitting your completed application, you will be required to enter payment info.


(Details will be sent to participants)

Thursday, April 24
7:00pm Meet & Greet

Friday, April 25
8:30am Registration & Breakfast 
9:15am Rapid-fire introductions with entire group (includes breaks)
12:00pm Lunch
12:20pm Overview of Chattanooga 
1:30 Tours of Chattanooga 
4:30 Break
5:30pm Cocktail Hour
7:00pm Dine-arounds

Saturday, April 26
8:30am Welcome
9:00am Workshops
10:00am Break
10:15am Workshops
11:15am Break
11:30am Recap of Workshop Sessions
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Vanguard-led Unconference Sessions
4:30pm Closing

January 29, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fair Shake Environmental Law Services Resident Job Posting

I am now serving on the board of a new law firm incubator. We are recruiting residents and senior attorneys.  The resident job posting is below.  (If you, or someone you know, is interested in the senior attorney position you may message me on Facebook or LinkedIn for more information.)

Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services is designed to incubate legal services start-ups in the area of environmental law for underserved, modest means clients. The purposes of the organization include the education of attorneys in serving modest means clients, increasing equal access to justice, and community empowerment for the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Fair Shake advances local, community decisionmaking about community health, environmental protection and cleanup, and development by providing access to justice for individuals and groups that are currently underserved.

In our start-up phase, Fair Shake will have offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Kent, OH. We anticipate opportunities for geographic expansion. Fair Shake staff will include the following positions: an Executive Director and 2 Senior Attorneys (1 heading each office), 4 Resident Attorneys (2 per office) in 2-year contract positions, and a single Administrator position to serve both offices.

Residents, selected by a rigorous application process that includes the provision of draft business plans, will be trained to start-up their own firms upon departure from Fair Shake ELS. The incubator is designed to put residents in the context of the practice that they will run themselves, including practical skills growth in client development, identifying potential business investors, billing and pricing, law office management, and budgeting. During the time that residents practice environmental law in the incubator, they will also refine their business plan and secure investors under the guidance of senior-level staff at the incubator. Due to the constant production of resident attorneys from the incubator who will start up environmental practices for underserved clients, the incubator will catalyze businesses that will fill the gap in environmental legal services in the region over time.

Resident Attorney Job Description

Fair Shake ELS is looking for bright, motivated attorneys who want to build small or solo environmental law practices for modest means clients in the Appalachian Basin region. We are hiring attorneys interested in increasing access to justice in environmental matters and public participation in environmental decision-making. Our Resident Attorneys enjoy collaborative case development, but also can work independently.

Resident Attorneys will be part of a legal team in either Pennsylvania or Ohio dedicated to providing environmental legal services to modest means clients. Residents will build a client base geared toward their own environmental practice goals while training in the business of a law practice serving modest means clients. Resident Attorneys will spend time every week on both case development and business planning. Resident Attorneys are expected to work to start-up their own environmental practices within the tri-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia after spending 2 years at Fair Shake ELS. Options will exist for continued support from the Fair Shake staff after the 2-year residency period.

Resident Attorneys will work on a diverse scope of environmental matters, but may focus in areas of desired practice development. Anticipated case matters include permit appeals, civil litigation, citizen suits, permit and rule comments, administrative petitions, land use hearings, gas lease reviews and negotiations, compliance counseling, community educational presentations, and opinion letter development. Residents will fully engage in all aspects of case development.

Resident Attorneys will report directly to the Senior Attorney heading their office.

Desired skills and qualities:• Training and experience in the full spectrum of environmental and administrative legal issues;• Training in client interviewing and counseling, administrative procedure, and trial advocacy;• Experience and training in legal drafting, research, and effective communication;• A strong interest in starting a small environmental legal practice in the tri-stateregion;• Demonstrated effectiveness in both collaboratively- and independently produced work product and performances;• A commitment to: promoting fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people,regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies; providing legal representation to allow equal access to the environmental decision-making process and to foster equal protection under the law for the health, preservation and restoration of natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment; educating young attorneys in legal services entrepreneurship and incubating start-up legal services organizations to serve the environmental legal needs of underserved low- and middle-income clients; and empowering communities and stimulating economies in the Appalachian Basin region by providing environmental legal services and counseling to allow the underserved to make decisions about practical and innovative solutions to complex environmental challenges across the region.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates should possess:• A minimum of 1-3 years of legal practice experience (experience in a clinical program during law school may count as 1 year of experience in legal practice);• Current Ohio or Pennsylvania Bar membership or willingness to become licensed in those states within 6 months from the date of hire. Resident Attorneys must be willing to travel across the State or Commonwealth and to other Fair Shake offices as needed.

Compensation & Benefits

Fair Shake offers a competitive non-profit salary commensurate with skills and experience as well as a comprehensive benefits package that includes 15 days paid vacation, medical, dental, life insurance, disability, and a retirement savings plan.

To Apply

E-mail a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcript, and a writing sample to Emily Collins, Executive Director, at by March 31, 2014. The letter of interest should include the outline of a proposed business plan to serve modest means clients to meet their environmental legal services needs. Please include the proposed geographic scope of your practice, the particular areas of environmental law in which you would like to focus, a basic operational budget, and your practice goals. Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to diversity in our workforce.

January 29, 2014 in Environmental Law, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Takings and Conservation Easements

Like many nerds tech-savvy people, I have an alert set up with WestLaw to send me any new law review article or case that even mentions the phrase "conservation easement." It sends me a lot of fluff, but every now and then I find a gem that seems to have eluded the 5,000 SSRN lists I get. When I saw an article entitled "Environmental Preservation and the Fifth Amendment: The Use and Limits of Conservation Easements by Regulatory Takings and Eminent Domain," I just couldn't resist dropping everything and reading it immediately.

I was surprised that I didn't know the author (Beckett Cantley of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School) because well the conservation easement crew is a small one. Turns out that Cantley is an interesting combination of a tax law prof who also teaches property. As the title suggests, the article focus on standard 5th Amendment  takings analysis. Unsurprisingly, this involves a large focus on exacted conservation easements. As I am sure all none of you know, my 2005 dissertation was entitled Exacted Conservation Easements, and I have a small obsession with the phenomenon.

Cantley has an interesting take on the issue.

First, he asks whether there is a market for conservation easements. He contends that a landowner's ability to voluntarily sell a conservation easement constitutes an "economic use for regulated land that could help avoid a regulatory taking by lessening the economic impact of environmental and land use regulations." I assume the argument goes this way: The government entity enacts a land-use law that restricts development. The landowner argues that this violates the 5th amendment under a Lucas-style total deprivation of value argument. The government entity says no we haven't totally deprived you of value because you could still donate or sell a conservation easement on your land. Of course, it would be pretty tricky to find a willing buyer for such a conservation easement but probably not impossible to find someone willing to accept the donation (depending on the features of that parcel). But what would be the value of the donation? Would it be zero? Well the current regulations do not allow development, but conservation easements can extend regulations (making them more stringent, giving them certainty, extending the restriction in perpetuity). So the value of the conservation easement while low, is probably  not zero. Cantley suggests that such a conservation easement market would be so speculative that it would not be enough to defeat a Lucas-style takings claim.

Second, Cantley analyzes the ability of a government agency to create a conservation easement with eminent domain. This is a tricky issue. As a threshold, it would only work where the government entity had eminent domain power. Some states prohibit creation of CEs via eminent domain explicitly. In other places, it is just politically sensitive (not to mention potentially hard to calculate). The best example of this phenomenon was when the Highway Commission in Wisconsin exercised eminent domain over holdouts for scenic easements along the Great River Road. One of the confusing points for me here has to do with the fact that when a parcel encumbered by CE is condemned, most jurisdictions acknowledge the CE is compensable and they pay the CE holder for their lost property interest when they pay the underlying landowner just compensation for her property interest. Do such payment policies mean that the jurisdictions recognize CEs as something one could take via eminent domain without taking the fee title? Just an interesting way to do parcel by parcel regulation? Spot zoning with compensation? Something several folks have speculated about but few governments seem interested in pursuing just to amuse us academics.

Now, on the exacted CE front, Cantley notes that generally Nollan and Dolan analysis apply but in some places there is a bit of trickiness with what constitutes an "exaction" meriting Nollan/Dolan analysis (i.e., nexus + rough proportionality) versus just a regulatory act with the less demanding Penn Central balancing test. I have written about this weirdness before in New York where the case of Smith v. Town of Mendon held that conservation easements are not actually "exactions" even where they are er... exacted. As I speculated in a recent piece for the Environmental Section of the New York Bar Association, I think the broad definition of exaction in Koontz overrules Smith v. Town of Mendon and makes it pretty hard to argue that you can't exact conservation easements. One bone I have to pick with Cantley is his description of exacted conservation easements as being required donations. I think we really need to remove the donation language from our talk about such CEs. Landowners are sometime surprised that they can't (or well at least they shouldn't) get tax benefits from these exactions because they associate all CEs with tax breaks. It also looks to me like Cantley must have written his article pre-Koontz (unsurprising considering the pace of law review publication). I think that case may change his assessment that failed exactions are not cognizable takings... or maybe it depends on how/when we assess failure.

Interesting stuff! The artcle doesn't appear to be available for free on SSRN or elsewhere, but those of you with access to various legal databases can find it at

Beckett G. Cantley, Environmental Preservation and the Fifth Amendment: The Use and Limits of Conservation Easmeents by Regulatory Taking and Eminent Domain, 20 Hastings W.-N.W. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 215 (2014).


January 28, 2014 in Caselaw, Conservation Easements, Eminent Domain, New York, Scholarship, Servitudes, Supreme Court, Takings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Should farm-to-plate dinners be permitted in exclusive farm zones?

As some of you know, my clinic is working with a rural county on an agritourism ordinance, which has me and my students delving deeply into ag law and food law.  One recent case out of Oregon seems to me a great example of how the new interest in food's origins--and being close to those origins--is colliding with traditional notions of rural ag uses inherent in zoning requirements.  

Take, for instance, the December, 2013 case of Greenfield v. Multnomah County, in which the Oregon Court of Appeals had to decide whether farm-to-plate dinners were permissible in the state's exclusive farm use zones.  The farm sought to offer “[f]ee-based farm-to-plate dinner[s], limited to a maximum number of 150 guests and limited to 45 events per year.”  The question was whether such uses were contemplated in Oregon's state zoning statute for exclusive farm zones, which limits non-agricultural uses but permits "farm stands."  After a fair degree of statutory interpretation I won't belabor, the court concluded that, indeed, the lower Land Use Board of Appeals had erred in finding that "outdoor farm-to-plate dinners are not within the scope of the statute's allowance of 'fee-based activity to promote the sale of farm crops or livestock sold at the farm stand.'"  The decision is here.

Independent of the court's holding, the fact that courts are now being asked to decide what type of use a farm-to-plate dinner is illustrates the rising tide of interest in getting back to the farm, but preferably with a glass of viognier in hand.  Ag lands adjacent to urban areas will, I believe, be facing a rising tide of such disputes in the coming years and should consider revising ag zoning districts to accommodate this growing interest in what's doing down on the farm.

Finally, since I know you're thinking about it, let's just get it out there that this case does recall this episode of Portlandia:


And while you're on YouTube, let's not leave Idaho out of the fun.  This hilarious new video from the Idaho Wine Commission provides one of the best chuckles I've had in awhile.


Stephen R. Miller

January 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CFP: Comparative Urban Law Conference

Here's an interesting sounding one!

Call For Participation : Comparative Urban Law Conference
June 30, 2014, London, England

The Fordham Urban Law Center is pleased to announce a call for participation for the Comparative Urban Law Conference, which will be held on Monday, June 30, 2014 at Loyola Hall, University of London. The Conference will gather legal and other scholars for a provocative, engaging conversation about the field of "urban law" from an international, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspective. The Conference will focus on the nature and boundaries of urban law as a discipline, which participants will explore through overlapping themes such as the structure of local authority and autonomy and the role of law in urban policy areas such as environmental sustainability, consumer protection, public health, housing, and criminal justice, among others. The goal is to facilitate an in-depth exploration across sub-specialties within the legal academy to help develop an understanding of urban law in the twenty-first century.

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Potential participants in panels and workshops throughout the day should submit a one-page proposal to Professor Nestor Davidson at If you are already working on a draft paper, please include that draft with your submission, but participants do not need to have prepared a formal paper to join the conversation. The deadline for topic proposal submissions is Thursday, February 13. We will discuss potential publishing options available as a result of conference participation. Please contact Annie Decker at with any questions.

ABOUT THE URBAN LAW CENTER: The Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School in New York City is committed to understanding and affecting the legal system's place in contemporary urbanism. See: for more information about our activities.

January 27, 2014 in Conferences, Scholarship, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

CFP: Land Trust Alliance Annual Meeting

The Land  Trust Alliance's annual conference (I love that they call it a Rally) will be September 18-20 in Providence. The call for papers went out recently and they usually have a wide variety of seminars and workshops. Proposals are due February 24th. More info about the call and the presentations and the conference itself available here. And let me know if you plan to go. I'll be there!

January 25, 2014 in Conferences, Conservation Easements, Land Trust | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 24, 2014

What to do when the historic district floods.

I just finished reading a new article by Jess Phelps in the latest issue of Environmental Law. In Preserving Perpetuity?: Exploring the Challenges of Perpetual Preservation in an Ever-Changing World, Phelps tackles some issues closely related to questions I research: what do we do about perpetual permanent restrictions in a world of constant change? Phelps takes a narrower tack  than my articles though, looking just at historic preservation easements. If you think that perpetual land conservation sound challenging, try fooling yourself into thinking that buildings are going to last forever. Well, okay we all know that perpetual restrictions have their usefulness even when we know that a perpetual building is not possible. What I like about Phelps' piece is that he cites me he takes a practical approach, providing specific plans for how to respond when natural disasters damage or destroy structures protected by historic preservation easements. It is a helpful read for land trusts or drafters of conservation easements thinking proactively about climate change impacts.



January 24, 2014 in Climate, Conservation Easements, Historic Preservation, Land Trust, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)