Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Basic Human Right" to Farm Your Lawn?

A bill has been introduced into the Michigan legislature to allow urban dwellers to keep a "reasonable" number of livestock on their property. This article refers to the bill as guaranteeing the "basic human right" to farm your lawn. Really?

As many of you are probably aware, many cities across the country are confronting the dilemma of what to about allowing "urban agriculture" (an oxymoron in my mind- perhaps "urban gardening" is more appropriate) in light of state right to farm laws. Each of the 50 states have right to farm laws, prompted by the decision by the Supreme Court of Arizona in Spur v. Del Webb, 108 Ariz. 178, 494 P.2d 700 (1972). These laws were enacted to address housing developments leapfrogging, or even slowly growing, out into rural areas and basically makes "coming to the nuisance" a true defense, in certain circumstances.

There are many health and planning reasons to bar livestock in urban areas. However, there are also many very passionate fans of keeping livestock in urban areas. I come down on the side of banning livestock in urban areas, but allowing vegetable gardens. I hope I don't receive any threats. Should I mention raw milk to evoke more emotional responses?

Right to Farm laws, already heavily criticized and having been found to be a taking of private property for private use by at least two courts (Iowa and Washington) need to be amended to exclude urban agriculture from the protections of the act. The acts were passed to address a totally different context.

Jesse Richardson

January 22, 2015 in Agriculture, Food, Urbanism, Zoning | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP: Fordham Law: Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy

This is going to be a great event on a major emerging area of land use law, and local government law, inquiry.  If it weren't for a personal schedule conflict, I would be there!  You should go!

Conference Announcement and Call for Participation

Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy

Friday, April 24, 2015, Fordham Law School, New York, NY

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 6, 2015

The Fordham Urban Law Center is pleased to announce plans for its annual conference, "Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy," which will be held on Friday, April 24, 2015 at Fordham Law School in New York City.

CONFERENCE DESCRIPTION: Trends in the sharing economy have spurred complex legal and regulatory issues that have moved to the center of urban policy debates, from Berlin to Seoul to New York City. As web-based, peer-to-peer companies challenge traditional regulatory paradigms, state and local governments are trying to respond creatively to rapidly changing digital and economic landscapes. This interdisciplinary conference will explore the relationship between the sharing (or "peer-to-peer") economy and economic and community development, consumption, ownership, mobility, and a shifting urban workforce. It will investigate diverse approaches to legal and regulatory issues facing city governments, entrepreneurs, workers, consumers, and residents in today's dynamic technological and built environments. The goal of the event, and anticipated edited volume following the conference, is to advance new possibilities for problem solving in this transforming area of urban law, technology and entrepreneurship.

TOPICS: Submissions that explore one or more of the following themes/areas are strongly encouraged:
- Regulatory and urban policy trends (as well as industry responses) in the transportation/ridesharing, homesharing and/or coworking sectors
- Ownership, property, urban space, real estate, fair housing
- Privacy, liability, fair business practices, consumer protection
- Labor, employment, workplace conditions (including immigrant labor and contracting)
- Global or comparative perspectives on the role of urban law or policy in the sharing economy

PROPOSAL CRITERIA AND SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Prospective participants should submit a topic proposal (maximum length: 350 words) to (Subject: Conference Abstract/Paper Submission from [NAME]). The deadline for proposals is Friday, February 6, 2015. Selected participants will be notified of final decisions in early March.

We are accepting scholarly submissions from the legal field and related disciplines. Participants do not need to have prepared a formal paper to join the conversation. However, if you are interested in submitting a piece for a forthcoming edited volume, please include a draft paper with your proposal submission or, at the latest, by the conference date. Where proposals are co-authored, for purposes of conference presentations, we encourage the selection of a single presenter; we will consider requests for joint presentations by selected co-authors on a case-by-case basis.

HOW TO REGISTER: Please visit or email for registration details. Space is limited. The final conference agenda is forthcoming and will be available on the Urban Law Center website and conference webpage. The Center can assist panel participants with travel costs; the extent of support will depend on a participant's anticipated needs.

ABOUT THE URBAN LAW CENTER: The Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School in New York City is committed to understanding and affecting the role of law and legal systems in contemporary urbanism. The Center is a partner of the Fordham Urban Law Journal, Fordham Law School's second-oldest publication, and co-sponsors the State & Local Government eJournal on SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network.

For more information about the Fordham Urban Law Center, please contact Nisha Mistry, Director, Fordham Urban Law Center, at (212) 636-7241.


January 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fennell and Peñalver on Exactions Creep

For those of you who have not already figured out exactly how land use planning officials are expected to proceed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, Lee Fennell (Chicago) and Eduardo Peñalver (Cornell) have posted Exactions Creep, __ Sup. Ct. Rev. ___ (forthcoming).   Rather than deny that the Court has aggravated the uncertainty faced by local governments, Lee and Eduardo explore the nature of the confusion in the Court's exactions jurisprudence and call for a significant revision.  Here's the abstract:

How can the Constitution protect landowners from government exploitation without disabling the machinery that protects landowners from each other? The Supreme Court left this central question unanswered — and indeed unasked — in Koontz v St. Johns River Water Management District. The Court’s exactions jurisprudence, set forth in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, Dolan v. City of Tigard, and now Koontz, requires the government to satisfy demanding criteria for certain bargains — or proposed bargains — implicating the use of land. Yet because virtually every restriction, fee, or tax associated with the ownership or use of land can be cast as a bargain, the Court must find some way to hive off the domain of exactions from garden variety land use regulations. This it refused to do in Koontz, opting instead to reject boundary principles that it found normatively unstable. By beating back one form of exactions creep — the possibility that local governments will circumvent a too-narrowly drawn circle of heightened scrutiny — the Court left land use regulation vulnerable to the creeping expansion of heightened scrutiny under the auspices of its exactions jurisprudence. In this paper, we lay out this dilemma and suggest that it should lead the Court to rethink its exactions jurisprudence, and especially its grounding in the Takings Clause, rather than the Due Process Clause. The sort of skepticism about bargaining reflected in the Court’s exactions cases, we suggest, finds its most plausible roots in rule-of-law concerns implicated by land use dealmaking. With those concerns in mind, we consider alternatives that would attempt to reconcile the Court’s twin interests in reining in governmental power over property owners and in keeping the gears of ordinary land use regulation running in ways that protect the property interests of those owners.

Jim K.

January 22, 2015 in Affordable Housing, Conservation Easements, Constitutional Law, Development, Impact Fees, Local Government, Planning, Property, Property Rights, Property Theory, Scholarship, Subdivision Regulations, Takings, Zoning | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 11-13: Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's annual conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair & Resilient Communities

Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair & Resilient Communities

Denver, CO 

March 11 – 13, 2015

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s annual land use conference presents a forum for land use academics, professionals, planners, lawyers and real estate developers to share their knowledge, network, and learn about cutting-edge issues.

Western Places/Western Spaces looks at how we can meet the many challenges of the future while better addressing issues of social and environmental justice. We will also explore the innovative tools, business models, and technologies that are helping planners, developers, and communities move forward in a smarter way.

Early Bird rates expire on February 13. Register now to take advantage of lower rates, and be sure to use the promo code WEST to receive a $25 discount.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact us at or 303-871-6319.

January 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

In my recent article, Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing, 117 W.Va. L. Rev. 593 (Winter 2014), I review recent case law in New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado and West Virginia that delves into the extent of local authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. I also list zoning and planning regulations and tools that may properly be implemented by local governments, and tools that should be reserved to state governments.

I conclude that the New York and Pennsylvania courts miss the mark. New York courts fail to distinguish between reasonable regulation of hydraulic fracturing and outright bans of the practice. Some questionable precedents in that state, one of which even a lower court labeled as "flawed", but felt obligated to follow, have skewed the results. New York also fails to acknowledge that bans are likely preempted, particularly where state statutes seek to prevent waste and protect correlative rights. Bans contravene both of those goals.

Pennsylvania oddly perverts the notion of Dillon's Rule to strike down a state regulation limiting local government action. My colleague, Joshua Fershee, perceptively breaks down the Robinson decision in "Facts, Fiction and Perception in Hydraulic Fracturing: Illuminating Act 13 and Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 116 W.Va. L. Rev. 819 (Spring 2014). My analysis focuses on the Dillon's Rule issue, which the dissenting opinion correctly explains. Professor Fershee delves more deeply into that case, for those that are interested.

I conclude that, while local governments should not be able to ban hydraulic fracturing, many tools exist for local governments to employ. These tools include setbacks, common in zoning ordinances, impact fees and “adequate public facilities ordinances.” Zoning ordinances cover issues like noise, light and other visual impacts, road damage, blasting, dust, traffic, compatibility of the activity to nearby property uses, impact of the activity on property values in the area, adequate off-site infrastructure, adequate services (such as police and fire protection), affordable housing, the general health, the safety of the community, odors, potential groundwater contamination, methane emissions, habitat fragmentation, and degradation of environmentally sensitive areas. Local governments should not overreach their authority and infringe upon legitimate state interests, however.

I am presently working on a follow-up to that article, examining the environmental justice ramifications of the present state of affairs. Specifically, wealthy communities, like Santa Fe County, New Mexico can hire costly consultants to draft ordinances that purport to allow hydraulic fracturing, but present so many hurdles that the practice is essentially banned. On the other hand, poor communities, like Mora County, New Mexico, must rely on activist organizations that draft "Rights-Based Ordinances" that ban hydraulic fracturing, and are highly unlikely to withstand legal challenge. Although these organizations draft the ordinances free of charge, and sometimes will even represent the community in the court challenge, the communties are not protected from possible sanctions for frivolous court pleadings. In the end, wealthy communities can exclude LULUs like hydraulic fracturing, while poor communities will bear the burden. Although this circumstance is not new, the contrasts seem to be especially dramatic with respect to hydraulic fracturing.

Jesse Richardson

January 21, 2015 in Environmental Justice, NIMBY, Oil & Gas, Zoning | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jan 29: Standing Ground: Embracing the Power of Local Environmental Law (free event)


When: January 29, 2015
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Environmental Law Institute
2000 L Street, NW, Suite 620

Washington, DC (and via telecon)


This event is free and open to the public but you must register.

  • Please REGISTER HERE by January 27 (5 PM ET). Contact with questions.
  • There will be a short networking reception following the event from 6:00-6:30 PM.
  • Teleconference information will be emailed one business day prior to the event (your normal long-distance rates may apply to your call).
  • All times noted are Eastern Time. There is no CLE for this course. Questions?:

NOTE: All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the above Register Here link, you will be asked to log in.

  • ELI members have accounts. If you don't remember your password, please click on the "Request new password" tab.
  • Non-members who have previously not set up an ELI account may click on the "Create new account" tab, complete the process, and then return to this page to register. While creating this account does not confer membership, it will allow you to register for this and future events.

An ELI Public Seminar

The role of local government in protecting the environment and fostering sustainable development is often unclear and misperceived. In his new book, Protecting the Environment Through Land Use Law: Standing Ground, Professor John R. Nolon highlights the critical role of local environmental law in balancing land development interests with natural resource conservation.

Standing Ground proposes creative solutions for overcoming jurisdictional barriers in environmental protection and sheds new light on what a productive partnership between local, state, and federal government looks like and how much more can be achieved when local legal authority is harnessed.

ELI invites you to join us for a discussion with Prof. Nolon and a panel of experts on the power of local environmental law. Drawing on the key principles laid out in Standing Ground, our panelists will discuss how local laws interact with hydraulic fracturing, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), stormwater management, resiliency, and urban revitalization.

The discussion also celebrates the release of the book, co-published by ELI Press and the American Planning Association. Reception attendees may purchase the book on site with a 20% discount. ELI members receive a 15% discount on all ELI and West Academicpublications (contact for your discount code). For more information about or to order a copy of Standing Ground, please go HERE.

John R. Nolon, Distinguished Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law (moderator)
Julia Anastasio, Executive Director & General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Agencies (ACWA)
Eva Krause, Principal Planner, Washoe County Community Development and Planning Commissioner, The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (invited)
Brenden McEneaney, Director, Resiliency, Urban Land Institute

January 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What exciting land use law events do you have going on this semester?

Let everyone know what you're up to:  send us info on your upcoming land use law events this spring semester (summer is okay, too), and we'll post it.  

You can send it to me at millers (at) uidaho (dot) edu, or feel free to reach out to any of the other blog editors, as well.

Here's to a fulfilling and stimulating spring semester!

January 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP: Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship


This 3rd Annual Sabin Colloquium will allow junior environmental law scholars to present early-stage work and receive constructive feedback from a panel of senior scholars and from each other.  

Eligible applicants are pre-tenure professors, fellows, visiting assistant professors, and other junior scholars in similar academic positions.  Papers on environmental law, energy law, natural resources law or water law are eligible. No junior scholar may participate in the Colloquium more than twice. 

The panel will select the proposals for discussion based on the degree of innovation they exhibit, the extent to which they point toward practical solutions to environmental problems, and whether, based on the scholarly and analytical quality of the proposals, they are likely to lead to high-quality work products.  

To enter, please submit a cover letter, an outline or concept paper of 5 -15 double-spaced pages, and a C.V. to by March 1.  If an article has already been drafted, please just submit a summary of no more than 15 pages.  Footnotes are not expected.  Articles that have already been accepted for publication are not eligible. This event is for early-stage work that can still be significantly shaped by the discussion at the Colloquium. 

Authors of selected papers will be notified by March 30.  All Colloquium participants will be expected to participate in the full program (the afternoon and evening of May 21, and all day on May 22) and to read and comment on each others’ proposals.  Thanks to the generosity of Andrew Sabin, the travel costs of all participants will be reimbursed.

The senior scholars who will be judging this year's competition and participating in the workshop will be: 

Jason Czarnezki -- Pace Law School

Michael Gerrard -- Columbia Law School

Lisa Heinzerling -- Georgetown Law School J.B. Ruhl -- Vanderbilt Law School James Salzman -- Duke Law School

January 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 19, 2015

NYU Furman Center's "The Dream Revisited" project tackles causes and consequences of racial and economic segregation in schools and neighborhoods

See more at the link here.

About the project:

This fall, NYU’s Furman Center launched the Integration Research Initiative (IRI), a new project focused on racial and economic inequality and integration. Its goal is to develop a body of research addressing issues of inequality in neighborhoods and schools. Through this initiative, and in partnership with the NYU School of Law’s Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice, the Furman Center is hosting an interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars from around the world to focus their scholarship and intellectual energies on economic inequality and integration.

January 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Assistant Professor of Water Policy - Tenure Track - U Montana Dept. of Society and Conservation

The Department of Society and Conservation in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana seeks applications for a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Water Policy to begin Fall semester of 2015.  We are interested in PhD or JD candidates with expertise in Western American water policy and the ability to integrate and apply this expertise to a range of contemporary real-world challenges in environmental management and governance.

The position will teach classes, advise students, and contribute academic leadership within the College’s Resource Conservation Program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate academic program that integrates faculty across all three Departments within the College. The successful candidate will help meet an increasing demand for policy-related coursework in the College and University and will have opportunities to work with a growing number of faculty across campus with expertise in environmental and natural resources policy, law and planning. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to collaborate with a growing interdisciplinary faculty cohort focused on water resources and aquatic ecology in the College and University. The University of Montana is highly committed to building a culturally diverse environment. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

For more information, and to apply, go to



January 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"I have been to the mountaintop"

Listen for a few minutes while you do something else today...


January 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

SCOTUS weighs in on the Telecommunications Act of 1996

Law of the Land has a nice summary of T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell here.  I wrote about my experience of being a planning commissioner trying to deal with the TCA here.  

As I wrote in another forum, I don't find the Court's requirement that a planning commission's decision be in writing to be onerous; in my experience, most jurisdictions give written decisions of denial.  It is a best practice and should be done for all denials, in my opinion.

The trick to this case will be timing.  Many P&Z boards do not meet every week; in many cases, the P&Z board approves the written denial at the meeting after the denial, but that second meeting could be three weeks, or even a month, later.  As a result, it seems to me that P&Z boards will need to schedule the initial hearing on cell towers in anticipation of a denial, and thus ensuring that P&Z approval of the denial at a subsequent meeting would fit within the TCA deadlines.  City attorneys out there, is that right?

Stephen R. Miller

January 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Do Conservation Easements Always Yield a Public Benefit?

I just stumbled across an interesting case from New Jersey. A church wanted to sell off some lots but need a variance to do so from the local planning department. In part of its proposal, the Church suggested placing a conservation easement over the steep slopes on the property to "protect them." The Church suggested that this slope protection was providing a public benefit and should help justify a variance. As one planning board member noted, it is hard to see the public benefit here particularly because local laws already prevented building on steep slopes. (The local development ordinance instructs on calculating developable areas taking into account features like steep slopes.) This case is interesting because it demonstrates the odd (often overly broad) view of conservation easements that many people have a trend toward folks using (or as here, trying to use) conservation easements to duplicate restrictions already embodied in other laws. Although the court did not sude with the Church, there could arguably still be some public benefit to using conservation easement here because as a perpetual restriction it will remain in place even as local ordinances change or variances are granted. That does not mean, however, that they should necessarily qualify as a public benefit in meeting standards for determining when to grant a variance. Perhaps some of you see  this differently?

RECTOR, WARDENS & VESTRYMEN OF ST. BERNARD’S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH  v. BERNARDS TOWNSHIP PLANNING BOARD, (Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division,  April 30, 2014 --  2014 WL 7596809)

January 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Schleicher and Rauch on local regulation of the sharing economy

David Schleicher (George Mason) and Daniel E. Rauch (Yale) have just posted Like Uber, But for Local Governmental Policy: The Future of Local Regulation of the “Sharing Economy.”  Here is the abstract:

In the past five years, “sharing economy” firms like Uber, ZipCar, AirBnB and TaskRabbit have generated both huge market valuations and fierce regulatory contests in America’s cities. Incumbent firms in the taxi, hotel and other industries, as well consumer protection, labor and neighborhood activists, have pushed for regulations stifling or banning new sharing economy entrants. Sharing firms have fought back, using their popularity with consumers and novel political strategies, lobbying for freedom to operate as broadly as possible without government interference. But to date, both participants and observers of these “sharing wars” have relied on an unstated assumption: if the sharing firms win these fights, their future will be largely free from government regulation. Local governments will either shut sharing down, or they will leave it alone.

But this assumption is almost surely wrong. If sharing firms prevail in the current fights over the right to operate (and indications suggest they will), it is unlikely that cities and states ignore them. Instead, as sharing economy firms move from being upstarts to important and permanent players in key urban industries like transportation, hospitality and dining, local and state governments are likely to adopt the type of mixed regulatory strategies they apply to types of firms with whom sharing firms share important traits, from property developers to incumbent taxi operators. Using tools of agglomeration economics and public choice, this Article sketches the future of such policy regimes.

Specifically, local and state governments will adopt some combination of the following policies in addition to insisting on consumer/incumbent protections: (1) subsidizing sharing firms to encourage expansion of services that produce public goods, generate substantial consumer surplus and/or minimize the need for excessive regulation of the property market; (2) harnessing sharing firms as a tool for redistribution; and/or (3) contracting with sharing firms to provide traditional government services. The future of sharing economy regulation will be very different from its present, and the changes will pose profound legal, political and ethical questions for our cities.

Looks like a great piece on an area in need of much work.  I know several other profs working on sharing economy articles, so hopefully there will be a bevy of new ideas emerging in the coming months.  

Stephen R. Miller


January 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The only thing raising more ire than finding a parking space in a big city may be someone trying to sell you a parking space in a big city

LAT has the story:

Bay Area TV station KRON explains how the app works: "If you launch the free MonkeyParking app on your phone and click request a spot, monkey faces pop up. Those are street parking spots near you that other MonkeyParking app users currently have their car parked in but they are willing to sell. You can offer them $5, $10, $15 or $20 for that spot. If they accept, the two of you switch out your cars in the parking spot."

Not since Los Angeles and other cities announced that they would install sensors in on-street parking spaces that would reset the meter to zero when a car pulls out -- depriving the next motorist of the occasional extra few minutes left, and transferring the "extra" cash into city coffers -- has a parking story made my blood boil more. 

A screenshot of the MonkeyChimp app at the heart of the controversy:



Hat tip to Lee Dillion.

Stephen R. Miller



January 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jan 24 - Los Angeles / Simi Valley - Federalist Society event on regulating the sharing economy

On January 24, 2015, I will be speaking at a conference on regulating the sharing economy organized by the Federalist Society at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library just north of Los Angeles.  I'm looking forward to what I think will be a good discussion.  Come and join us (CLEs will be available).

Start : Saturday, January 24, 2015 10:00 AM
End : Saturday, January 24, 2015 05:00 PM
Add To Your Calendar


Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive
(In the Presidential Learning Center)
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Government Regulation in the Sharing Economy
2:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

In the innovation economy, entrants often confront increased regulatory hurdles, particularly on a state level, as they enter the marketplace and disrupt previously tightly regulated industries, such as hospitality and transportation. In California, for example, legislators have proposed rigorous insurance requirements, drug testing, and new background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers that traditional taxicab drivers do not face. Airbnb faces scrutiny in New York, with critics accusing it of violating rent control laws by creating an underground rental market, threatening public safety and driving up rental prices. In New Jersey, Tesla sales have been shut down after licensing restrictions prevented direct-to-consumer sales of electric vehicles, bypassing franchised dealers. While the entrants contend that these restrictions only serve to restrain competition and protect special entrenched interests, the critics maintain that consumer protection and maintaining a level playing field are the true goals in their regulatory policies. What’s the proper balance between innovation and regulation? Will these new entrants incentivize innovation or will existing regulatory capture only succeed in maintaining the status quo? Are state regulations the greatest impediment to innovation, or do federal regulations also impede progress?


  • Evan Baehr, Co-founder, Outbox and Co-founder, Able Lending
  • Katie Biber Chen, Senior Counsel, Airbnb 
  • Andrea Ambrose Lobato, Policy Counsel, Lyft
  • Prof. Stephen Miller, University of Idaho School of Law 
  • Prof. Jordan Barry, University of San Diego Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Closing Reception
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Registration details:

Cost for Pre-registration:

  • Non-Students: $50 ($60 on-site) 
  • Students: Free ($10 on-site)

3.5 Credits of California CLE are available.

January 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability attorney and advocate positions in Fresno

From the press release:

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, a Project of the Tides Center

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (LCJA) is a new organization created to fundamentally shift the dynamics that have created stark inequalities in California’s low income, rural regions. Based in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin and East Coachella Valley’s we work alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place.

Our experience in rural regions of California has taught us that as long as the most vulnerable populations remain silent and silenced environmental degradation will continue, infrastructure will crumble, and the most basic of services and amenities will remain beyond the reach for those in need. And, state policies will continue to further disadvantage low income, rural communities through funding formulas and eligibility criteria that favor wealthier regions.

More details in the job descriptions here:

Download Leadership Counsel Attorney Position

Download LeadershipCounsel Policy Advocate Position

Sounds like some interesting CED and EJ work for a recent law grad.

Stephen R. Miller

January 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe

I recently posted a draft of a symposium essay, A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe, which is to be published by Boston University Law's American Journal of Law and Medicine.  The essay is based, in part, on work condcuted by my clinic on agritourism earlier this year.  Here is the abstract:

Much has been written about the rise of the local food movement in urban and suburban areas. This essay tackles an emerging outgrowth of that movement: the growing desire of urban and suburban dwellers to engage rural areas where food is produced not only to obtain food but also as a means of tourism and cultural activity. This represents a potentially much-needed means of economic development for rural areas and small farmers who are increasingly dependent on non-farm income for survival. The problem, however, is that food safety and land use laws struggle to keep up with these changes and, as a result, often waffle between over-regulation and de-regulation. This essay posits a legal path forward to steer clear of regulatory extremes and to help the local food movement grow and prosper at the urban fringe.
I welcome any comments on the draft.

Stephen R. Miller 



January 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Attorney Liability for Poor Conservation Easement Advice?

In a relatively well-known case from Colorado, Alan DeAtley faced criminal charges for his claiming grossly overvalued deductions for conservation easements on his land. Unsurprisingly, DeAtley brought suit against the various professionals who worked on the conservation easements including appraisers and tax professionals. His complaint asserts that these professionals misrepresented the conservation easement values and their conduct was not just negligent but rose to the level of fraudulent. (Note, this case had been transfered from federal district court in Colorado to the Western District of Washington)

DeAtley's complaint has now been dismissed. I was interested in this case because without having a lot of details it sounded like DeAtley had gotten some bad legal and accounting advice. DeAtley, however, started out by filing a shoddy complaint (lacking details regarding the necessary elements of the causes of action) and then failed to respond to the motions to dismiss. The motion was granted without prejudice (but not specifically with leave to amend), so we might see the case reopened. DeAtley was represented by counsel here. Makes you wonder... is he bad at choosing counsel? is he just a poor client who does not listen to or pay counsel? will we see another case for negligence against this attorney? Of course, none of those things are really helpful to the rest of us. We will have to look to other cases to assess what types of repercussions land use attorneys might face for poor conservation easement advice.

This order and the complaint are available on Westlaw (2015 WL 134271) and likely someone more saavy with Pacer than I am can find the information there.

January 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feb 2 - Deadline to apply to Study Space VIII in Warsaw, Poland

Last chance to apply to Study Space VIII, Phoenix Cities:  Urban Recover and Resilience in the Wake of Conflict, Crisis and Disaster, from June 15-19, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland.  Deadline to apply is February 2nd, but only a few spaces remain!

Apply online at:

The Center for the Comparative Study for Metropolitan Growth at the Georgia State University College of Law is again offering a unique opportunity for travel and learning in June 2015.  The eighth iteration of Study Space—a weeklong intensive workshop in which scholars, government and private sector professionals develop solutions to legal, social and policy challenges in urban areas—will take place in Warsaw, Poland at the University of Warsaw’s Foundation Center of Disputes and Conflicts Resolution at the Faculty of Law.

Study Space Poland will feature the incredible reconstruction of Warsaw, Poland in the post-war era. The program will provide historical and political context to the reconstruction of the city, and use the past as a guide to understanding today’s planning goals from a socio-economic perspective. 

Study Space Poland will feature a number of lectures and site visits. For example, participants will visit the Old Town and learn about how paintings by Canaletto aided in the reconstruction of the city to its near original form.  Tours outside the Old City will demonstrate to participants how areas were redesigned during reconstruction to accommodate the growing city’s needs.  Whereas lectures about housing issues and squatters and reprivitization will demonstrate the challenges of reconstruction.  The cost of the program is $900 plus airfare, hotel, and miscellaneous expenses. 

Participants are sure to leave the experience with a new perspective on creating resilient cities informed by the past and present while looking towards the future.

This program is open to professionals and scholars around the world.  Space is limited so early application is encouraged.

Please feel free to share this announcement with your colleagues or others who may be interested.

Want more info?  Contact Karen Johnston at or 404-413-9175.

Visit our website for more information:  

Apply online at:

Download Study Space Warsaw Brochure

January 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Monthly Archive