Friday, October 16, 2009

New Briefs in Stop the Beach

A host of new amicus briefs in the Stop the Beach case are now available online.  Of particular note is the U.S. Solicitor General's brief in support of respondents.  It is, unsurprisingly, very strong.  One thing that emerges from this and other opposition briefs is that this case may not be a good vehicle for considering the judicial takings issue.  So one very real possibility is that Stop the Beach will turn into another Agins or San Diego Gas & Electric.  In those cases, cert was granted to resolve a specific issue (the availability of the inverse condemnation remedy), but various problems with the record led the court to leave that issue to another day. 

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 16, 2009 in Takings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LaCroix on Urban Agriculture and the City

Catherine J. LaCroix (Case Western) has posted Urban Agriculture and Other Green Uses: Remaking the Shrinking City on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

For many decades, the primary challenge of land use law has been how to promote and channel growth and development. Nobody wants stagnation; the cure is growth, and lately the cure has been “smart growth.” In the last several years, however, some cities have begun openly to address a previously unacknowledged truth: some cities will and do shrink. They lose population and have no foreseeable prospect of ever regaining it. The land use planning community has begun to grapple with the issue of the shrinking city, asking how we can achieve managed, “smart” shrinkage To some extent, the answer is to shift density and promote green uses of various kinds This brings us to the legal question Does an organized effort to help a city shrink pose any distinctive legal issues? What constraints might the law impose on a city’s goals of diminishing its infrastructure responsibilities, downzoning its land to less intensive uses, or taking other steps consistent with a goal of managed shrinkage This paper explores a few of those issues, using Cleveland, Ohio as an example. It considers legal challenges the shrinking city might face, particularly when downzoning urban property to promote urban agriculture and other green uses, focusing on the application of takings law It also briefly considers the fairness issues associated with downzoning and the limitations of the current legal structure for revitalizing Brownfields in a setting where traditional redevelopment is unlikely.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 16, 2009 in Land Use, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ostrom Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Elinor Ostrom, whose work has been very influential in property scholarship, will share this year's Nobel Prize in Economics.  If you are not familiar with her work on common pool resources, you should be.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 12, 2009 in Property Theory | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Restrictions Against Clotheslines: The Next Great Battlefield for Property Rights?

It appears possible, according to the New York Times.

From the story:

Jeanne Bridgforth, a real estate agent in Richmond, Va., said that while she had no personal opinion on clotheslines, most of her clients were not thrilled with the idea of seeing their neighbors’ underwear blowing in the breeze.

She recalled how she was unable to sell a beautifully restored Victorian home in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond because it looked out onto a neighbor’s laundry hanging from a second-story back porch. In June, the house went into foreclosure.

“Where does it end?” Ms. Bridgforth said of the legislative push to prevent housing associations from forbidding clotheslines.

To take some covenants from Chapel Hill for purposes of illustration .... Southern Village's covenants (paragraph 20) require that clotheslines by concealed, but do not prohibit clotheslines entirely.

Alfred L. Brophy

October 11, 2009 in Land Use | Permalink | TrackBack (0)