Friday, July 22, 2011

From Apartments to Vacation Rentals

Property owners in San Francisco are converting large numbers of rental apartments into short-term quarters for tourists.  Some are blaming the city's rent control laws for this "hotelization:"

Ms. Kelley predicted that more units would be turned into vacation rentals as landlords sought to avoid rent-control laws available to long-term tenants.

“The city has made its bed with restrictive rent-control laws,” she said, “but with a vacation rental you can avoid that.”

Steve Clowney

July 22, 2011 in Home and Housing, Landlord-Tenant | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday's Architecture Moment

State Capitols without external domes:

1. Alaska

2. DelawareND-StateCapitol

3. Hawaii

4. Louisiana

5. New Mexico

6. New York

7. North Dakota

8. Ohio

9. Oregon

10. Tennessee

11. Virginia

Steve Clowney

July 22, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

McLaughlin on the Creation and Acquisition of Conservation Easements

Nancy.mclaughlin Nancy McLaughlin (Utah) has posted Internal Revenue Code Section 170(h): National Perpetuity Standards for Federally Subsidized Conservation Easements – Part 2: Comparison to State Law (Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Journal) on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

This article is the second of two companion articles. The first article analyzed the requirements in Internal Revenue Code section 170(h) that a deductible conservation easement be “granted in perpetuity” and its conservation purpose be “protected in perpetuity.” That Article concluded that section 170(h) and the Treasury Regulations should be interpreted as establishing uniform national perpetuity standards for tax-deductible conservation easement donations.

This second article surveys the over one hundred statutes extant in the fifty states and the District of Columbia that authorize the creation or acquisition of conservation easements. This article concludes that, to be eligible for the federal subsidy under section 170(h), conservation easement donors should be required to satisfy both federal tax law and any state enabling statute requirements relating to the transfer, release, modification, or termination of conservation easements. This article also recommends that the IRS issue guidance regarding satisfaction of the federal perpetuity requirements to promote more efficient and equitable review, interpretation, and enforcement of federally subsidized conservation easements.

Steve Clowney

July 22, 2011 in Recent Scholarship, Servitudes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Environmental Law Junior Scholar Listserv

There is a new listserv available for pre-tenured faculty in environmental law, natural resources, and land use. This listserv will not duplicate the benefits of other valuable listservs available as it is intended to serve as a safe forum for open and candid dialogue junior scholars.

Beyond a traditional listserv, we will use this list to facilitate paper exchanges among our ranks. Those who choose to participate in the paper exchanges will gain the benefit of two colleagues reading and commenting on their work. Signing onto the listserv does not commit you to the paper exchange program. [If senior scholars are interested in volunteering to comment on a paper or two over the course of the year, please let us know by e-mailing jol at buffalo dot edu.]

To join the listserv, please send the following information to jol at buffalo dot edu
(1) Name
(2) Current Institution
(3) Years Teaching


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

July 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What $300,000 Buys You Around the World

If you're looking for a nice place to retire after a long career in the legal trenches, here's a slideshow that demonstrates what kind of house you can get for $300,0000 around the globe.

Steve Clowney

July 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sprankling on the Interaction Between the Fifth and Third Amendments

Thomas Sprakling (Columbia - student) has posted Does Five Equal Three? Reading the Takings Clause In Light of the Third Amendment's Protection of Houses (Columbia Law Review) on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London broke new ground by holding that the seizure of owner-occupied homes as part of a plan to foster economic development was a taking for “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Kelo’s many critics have yet to advance a constitutionally-grounded rationale for why homes should receive special protection from condemnation. This Note argues that the Third Amendment’s solicitude for the home provides a constitutional basis for distinguishing between homes and the other forms of “private property” covered by the Takings Clause. The Amendment, which provides that “[n]o soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law,” shares both historical and textual links with the Clause. These connections suggest the judiciary should apply a form of heightened scrutiny similar to the “meaningful” review standard proposed by Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in Kelo when determining whether the government’s seizure of an owner-occupied home is for “public use.”

Steve Clowney

July 21, 2011 in Home and Housing, Recent Scholarship, Takings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Burger on Ocean Management

Burger_Michael Michael Burger (Rhode Island) has posted Consistency Conflicts and Federalism Choice: Marine Spatial Planning Beyond the States' Territorial Seas (Enviro Law Reporter) on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Offshore areas are under pressure to industrialize for renewable energy. To plan for offshore wind development, Rhode Island engaged in a marine spatial planning process that resulted in the Ocean Special Area Management Plan, a regulatory invention of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Notably, the RI O-SAMP maps and plans for uses in federal waters beyond the three-mile line dividing state and federal jurisdiction, as well as within the state’s territorial sea, posing a challenge to the boundaries of offshore federalism. Conceiving of the question of how to balance federal, state, and local interests in siting offshore renewable energy facilities as one of “federalism choice,” there are sound theoretical and pragmatic rationales that weigh in favor of encouraging other states to adopt the O-SAMP model.

Steve Clowney

July 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ALPS Call for Papers

ALPS 3rd Annual Meeting
March  2-3, 2012, to be held at
Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Co-sponsored by Syracuse University College of Law
and Georgetown Law Center


Registration Opens September 1, 2011
and Closes January 20, 2012

Early Bird Registration fee is $145 for registration prior to November 15.  After November 15 registration is $175.

Registration will be available on our web pages by September 1, 2011


CALL FOR PAPERS  (Paper/Abstract submissions can be done with registration).

ALPS, third Annual Meeting (supported by Syracuse University, College of Law and Georgetown University Law Center) to be held at Georgetown Law School, March 2-3, 2012.   Our first two meetings included 150 participants each; of which approximately 1/3 were from outside of North America.  The discussions on all areas of property were exciting and benefited from the diverse mix of viewpoints presented.  We are looking forward to an equally good meeting this coming March.

This year registration will include an option to register to attend without presenting a paper.  For those wishing to present a paper any topic on property law and policy is of interest and may be on any of a number of topic areas including:

Real, Personal, and Intangible Property

Cultural Property

Intellectual Property

Real Estate Transactions and Finance

Land Use and Zoning

Urban Planning and Development

Environmental Law

Climate Change



Green Development

Mortgages and Foreclosure

Land Titles

Indigenous Populations and Sovereignty

Human Rights and Property

Entrepreneurship and Property

Takings and Eminent Domain

Property Theory

Property History

The Economics of Property


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

July 20, 2011 in ALPS, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Map of the Day

From the wizards at MIT, here's a map of national communities based on text-message interaction between people:


There's also an outstanding interactive feature where you can enter your place of residence and see  county to county social interactions based on total call minutes or text message volume.

Steve Clowney

July 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Craig on Ocean Governance

Robincraig Robin Craig (Florida State) has posted Ocean Governance for the 21st Century: Making Marine Zoning Climate Change Adaptable on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

The variety of anthropogenic stressors to the marine environment - including, increasingly, climate change - and their complex and synergistic impacts on ocean ecosystems testifies to the failure of existing governance regimes to protect these ecosystems and the services that they provide. Marine spatial planning has been widely hailed as a means of improving ocean governance through holistic ecosystem-based planning. However, that concept arose without reference to climate change, and hence it does not automatically account for the dynamic alterations in marine ecosystems that climate change is bringing.

This Article attempts to adapt marine spatial planning to climate change adaptation. In so doing, it explores three main topics. First, it examines how established marine protected areas can aid climate change adaptation. Second, the Article looks at how nations have incorporated climate change considerations into marine spatial planning to increase marine ecosystem resilience, focusing on the international leader in marine spatial planning: Australia. Finally, the Article explores how marine spatial planning could become flexible enough to adapt to the changes that climate change will bring to the world’s oceans, focusing on anticipatory zoning. Governments, of course, can establish marine zoning governance regimes in anticipation of climate change impacts, as has already occurred in the Arctic. However, drawing on work by Josh Eagle, Barton H. Thompson, and James Sanchirico, this Article argues that governments could also combine anticipatory zoning and closely regulated marine use rights bidding regimes to encourage potential future private users to make informed bets about the future productivity value of different parts of the ocean, potentially improving both our knowledge regarding climate change impacts on particular marine environments and ocean governance regimes for climate-sensitive areas.

Steve Clowney

July 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The 25 Cheapest Places to Live in America

Courtesy of Bloomberg News, here's a list of places where your dollars will go the farthest.

Steve Clowney

July 19, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Midsummer Doldrums

I find it painfully awkward to explain to people what it is that I do during the summer and why it's so difficult.  Most folks, my family included, seem to envision languid days by the pool and nights ensnared in video games.  And my standard, "I'm working on a paper," just seems to evoke memories of working on a college term paper over a long weekend.  It doesn't capture the solitude of the writing, the daily & hourly disappointments with one's own work, or the tediousness of some research.

This weekend, I finally found someone who understands.  The weird first stanza to the Avett Brothers' song Talk on Indolence is the best description I've come across of the highs and lows of the writing process:

Well I've been lockin' myself up in my house for sometime now
Readin' and writin' and readin' and thinkin'
and searching for reasons and missing the seasons.
The Autumn, the Spring, the Summer, the snow.
The record will stop and the record will go.
Latches latched the windows down,
the dog coming in and the dog going out.
Up with caffeine and down with a shot.
Constantly worried about what I've got.
Distracting my work but I can't make a stop
and my confidence on and my confidence off.
And I sink to the bottom and rise to the top
and I think to myself that I do this a lot.


Steve Clowney

July 19, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Owley and Rissman on Graduate Seminars as a Tool for Studying Land Conservation

Jessica Owley (Buffalo) and Adena Rissman (Wisconsin) have posted Distributed Graduate Seminars: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying Land Conservation (Pace Enviro Law Review) on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Adapting to the many changes associated with climate change is an increasingly important issue and nowhere more so than in efforts to conserve private land. Interdisciplinary distributed graduate seminars conducted in Spring 2011 at six universities investigated whether current land conservation laws and institutions appear up to the task of protecting land in the context of change and avenues for improving the adaptive capacity of such institutions.

Distributed graduate seminars are courses coordinated among multiple universities. They begin with a core of interested faculty who organize graduate students at their universities to collect or analyze dispersed data. This article gives a brief introduction to distributed graduate seminars and then details the experience and insights gained conducting such a seminar for land conservation and climate change. The distributed graduate seminar offers advantages by allowing for the synthesis of diverse data, the integration of multiple disciplinary perspectives, and the person-power enabled by student research. For students, the distributed seminar provides opportunities to engage with a broader academic community, benefit from new perspectives, and contribute in a meaningful way to a large endeavor.

Steve Clowney

July 19, 2011 in Land Use, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stories About Malls

In honor of Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, one of my favorite cases to teach in first year property, here are a few excellent magazine stories about malls.

Steve Clowney

July 18, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Great Moments in Property Signage: Eighth Circuit Edition

Eminent d A few weeks back we had a post about this sign that overlooks Interstate 44 in St. Louis.  To recap, the city of St. Louis used eminent domain to condemn 24 buildings owned by Jim Roos' non-profit organization.  To protest the condemnations, Roos painted this huge "End Eminent Domain Abuse" mural on the side of one of his buildings. 

Unsurprisingly, the government of St. Louis wasn't happy.  The city's Building and Inspection Division cited Roos for violating the city's sign code, arguing that permits were required for “signs” of this size displayed on a building. However, according the the code, if the mural had been a symbol of a nation, state, city, or fraternal, religious and civic organization, or a "work of art" then it would have been allowed--those things aren't considered "signs."  Fed up, Roos' sued the city for violating his First Amendment rights.

Last week, in Neighborhood Enterprises, Inc. v. City of St. Louis the Eighth Circuit (Smith, Gruender, & Benton) agreed with Roos. They found that the restrictions imposed by the zoning code were "impermissibly content based and failed strict scrutiny." According to the court, a city can't allow some messages, like messages conveyed in works of art, but prohibit others.

Let's end with a link to Tesla's Signs.  Click it. I know you want to. 

Steve Clowney

July 18, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lavine on Zoning Out Payday Loan Stores

AmyLavineweb Amy Lavine (Albany) has posted Zoning Out Payday Loan Stores and Other Alternative Financial Services Providers on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Payday lenders and similar alternative financial services providers are primarily regulated at the state level, but local governments have increasingly begun to impose restrictions of their own on these fringe financial services providers. While some ordinances have focused on lending restrictions and other consumer protections, most municipal payday lender regulations are found in zoning and other land use laws.

Zoning has long been used to restrict the siting of undesirable land uses – ranging from junkyards and landfills to tattoo shops and adult businesses – making it an ideal method for local governments to regulate payday lenders. Experience with other unwanted land uses has led to the development of various zoning techniques appropriate for controlling these businesses, such as separation and dispersal requirements, nonconforming use limitations, special permit procedures, and partial or total exclusions.

This article provides an overview of these and other approaches that local governments have taken to regulate alternative financial services providers. After providing some background regarding the general functions and characteristics of these businesses in the first section, the second section discusses state-level financial regulations and preemption issues. The third section covers the different types of municipal controls that have been imposed on payday lenders and similar businesses, drawing on actual ordinances as well as on case law discussing their use and validity. Finally, the fourth section mentions several alternative, incentive-based non-zoning approaches that have been used to improve financial literacy and extend traditional banking services to a broader population. An appendix listing and briefly describing more than 60 payday lender ordinances is also included.

Steve Clowney

July 18, 2011 in Land Use, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

11th Australasian Property Law Teachers Conference – 'Teaching and Researching Property Law in the Twenty First Century'

The 11th Australasian Property Law Teachers Conference will be held at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore on 12-13 July 2012.  The theme of the conference is “Teaching and Researching Property Law in the Twenty First Century”.  The theme is intended to encompass new approaches and challenges in the teaching and researching of property law.  Research topics may include those dealing specifically with the way Property Law is developing to meet the challenges of the twenty first century including issues relating to: the management of resources; the environment and climate change; new technologies and human rights.  However, as in previous conferences, the theme of the conference is intended to be interpreted broadly and abstracts of papers on any Property Law topic are welcome.  As this conference is taking place in Asia, Asian scholars working in the field of property law are encouraged to submit proposals. Abstracts of papers will be selected on the basis of quality and originality of ideas.
Presenters whose offers of papers are accepted will be expected to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and to pay their registration fees.  Unfortunately, the conference organizers do not have any funding to help meet travel and accommodation costs or grant a waiver of the registration fees.
If you would like to offer a paper, please submit a working title and an abstract (of no more than 350 words) by email to Tang Hang Wu at<>  before 1 February 2012.

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

July 17, 2011 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)