Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Is zoning a matter of fact or law?

According to an Illinois appellate case that came out this week, zoning can be a matter of fact, not just law, where a real estate broker mis-represented zoning that could not be verified by the buyer.  Fun case worth a read.  As the court notes:

Because Horwich misrepresented to Edson that the space was suitable for a grocer and Edson could not, through ordinary prudence, have discovered that the space was not zoned for commercial use, Horwich's misrepresentations were statements of fact. 

Westlaw cite:  Edson v. Fogarty, 2019 IL App (1st) 181135, ¶ 39,

June 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 13, 2019

News from the Pace Land Use Law Center



During the first quarter of 2019, the Center reached out to lawyers, citizens, academics, and land use professionals, publishing a book with the ABA, delivering a distinguished lecture at a partner law school, distributing a 300 page manual with a prominent environmental advocacy organization, and hosting a regional conference.  These efforts reflect what we have learned in our field and clinical work on inclusive communities, water conservation and water quality, and affordable and fair housing: all aspects of our comprehensive work on sustainable development. These outreach efforts involved our staff working or travelling in the Interior West, the Northeast, Baltimore, San Francisco, and at home in our Hudson Valley laboratory.
NEW: Vacant and Problem Properties Book
In May, the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law released a new book co-edited by Executive Director Jessica Bacher, Vacant and Problem Properties. The book provides an assessment of the problems of vacant and distressed properties, the many actions that can be taken to bring these deteriorating assets back into use, and how to write defensible and effective local ordinances and regulations.  As part of the book launch, Jessica presented at the ABA Land Use Institute in Baltimore and the American Planning Association National Conference Bettman Symposium in San Francisco.  You can order a copy of the book here.  
Calming Troubled Waters: Local Solutions
Professor John Nolon delivered the 15th Annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at Vermont Law School on April 4th. His lecture, Calming Troubled Waters: Local Solutions focuses on troubles with regulating water quality under the federal system of law and ideas for building a coherent framework involving all levels of government. The lecture can be accessed here.
Integrating Water Efficiency
into Land Use Planning Guidebook

Earlier this year, Western Resource Advocates andthe Center published Integrating Water Efficiency into Land Use Planning Guidebook to help growing communities throughout the Interior West reduce the water footprint of new development. “This comprehensive guidebook will be an invaluable resource to land use lawyers and planners looking for ways to manage water demands as they face a growing population,” said lead author Jennie Nolon Blanchard, Center Senior Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law. 

Hudson Valley Affordable Housing Summit
On May 2nd, in partnership with Goldstein Hall PLLC, Housing Action Council, and NHP Foundation, the Center hosted the Third Annual Hudson Valley Affordable Housing Summit.   Panel topics included Opportunity Zones, faith based housing, and a variety of policy and legal approaches to creating affordable housing.  You can access the Summit video here

Gaining Ground Database

Visit our Gaining Ground Information Database featuring a comprehensive collection of land use resources, including federal, state, and local ordinances; commentaries; research papers; and research aids. 

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May 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law is hiring a Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Graduate Fellow

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law is hiring a Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Graduate Fellow. The Fellow will work part time in Pace's Land Use Law Center while working towards an LLM in Environmental Law.

For more information, visit

Since 1978, Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law has provided an internationally acclaimed environmental legal education. Our dedicated faculty have been pioneers in developing and implementing environmental law and continue to serve as national and world leaders in the field. We are the only top environmental law program that is about forty minutes away by train from New York City and two hours away by air from Washington, DC, providing students with easy access to outstanding practice opportunities.  Fellows receive a full tuition waiver and a modest stipend to cover living expenses. Applications for the Land Use and Sustainable Development Fellowship are due April 30, 2019.


About the Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development (For more information, visit

Established in 1993, the Land Use Law Center is dedicated to fostering the development of sustainable communities and regions through the promotion of innovative land use strategies and dispute resolution techniques. The Center provides research, training, technical assistance, support and strategic planning services to communities.  Working with trained law students, the Center quickly, affordably and effectively develops techniques to remedy nearly all types of land use problems that afflict urban, suburban and rural communities.  The Center enjoys a track record of successful implementation in partnership with local land use leaders, other change agents, and state and federal agencies. 


It accomplishes this through its programs and catalytic demonstration projects, which cover a range of topics, including:

  • Local Environmental Law and Natural Resource Conservation
  • Historic Building and Agricultural Land Preservation
  • Smart Growth
  • Community Economic Development
  • Urban Revitalization
  • Affordable, Fair and Workforce Housing
  • Vacant and Distressed Property Remediation
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Sustainable Site and Neighborhood Development
  • Green Building Programs
  • Local Wind and Solar Energy Regulation
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Community Resiliency
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Collaborative Decision-Making and Facilitation

April 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sustainable Development Code is launching!

As many of you know, Jonathan Rosenbloom (Drake) has been working on updating the Sustainable Development Code, and it is about to re-launch.  Visit  More info below.

Also, Jon is working with other land use professors' classes to have students assist in drafting these chapters.  I've integrated this assignment into my class this semester and it has worked really well.  In fact, we are even going to have the students present their SDC section drafts in a CLE for local practitioners we're calling, "Lessons for Fast-Growth Cities:  What Works and Why."  Should be a lot of fun.  


Our mission is to help local governments build more resilient, environmentally conscious, economically secure, and socially equitable communities.

Our recommendations are structured around 32 subchapters that focus on different sustainable development challenges.

On May 15 we will launch two fully drafted subchapters—climate change and wildlife habitat protection—as well as portions of each of the 30 other subchapters.

With more than 250 free, fully searchable recommendations supported by over 1,000 local ordinances, the SDC is the perfect place to dive in and start tackling some of our communities’ most pressing issues.

Please forward this notice to anyone working
with or for local governments. 



Subscribe to our email newsletter! Subscribers will receive
updates on our latest initiatives and be notified when new
subchapters are published.




We want to hear from local governments that are doing great things. If your community recently passed an action to improve the sustainability of your development code, please let us know!





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April 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Idaho Law seeks a visitor for 2019-20 to teach Civ Pro and related courses

Forgive this intrusion into usual land use-related posts, but here is a post from the associate dean side of my brain:

Idaho Law's Boise campus is seeking a visitor for the 2019-20 academic year to teach two semesters of Civ Pro and one or maybe two other courses in consultation with the visitor.  Would be a great opportunity for folks trying to get into the law teaching biz.  Here is the job link:

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss details (

April 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Call for Authors - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions

Call for Authors - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions

Deadline for Applying: Friday, April 26, 2019

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on the rewritten opinions for an edited collection tentatively titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions. This edited volume is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions in the United States. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Cambridge University Press has approved a series of Feminist Judgments books. In 2017, Cambridge University Press published the tax volume titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. Other volumes in the pipeline include rewritten trusts and estates opinions and rewritten family law opinions.

Property law volume editors Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson seek prospective authors and commentators for multiple rewritten property opinions covering a range of topics. With the help of an advisory board of distinguished property law scholars, the editors have selected a list of cases that have not appeared in other Feminist Judgment volumes; potential authors are welcome to suggest opinions which do not appear on the list.

Proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case opinion (subject to a 10,000-word limit) or (2) comment on a rewritten opinion (subject to a 4,000-word limit). Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, concurrences, or dissents. Authors of rewritten opinions will be bound by the law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision. Commentators should explain the original court decision, how the rewritten feminist opinion differs from the original decision, and the impact the rewritten feminist opinion might have made. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement and welcome proposals that bring into focus intersectional concerns beyond gender, such as race, class, disability, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

To apply, please email (1) a paragraph or two describing your area of expertise and your interest in this project; (2) your top two or three preferences from the list of cases below; and (3) whether you prefer to serve as an author of a rewritten opinion or an author of a commentary to a rewritten opinion. Please submit this information via email to the editors, Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson, at and by Friday, April 26, 2019. The Feminist Judgments Project and the Property book editors are committed to including authors from diverse backgrounds. If you feel an aspect of your personal identity is important to your participation, please feel free to include that in your expression of interest. The editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by Monday, May 13, 2019. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on Monday, September 16, 2019. First drafts of commentaries will be due on Monday, October 28, 2019.

Tentative List of Cases:

  1. Moore v. City of E. Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494 (1977) (exclusionary zoning)
  2. Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576 (2013) (patents)
  3. Sawada v. Endo, 561 P.2d 1291 (Haw. 1977) (tenancy by the entireties)
  4. Gruen v. Gruen, 496 N.E.2d 869 (N.Y. 1986) (inter vivos gifts)
  5. Coggan v. Coggan, 239 So. 2d 17 (Fla. 1970) (ouster of co-tenant)
  6. Phillips Neighborhood Hous. Tr. v. Brown, 564 N.W.2d 573 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997) (lease termination for illegal activity)
  7. Taylor v. Canterbury, 92 P.3d 961 (Colo. 2004) (secret severance of joint tenancy)
  8. White v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992) (publicity rights)
  9. Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823) (Native American property rights)
  10. Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994) (exactions/eminent domain)
  11. Bartley v. Sweetser, 890 S.W.2d 250 (Ark. 1994) (premises liability)
  12. Tate v. Water Works & Sewer Bd. of City of Oxford, 217 So. 3d 906 (Ala. Civ. App. 2016) (adverse possession and condemnation)
  13. Blake v. Stradford, 725 N.Y.S.2d 189 (Dist. Ct. 2001) (ejectment of domestic partner)
  14. Pocono Springs Civic Ass’n, Inc. v. MacKenzie, 667 A.2d 233 (Pa. Super. Ct.1995) (abandonment of real property)

April 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Conference / Student Writing Competition: Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

From Mahsa Javid at Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation:

  1. The Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation will host its 10th Annual Conference: Contemporary Perspectives on Cultural Heritageon Friday, April 5, 2019 at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit:
  2. The Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation's 2019 Law Student Writing Competition is now open. Through this competition we encourage scholarship in cultural heritage law by recognizing law students for superior papers in the field. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, June 30, 2019. For more information, please visit:

April 2, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 1, 2019

Building Regulations and Urban Form - 1200-1900

I'm really excited about this book, which was published last year and just came across my desk.  

Building Regulations and Urban Form, 1200-1900: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


1. Building Regulations and Urban Form: An Introduction

[Terry R. Slater and Sandra M.G. Pinto]

2. Islamic Building Regulations: The Fourteenth-Century Tunis Book and its Counterparts

[Mohd Dani Muhamad ]

3. Regulation of Private Building Activity in Medieval Lisbon

[Sandra M.G. Pinto]

4. Policies and Regulations in the Forming of Late-Medieval Trogir (Croatia)

[Ana Plosnić Škarić]

5. Streets and the Commune: Italy in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance

[David Friedman]

6. Building Regulations and Urban Development in Antwerp and Bruges, 1200-1700

[Heidi Deneweth]

7. Building Regulations and Urban Development in Late Medieval Elburg and Early Modern Amsterdam

[Jaap Evert Abrahamse and Reinout Rutte]

8. Early Modern Building Regulation in England: Midland Towns, 1400–1800

[Terry R. Slater]

9. Beautifying the City and Improving the Streets with Building Permits: Lyons, 1580–1770

[Bernard Gauthiez and Olivier Zeller]

10. Risk, (In)Security, Regulation and Architecture in Nouvelle France

[André Bélanger and Anne Bordeleau]

11. The Politics of Health: Urban Regulation and Planning in the Spanish Colonies During the Eighteenth Century

[Claudia Murray]

12. Regulating the Growth of Dublin, 1750–1850

[Rob Goodbody]

13. The Development of Ottoman Urban Regulations: Istanbul, 1700–1900

[Işıl Çokuğraş and C. İrem Gençer]

14. Construction Regulations in Athens, 1833–1864: Creating a Metropolis

[Dora Monioudi-Gavala]

15. Building Regulations in Livonian Towns and Their Impact on Local Urban Space 1697–1904

[Mart Siilivask]


April 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April Fools for Land Users

This may only be funny to those who attended Berkeley...but I thought it might transcend.


To view this email as a web page, go here.
April 1, 2019

College Announcement

The 2019 Campaign to Beautify Wurster Hall 

In an effort to better connect Wurster Hall to the greater UC Berkeley community, and address the oft-repeated complaint that the building is "so ugly," the College will be painting, color-washing and sandblasting the concrete building's exterior.

"I don't think this building could look any worse," shared a Berkeley Haas student in a recent community meeting. "You might as well give it a try."

The centerpiece of this campaign will be the installation of a "California Gold" perforated metal sign (pictured above), commissioned by Dean Jennifer Wolch in honor of her 10-year tenure as William W. Wurster Dean of the College.

Work is expected to begin in May, depending on weather and contractor availability.  

Read below to see additional proposals or works-in-progress as part of this beautification initiative.

► A Warm Oski Welcome

Who better to welcome students to the College than Cal's beloved mascot, Oski! A mural was recently completed to welcome newly admitted students to the Wurster community. The mural's grand unveiling will take place today in front of the building. All are invited to attend!

Kindly RSVP at

Read More

► CED Unveils Plan for 3-D Printed Coffee Ground Parking Structure

In an attempt to alleviate the congestion and traffic woes of the shared Berkeley Law and Wurster Hall parking lot (pictured below), UC Berkeley has commissioned a team of architects and engineers to 3-D print a multi-story parking structure entirely out of coffee grounds.

The project, led by Professor of Architecture and 3-D printing expert Ronald Rael, will use over 150 tons of coffee grounds and is expected to be LEED Green Building certified. The first 50 tons of recycled coffee were generously donated by Rice & Bones, and CED is currently seeking additional support from local roasters. 

Read More

If you have any questions or feedback about this beautification campaign, please visit our campaign website.


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April 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Why Housing Policy is Climate Policy

From Scott Wiener's NYTimes op-ed:

California has long been seen as a leader on climate change. The state’s history of aggressive action to reduce air pollution, accelerate the use of renewable energy and speed the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy has inspired governments around the world to set more ambitious climate goals.

But there is trouble on the horizon, and California’s climate leadership is at risk.

Across most of the state’s economy, greenhouse gas emissions have been trending steadily down. But ballooning car traffic on city streets and freeways is negating much of that progress. In California, about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation, and they are increasing. In some California counties, two-thirds of emissions are from vehicles.

In November, the California Air Resources Board released an updateon efforts to reduce pollution from transportation. The numbers were alarming. Despite headlines about California’s push for more electric vehicles, pollution from cars is still climbing. “With emissions from the transportation sector continuing to rise, California will not achieve the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to meet mandates for 2030,” the board warned.

The solution? “Significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are planned, funded and built,” the board said.

March 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

CFP: APA Planning & Law Division Student Writing Competition

From Alan Weinstein...

The Planning & Law Division of the American Planning Association announces its 36th Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition. The Competition, which honors the memory of three leading figures in American city planning law (R. Marlin Smith, Richard Babcock, and Norman Williams) is open to law students and planning students writing on a question of significance in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law or environmental law. The winning entry will be awarded a prize of $2,000 and submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer, the law journal of the American Bar Association's Section of State & Local Government Law. The Second Place paper will receive a prize of $400 and one Honorable Mention prize of $100 will also be awarded. The deadline for submission of entries is June 7, 2019 and winners will be announced by August 26, 2019. Please refer to the enclosed official rules for further details. Our past experience has shown that teachers in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law or environmental law are in an ideal position to stimulate student interest in research and writing and to encourage participation in the Competition. Each year, many of the entries appear to have been prepared initially for various courses or seminars. We hope you will add your support to the Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition by encouraging your current and past students to submit entries. 

March 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

March 4: Pace Student Workshop: Calming Troubled Waters: Local Solutions

In preparation for his presentation of the   15th Annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at Vermont Law School, Professor John  Nolon’s student research team members will present their findings at a Workshop at Pace Law School on March 4th.  This is part of a multi-year project  of the Land Use Law Center entitled Calming Troubled Waters: Local Solutions.  The Workshop will commence at 4 pm in the Problem Room on the School’s White Plains campus. If you would like to attend, please respond to  The research team’s work explores  the fragmented nature of water law in the U.S. and strategies for connecting the fragmented powers of federal, state, and local governments to protect water quality.  The team comprises ten Pace JD students and three joint degree students with Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, two of whom are JD candidates at Vermont Law School.  

February 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 25, 2019

CFP: The State of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program: ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law

ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law


Call for Papers


The State of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program:

What’s Working, Problems, Solutions and Visions for the Future


Drafts due May 1, 2019


The Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (the Journal) invites articles and essays on the theme of the state of Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. What’s working? What are important problems/issues and proposed solutions? What are visions for the future? The Journal welcomes essays (typically 2,500–6,200 words) or articles (typically 7,000-10,000 words). 

In addition, the Journal welcomes articles and essays on any of the Journal’s traditional subjects: affordable housing, fair housing and community/economic development. Topics could include important developments in the field; federal, state, local and/or private funding sources; statutes, policies or regulations; and empirical studies.

The Journal is the nation’s only law journal dedicated to affordable housing and community development law.  The Journal educates readers and provides a forum for discussion and resolution of problems in these fields by publishing articles from distinguished law professors, policy advocates and practitioners.

Interested authors are encouraged to send an abstract describing their proposals. Submissions of final articles and essays are due by May 1, 2019. Please email abstracts and final drafts to the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Tim Iglesias, at The Journal also accepts submissions on a rolling basis. Please do not hesitate to contact the Editor with any questions.


February 25, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Real Estate Review seeking short articles for Spring, 2019 edition

As some of you know, I am the editor-in-chief of Real Estate Review, a quarterly Thomson Reuters publication aimed at legal professionals and the real estate industry more generally.  I am seeking several additional 2,000 - 5,000 word articles for our upcoming edition.  I would need the submissions by mid-March.  The articles do not need to be copiously footnoted.  Excerpts of larger articles--where permitted by previous publisher--are also welcome.  While articles tend to focus on legal issues, the broader areas of real estate practice are also encouraged!  Case studies are also welcome.

E-mail me if you have interest at

RER Logo

February 18, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Study Space Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal – Regulating Planning, Housing and the Sharing Economy

Study Space Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal – Regulating Planning, Housing and the Sharing Economy

Applications are now being accepted for Study Space, Living in a Tourist Destination:  Regulating Planning, Housing and the Sharing Economy in Lisbon, Portugal from June 23-28, 2019.  This weeklong workshop is being organized by the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth at Georgia State University College of Law in conjunction with University of Lisbon Institute of Legal-Political Sciences (Instituto de Cièncias Juridico-Politicas) and the Center for Research in Public Law (Centro de Investigacao de Direito Publico).

Through daily lectures from leading experts and guided site visits, topics discussed throughout the week will include:

  • Impact of the sharing economy on cities
  • Regulation of the sharing economy and tourism
  • Land use law and urban planning
  • Housing law, policies and rights
  • Environmental law, historic preservation law

The cost of the program is $975 and includes scheduled group meals, speaker honoraria and site visits.  Hotel, airline tickets and airport ground transportation must be purchased separately. 

Learn more about the program:

Applications are due by April 5, 2019.  Early application is encouraged as space is limited.  No payments are required at the time of application.

Apply now:

For questions, contact Karen Johnston at or 404-413-9175.

Download Study Space Lisbon Brochure


February 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

San Francisco eliminates parking requirements for all uses

From an update by Reuben Junius & Rose, a leading SF land use firm (full disclosure:  where I used to work):

San Francisco Eliminates Parking Requirements Citywide

January 30, 2019 | Chloe Angelis

On December 11, 2018, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance (the “Ordinance”) eliminating required parking minimums citywide for all uses. The vote was 7-4, with Supervisors Cohen, Safai, Stefani, and Yee voting against it. Mayor Breed signed the Ordinance on December 21 and it went into effect on January 21.

Those in favor of the measure called it a forward-thinking policy that brings the Planning Code in line with the City’s Transit-First Policy. Proponents also argued that parking increases the cost to build housing and takes up space that could otherwise be devoted to walk-up residences, retail spaces, or landscaped areas. Those against the change expressed concern that it would hurt seniors and those in parts of the city where public transit options are lacking. To that point, Supervisor Cohen at one point asked that District 10 be carved out from the Ordinance, citing the lack of reliable transit in the area. She later withdrew that request.

In reality, the Planning Department and Commissioners have long been pushing back against proposals that include large amounts of parking, and developers looking to build less than the required amount could already circumvent the minimums by providing increased bike parking instead.

The elimination of the parking requirements was initially recommended by the Planning Commission as part of legislation to amend Better Streets Plan improvement requirements and curb cut restrictions. That legislation aimed to modify the triggers that would require project sponsors to construct streetscape improvements and to expand curb cut restrictions for off-street parking and loading to most zoning districts and certain designated streets, including those on the Citywide Transit Network and any officially adopted bicycle routes or lanes. The substance of that ordinance (BOS File No. 180914) was approved by the mayor on November 20, 2018, and the elimination of parking requirements was pulled out as a separate piece of legislation.

Historically, new residential projects in R districts were generally required to provide one parking space for each dwelling unit. Required parking minimums also applied to most non-residential uses, depending on the specific use type and zoning district.

With the enactment of the new changes, parking will not be required for any use type anywhere in the city.  Accessory parking is still allowed, up to a maximum amount. Previously, a use that triggered a minimum parking requirement could typically include accessory parking up to an amount not exceeding 150% the required number of spaces. Now, there is no minimum number of spaces that must be provided, and most use types may provide up to 1.5 spaces for each one space that was required under the old rules. You can review the maximum parking ratios for each use established by the new ordinance here.

The Ordinance does not amend Section 151.1, which regulates permissible off-street parking in the following districts: NCT, RC, RCD, RTO, Mixed Use, M-1, PDR-1-D, PDR-1-G, and C-3 Districts, and to the Broadway, Excelsior Outer Mission Street, Japantown, North Beach, Polk, and Pacific Avenue Neighborhood Commercial Districts.

As always, parking in excess of the maximum accessory amounts may be permitted only as a separate use, where the zoning controls for the particular district allow.

Notably, the Ordinance includes a grandfathering provision which carves out any project that submitted an environmental or development application prior to the effective date of the Ordinance. Which means that if you already have an application on file, the old rules will continue to apply.

January 31, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Real Property Law Schmooze is on! "Where Do We Go from Here? Fair Housing and Community Development at a Crossroads"

From Lisa Alexander...

[for a version of this post with links, please go here]

Real Property Law Schmooze
"Where Do We Go from Here?
Fair Housing and Community Development at a Crossroads"
Invitation-Only Faculty Workshop
January 31 - February ​2, 201​9
Texas A&M University School of Law
Fort Worth, Texas

The flagship event of the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law at Texas A&M University School of Law, the Real Property Law Schmooze is an invitation-only workshop focused on the intellectual engagement of property law scholars. This annual event affords property law scholars the opportunity to share unpublished works-in-progress or early-stage ideas with other leading property law scholars at Texas A&M University and beyond. For the past two years, the Program has invited between 15-20 external property law scholars from law schools across the country to the Schmooze. The Schmooze has also been highlighted on national property law blogs.

The 2019 “Where Do We Go from Here? Fair Housing and Community Development at a Crossroads" Schmooze invites 20 legal scholars with expertise in either fair housing law, urban and rural property law, and/or community development law to present unpublished works-in-progress or early-stage ideas. In the wake of the 50th ​anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, and as federal support for fair housing, affordable housing, and community development dwindles, the papers will loosely relate to strategies that can help the fair housing and community development fields bridge longstanding conflicts and come together during this critical time. [Participants may ​submit their papers here.]

Vicki L. Been, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU Law School, Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Faculty Director at the NYU Furman Center, and Former Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development for the City of New York, will be the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law’s Distinguished Real Property Law Keynote Speaker on February 1, 2019. Her presentation, "Inclusive Communities: Learning from its False Premises, Fears, and Framing Choices, through the Lens of Gentrification," is open to the entire law school, including all first-year Property Law students, as it is also co-sponsored by the Texas A&M University School of Law’s Faculty Speaker Series. Professor Been will also participate in the Schmooze.

Scheduled Sessions
Fair Housing & Community Development: Where Do We Go from Here?
Nestor Davidson, Professor of Law, Director, Urban Law Center, Fordham University School of Law
Kristen Barnes, Professor of Law, University of Akron School of Law
Scott Cummings, Professor of Law, Director, Legal Ethics and the Profession (LEAP), University of California Los Angeles Law School

A Second Look at Protected Classes
Robert G. Schwemm, University of Kentucky School of Law
Melvin Kelley, Visiting Assistant Professor, Northeastern University School of Law
Robin Paul Malloy, Director Center on Property, Citizenship & Social Entrepreneurism, Syracuse University College of Law

Implementing Fair Housing and Community Development
Stacy Seichnaydre, Associate Professor of Law & Assoc. Dean for Experiential Learning, Tulane University School of Law
Courtney Anderson, Associate Professor of Law, Georgia State University School of Law
Rigel Oliveri, Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

Theorizing Fair Housing, Homelessness, and Justice
Lisa T. Alexander, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law, Co-Director, Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law
Mark Roark, Visiting Professor, Southern University School of Law
Sophia House, Legal Fellow, NYU Furman Center, New York University School of Law
Brandon Weiss, Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law (Visiting Clinical Professor, Yale Law School)

The Practitioner Perspective Panel
Elizabeth K. Julian from the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP), the named Plaintiffs in the Supreme Court Case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project

Property, Affordable Housing, and Equality
Michael Diamond, Professor of Law, Georgetown University School of Law
Carol Brown, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law
John J. Infranca, Suffolk University School of Law

January 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Guidebook Released that Provides Communities with Land Use Strategies for Water Conservation – Complementary Workshop on Water Quality Announced

From John Nolon:

Last week, Western Resource Advocates and Pace University’s Land Use Law Center released a guidebook to help growing communities throughout the Interior West to reduce the water footprint of new development.

The guidebook’s January 16th press release states that “While the Interior West is expected to attract millions of new residents over the coming decades, water resources are becoming increasingly scarce in an already arid region, putting greater stress on rivers, cities, farms, ranches, and recreation. The guidebook provides hundreds of techniques, sample codes and policies, and examples to help communities integrate water efficiency and conservation practices into their planning efforts. “This comprehensive guidebook will be an invaluable resource to land use lawyers and planners looking for ways to manage water demands as they face a growing population,” said lead author Jennie Nolon Blanchard, Land Use Law Center attorney and adjunct professor of law at Pace University. The guidebook can be found here:

The Integrating Water Efficiency into Land Use Planning Guidebook

The partner organizations worked for five years training local governmental officials, developing and testing land use tools and techniques, and receiving input from and recommending actions to regional and state agencies. 

This water efficiency project complements the work the Land Use Law Center is doing on water quality protection, focused on the wetter regions of the nation where flooding, stormwater runoff, and sea level rise threaten drinking water supplies.  On March 4th, the Land Use Law Center will conduct a workshop for local officials, practicing attorneys, professors, and students on the complementary tools and techniques it is developing to protect water quality. The program – Calming Troubled Watters: Local Solutions -- will begin at 4 pm, in the Tudor Room of Preston Hall on the Law School’s campus. 

Questions about either of these two water law programs can be sent to Allison Fausner, the Land Use Scholar at the Pace Land Use Law Center and President of the School’s Environmental Law Society. Ms. Fausner can be reached at:

January 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Ending the single-family district isn't so simple

I recently published an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about efforts to eliminate single-family districts and how restrictive covenants might make that not such an easy proposition.  

The full op-ed is here.

Here is the beginning:

In December, Minneapolis became the first American city to decide to eliminate single-family residential districts by permitting triplexes in all the city’s residential zones.
Minneapolis is not alone in pursuing a change: Other cities — including Seattle and Portland — are contemplating more dense development in their single-family districts. Legislation in California has contemplated state pre-emption of local single-family zoning around train stations.
California also recently required the permitting of accessory dwelling units (i.e., “in-law” units) in most of the state’s single-family districts.
All these efforts are controversial, but perhaps inevitable: In Minneapolis, 60 percent of the city’s area was designated single-family residential. Many U.S. cities are similarly zoned. If cities want to address housing affordability, racial segregation or climate change in any meaningful way, the single-family district has got to give.
Receiving little attention, however, is the fact that changing the zoning does not ensure the end of the single-family district. Since the Industrial Revolution, this country has had two overlapping systems of land control: one public, implemented through zoning; and one private, implemented through the “restrictive covenant.”
Until the Industrial Revolution, courts disfavored restrictive covenants. But rapidly increasing urbanism and industrialism needed a legal tool to control change. American courts responded by making restrictive covenants easier to use.
By the late 1860s, when Frederick Law Olmsted developed the Chicago suburb of Riverside, Ill., he utilized restrictive covenants to do work now typical of zoning, such as mandatory setbacks. By the early 20th century, whole cities — like Beverly Hills — and neighborhoods within cities — like Country Club in Kansas City, Mo. — were regulated solely by private restrictive covenants that, among their most controversial restrictions, forbade sale to African-Americans.
Racially restrictive covenants were made unenforceable by the Supreme Court’s 1948 decision in Shelley vs. Kraemer. But by then, the public system of zoning, which took off after it was held constitutional in the Supreme Court’s 1926 decision in Euclid vs. Ambler, provided a public alternative to the covenant.
A city could zone out multifamily housing and when mixed with federal mortgage policy that prevented minorities from getting mortgages for single-family homes, create de facto segregation.
Now that Minneapolis and other cities are changing the public regulations, private regulation may well return in force.
Some 20 percent of Americans already live in a community governed by restrictive covenants, such as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), where the most common requirement is retention of the single-family residential use. If Minneapolis does not address the private restrictive covenant, it may simply see neighborhoods record restrictive covenants to maintain the single-family nature of the neighborhood by private agreement when no longer mandated by public regulation.

See the rest of the op-ed here.


January 3, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

This Friday! Free ABA webinar on comprehensive planning (details included)

From Sarah Adams-Schoen (Arkansas-Little Rock):

As chair of the ABA State & Local Gov't Law section's Land Use Committee, I host semi-monthly webinars on land use law topics. This month's will be presented by Portland, Oregon attorney Jennifer Bragar on comprehensive planning law. Among other things, Jennifer will discuss recent judicial opinions from states that ascribe quasi-constitutional status to comprehensive plans, and the closer scrutiny the courts apply in these cases to assure consistency or conformity of local actions--including adoption or amendment of land use regulations--with the applicable comprehensive plan. Given that what constitutes the comprehensive plan can include a locality's previous land use decisions and its zoning ordinance, consistency determinations must often take aim at a moving target.

These webinars are open to anyone and free (they're not accredited for CLE, but you can self-accredit if needed). 

Here are the details: 

Comprehensive Planning Law Update--

The Plan as an Impermanent Constitution

Friday, December 14, 2-3 pm ET

To join the online meeting, click:

(You can also join the meetings from a mobile device by downloading the Zoom app and then clicking, or from your phone by calling either +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll) or +1 929 436 2866 (US Toll) and entering the Meeting ID: 801-354-9496. International numbers are available at 

Upcoming topics include: 

"Community Prosecution," on Jan. 11, 2019, by Chhunny Chhean, Esq.

"Distressed Properties," on Mar. 8, 2019, by Jessica Bacher, Executive Director, Pace Land Use Law Center

"Land Use Ethics," on May 10, 2019, by Patricia Salkin, Provost, Graduate & Professional Divisions, Touro College

"Fracking & Health," on June 14, 2019, by Erica Powers, Esq.

December 12, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)