Save Our Heritage Organisation v. City of San Diego

CA Court of Appeals, 4th District, Div. 1, No. D070006, April 27, 2017: No attorney fee award against unsuccessful public interest litigant.

This decision is about whether a public interest advocacy organization should be responsible under California law for the attorney fees of a developer after the advocacy group lost its legal fight against the developer’s project. [...]

Patterson v. Christ Church

Massachusetts Appeals Court, No. 13-P-354, April 3, 2014: Recreational use law from liability even when defendant gets economic benefit; no consumer protection liability either.

Linda Patterson brought suit after she was injured from a fall inside a historic church while she toured it. The Pattersons claimed the recreational use statute, M.G.L. c. 21, § 17C (current version [...]

Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield v. City of Springfield (Bishop of Springfield II)

United States Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, No. 11-1117, July 22, 2013: Church’s constitutional and RLUIPA claims against historic district designation not ripe or rejected.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield (RCB) closed the Our Lady of Hope (“Church”), built in 1925. The City of Springfield passed an ordinance (the “Ordinance”) declaring the Church property a historic [...]

California Farmland Conservancy Program Act Signed

California, Sept. 30, 2010: “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed … SB1142, by Sen. Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, which aims to expand the sources of grant money that the state can use to preserve farmland through easements. The bill allows the state to buy farmland-conservation easements that also require some environmental aim, like preservation of wildlife habitat. [...]

Dos Picos Land Limited Partnership v Pima County

Court Of Appeals of Arizona, Division Two, 2 CA-CV 2009-0186, Aug. 31, 2010: Attorney fees may not be awarded to a private landowner who prevails in a regulatory taking case pursuant to A.R.S. § 11-972(B). The court analyzed the statute and concluded that attorney fees may be awarded only in a physical taking matter and reviewed [...]

The Application of B.Y. Development

Supreme Court of South Dakota, # 25407, July 7, 2010: Holds the phrase “any historic property” under a state historic preservation enabling act, SDCL 1-19B-62, does not include historic districts, but that City of Deadwood’s determination whether a project would “encroach upon, damage, or destroy” historic properties may be based on the local ordinances in addition [...]

Massachusetts Historic Rehab Tax Credit Extended to 2017

The FY 2011 Massachusetts state budget amends the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, previously set to expire in 2011, to sunset 12/31/2017. According to the Massachusetts Historical Commission website, “Under the program a certified rehabilitation project on an income-producing property is eligible to receive up to 20% of the cost of certified rehabilitation expenditures in state [...]

Covel v Vienna

Supreme Court of Virginia, No. 091343, June 10, 2010: (1) Town historic district ordinances in Virginia adopted under the state enabling statute prior to 1997 may create historic districts without landmarks, buildings, or structures. (2) Because Virginia Code Ann. § 15.2-1427(C) bars all non-constitutional challenges to the adoption of municipal ordinances existing in 2000, the appellants [...]

Virginia Legislative Update

A web page titled, Conservation Easements Legislative Update 2010, By R. Lee Stephens, Jr. and Robert J. Allen, posted May 24, 2010, by the Virginia law firm Spotts Fain summarizes bills signed into law following the most recent Virginia General Assembly session. Obviously, I can’t comment on [...]

Lakewood Racquet Club Inc. v Jensen

State of Washington Court of Appeals Division II, No. 38906-1-II, May 18, 2010
In an issue of first impression in Washington the court held an original covenantee lacks standing to enforce restrictive covenants against an original covenantor when the covenantee no longer owns property that the covenants benefit. Covenants in a 1962 deed from Orr to [...]

Manchester Water Works v Town Of Auburn

Supreme Court of New Hampshire, No. 2009-335, May 20, 2010
The court held that a self-imposed conservation easement that was terminable by the owner of the servient land did not have to be taken into account in valuing the land for tax purposes. The court interpreted and differentiated the statutes that control municipal taxation of conservation easements [...]

Stonegate Family Holdings v Revolutionary Trails

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department, 2010 NY Slip Op 03821, May 6, 2010

Summary judgment upholding the Boy Scouts’ 2002 grant of a conservation easement to NY State that allows public access via a right-of-way that crosses plaintiff-neighbor’s land. At issue was whether the State’s allowing use of the ROW by the public impermissibly [...]

Oregon Transfer of Development Rights Pilot Program Rules

Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) adopted rules in January 2010 to implement the Oregon Transfer of Development Rights Pilot Program. A description of this initiative is available online from DLCD at http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/tdr_pilot_program.shtml. According to DCLD, “Transfer of development rights (TDR) programs are a voluntary, incentive-based and market-driven approach to preserve land and direct [...]

NJ Right to Farm Act Amended for Renewable Energy Facilities

Jan. 18, 2010
New Jersey amended its Right to Farm Act to allow for renewable energy facilities on preserved farmland. Chapter 213 of the Laws of 2009 encourages solar, wind and biomass facilities. According to an article on the website of Lowenstein Sandler PC, “The new law allows the owner of preserved farmland to construct and operate [...]