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In North America and Europe, a particular class of economically well-off homebuyers seeks permanent or part time residence in areas where they can gain access to high-quality natural and cultural resources. This class of homebuyers is the “amenity migrant,” who wishes to purchase either a primary residence or a second, vacation home, in an area that enjoys natural amenities that would not be available in that buyer’s previous place of residence. Economically affluent amenity migrants wish to establish residence in these special places due to a combination of tangible features (e.g., scenic landscapes, clean air and water, wildlife diversity, geographic formations and recreation opportunities) and intangible attributes (e.g., relative remoteness, community ambiance, housing proximity to shops and restaurants, cultural richness, exclusiveness, quality of life). Not coincidentally, such locations also often are popular tourist destinations. The purpose of this article is to generate an increased awareness of growing amenity migration issues related to housing and environmental quality—in America and elsewhere—and to suggest practical legal and policy solutions to address a rapidly escalating domestic and international challenge. As the economies of North America and Europe improve, there will likely be more and more amenity migrants re-locating or buying vacation homes in popular destination resorts. The local governments of these resorts should be ready to respond to the inevitable effects that these migration patterns have on housing prices, natural landscapes, and environmental sustainability.
What does “public education” mean? The term now encompasses individual children sitting at the kitchen tables in their family homes, working at a computer, miles away from their classmates and teachers. These children are enrolled in cyber charter schools. Cyber schools challenge traditional notions of what public education is and what it should be. Some of the strongest proponents of cyber schools share critic Michael Apple’s view that they represent the ascent of a market model in education, but the proponents embrace this effect. The goal of this article is to consider the role of public money in the funding of cyber schools. The author reviews the history of the Pennsylvania charter law and the development of the cyber charters in Part II of this article. Part III examines the public records on the finances and governance of the schools. Part IV presents the author’s proposals for changes in the funding formulas and for devotion of greater resources to monitor and provide oversight of the schools’ spending choices. The framework recognizes that these schools are state-wide entities and proposes that the costs and funding should be borne on a state level and not vary based on the happenstance of which local district the cyber student resides in.
Exactions are an everyday reality in land development. Exactions can take the form of land rights such as an easement, the payment of money, or the promise to do something The Supreme Court addressed exactions as they relate to land interests (specifically easements) in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard. It recently extended these holdings in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District. Koontz resolved an issue that remained undecided following the Nollan and Dollan decisions, namely whether unconstitutional conditions are limited to exactions involving the dedication of land or whether they extend to monetary or exactions involving other property. The unanimous Supreme Court agreed that when a government denies a permit, the government’s demand for property from a land-use permit applicant must satisfy the requirements of Nollan and Dolan. A divided Supreme Court by a 5-4 decision determined that when the demand is for money, it also must satisfy Nollan and Dolan.
In order to satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent pronouncements in the highly contested five to four decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, local, state, and federal governments must devise non-flexible legal, environmental, infrastructure and planning solutions or they are in dire jeopardy of failing the “unconstitutional conditions” rule as expanded by Koontz as it applies to discretionary environmental review acts, planned unit developments, mixed use development, new urbanism form-based zoning, overlay and floating zones or conditional use permits, and government-required conditional ad hoc mitigation, and regardless of how these government actions are accomplished (whether by approving applications with conditions, or denying applications based on the failure to agree to a conditional exaction). Koontz essentially prohibits ad hoc, non-legislative conditioning of applications for development approval that do not meet the “nexus” and “rough proportionality” tests of Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard regardless of (1) whether by monetary exaction or dedication of land; (2) whether the application is approved with such conditions or denied for failure to agree to such conditions; or (3) for infrastructure or mitigation of environmental harm.
With global temperatures across the skies and throughout the oceans climbing, sea levels rising, and severe storm events intensifying and recurring more frequently, state and local governments are faced with the daunting task of adapting to the changing realities brought by climate change. No communities felt this truth more acutely over the past year than those in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that were pummeled by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and that have slowly been picking up the pieces in 2013. The state and local governments of coastal communities devastated by recent severe storm events are asking critical land use questions related to adapting to, preparing for, and mitigating impacts of climate change, including: where and how should our coastal communities be built or rebuilt? How should we protect our shorelines from increased erosion and rising sea levels? And, inevitably, how do we start? This article discusses recent developments in state and local government law pertaining to coastal adaptation to climate change and how some state and local governments are, so far, answering these questions.