In This Issue

Real Estate

Representing States, Tribes, and Local Governments Before, During, and After a Presidentially-Declared Disaster

When responding to a man-made or natural event, time is a valuable, yet limited resource. In the aftermath of a disaster, it is critical for local governments to take rapid action to save lives, protect property, and protect the public health and safety. Communities do so through actions such as ordering evacuations, establishing shelters, cordoning off dangerous areas, removing debris, and taking actions necessary to ensure the provision of police, medical, fire, and utility services.


Emergency Management and Vulnerable Populations

“One of the primary responsibilities of state and local governments is to protect residents and visitors from harm, including assistance in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and disasters.”1 THIS ARTICLE LOOKS AT LEGAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT and the obligation to individuals historically identified as vulnerable or special needs populations. The preliminary question arising is: “To whom are we referring?” Since 2011 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has used as its doctrinal underpinning the concept of the “whole community.

Real Estate

The American Legacy of Public Land Rebellion

The most recent manifestation of the Sagebrush Rebellion1 is a mind-bending, consciousness altering, looking glass version of logic and reality. The sight of Cliven Bundy with his big hat, massive silver belt buckle, and his equally sizeable paunch, his unemployable spawn, the late, doggedly litigious Wayne Hage and his dutiful descendants, the swat teams of heavily armed, confrontation-seeking acolytes, equipped with flak jackets, AK-47s, second amendment signage, and “patriot” bling is, to be charitable, cartoonish.2 This clown car has emerged, clad in the sackcloth of “injured innocence”3 and professing to be the beleaguered natives of the Great Basin’s high desert.4 They announce rebellion against the evil federal Sheriff of Nottingham. In truth, only the Western Shoshone could legitimately make this claim, and, indeed, the Dann sisters are true American heroes.5 These characters at Bunkerville and Malheur are most decidedly not the like of the Dann Sisters.

Real Estate

Recent Developments in Comprehensive Planning

As it has for many years, this annual article catalogues the role of the comprehensive plan in land use regulation — in this case for the period from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. One way of viewing that relationship is to consider the importance of the comprehensive plan with regard to regulation. The authors find that there are three broad categories into which cases involving that relationship fit. The first is the “unitary view,” a rejection of the plan (or other external reference point) as a separate standard for regulation, a position that was once the majority rule. A second category (which may now be the majority view) finds the plan one measure, to a greater or lesser extent, of the validity of a land use regulation or action. A final category views the plan as a quasi-constitutional document that controls regulatory activity. Following a discussion of these categories, this article then examines cases dealing with plan amendments and interpretations of plans over this one-year period.

Land Use

Recent Developments in Exactions And Impact Fees: Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Exactions are conditions imposed on developers in exchange for permission to develop land, in order to aid local government in providing public infrastructure. Exactions come in many forms, including conveyances of an interest in land and development impact fees. Exactions are typically imposed to provide land or funding for facilities such as water and sewer lines, road construction, new schools, and parks or open spaces.

Real Estate

Targeted Rental Licensing Programs: A Strategic Overview

Across the united states, local governments are experiencing difficulties in ensuring a sufficient stock of safe, well-operated, and well-maintained rental housing. This is especially so for municipalities that struggle with social and economic distress. After the 2008 mortgage crisis, widespread foreclosures left many single-family homes vacant and falling into disrepair.1 At the same time, the cost of renting in many cities has sharply increased, leaving low-income residents with few alternatives but to live in substandard housing conditions.2 Although many landlords have continued to responsibly maintain their rental properties, this confluence of socioeconomic events has unfortunately exacerbated the problems caused by those who do not.

Real Estate

Exclusionary Zoning: State & Local Reactions to the Mount Laurel Doctrine

The effects of poverty on individual outcomes have long been a topic of social science. The intersection of land use planning and public policies aimed at addressing the growing problems of housing affordability has created much debate and concern. As the United States recovers from the Great Recession, more and more individuals find themselves relying heavily on governmentally subsidized, or affordable, housing as a last resort.1 Researchers have determined that the first constructed public housing high-rises of urban America in cities like Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. have had detrimental effects upon the life chances of its residents due to their placement in areas of high concentrations of poverty;2 policies concerning housing developed into complex debates about urban poverty, social isolation, and racial discrimination.3

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