October 23, 2012

Vol.39, No.1, Winter2007

Vol. 39, No. 1, Winter 2007

Publication Date : April 4, 2007


Christina Locke & Dr. Bill F. Chamberlin, Safe from Sex Offenders? Legislating Internet Publication of Sex Offender Registries, 39 Urb. Law. 1 (Winter 2007).
The purpose of this article is to examine the statutory provisions of every state and the District of Columbia regarding the use of the Internet as a tool in administering Megan’s Law. The analysis begins by examining sex offender registration and notification laws at the federal level and discussing major federal legislation and U.S. Supreme Court cases that impact how states draft their Megan’s Laws. Next, the portions of each state’s Megan’s Law that mentions the Internet as a notification tool, if any, are categorized. This article concludes that though state legislatures have embraced the Internet as a notification model, the model itself will not be effective unless the registry information disseminated is accurate and up-to-date. States can help ensure the effectiveness of online registries by including provisions in their statutes for the accuracy, timeliness, and publicity of the sites.

J. Breting Engel, The Development, Status, and Viability of the Conservation Easement as a Private Land Conservation Tool in the Western United States, 39 Urb. Law. 19 (Winter 2007).
Over 5 million acres of the West are currently protected by conservation easements. Some of these holdings will certainly face legal challenges in the future by landowners who feel crippled by them, developers who desire to mine the development potential they protect, or municipalities that find conservation easements bar their path to expansion of the property tax base. This article considers how conservation easements in the West might fare against this broad onslaught of private and municipal land development pressures. The first section offers a brief overview of the history of expansion and development in the West. The second section discusses why and how both public and private conservation began, explores how conservation easements emerged, and why they have become an important tool of private land conservation. The third section of the article reviews the tax benefits available for donors of conservation easements, investigates how and why some of these tax advantages have recently come under congressional attack, and discusses what steps concerned legislators and preservation organizations are proposing and passing to remedy these issues to make the tool more available and useful. The fourth section focuses on recent diverse commentary by legal scholars concerning the perpetual nature of conservation easements. The fifth section examines the 2002 California case, Johnston v. Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District, which demonstrates the success of a negotiated settlement made under threat of an eminent domain action concerning property under a conservation easement.  

Paul R. Koster , Workplace Searches by Public Employers and the Fourth Amendment, 39 Urb. Law. 75 (Winter 2007).
This article analyzes the framework for assessing whether a public employer’s search of the workplace comports with the Fourth Amendment. It provides a checklist to help public employers ensure their workplace searches fall within the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.

Punam Parikh Prahalad, Matthew P. Clagett & N. Theresa Hoagland, Beyond Water Quality: Can the Clean Water Act Be Used to Reduce the Quantity of Stormwater Runoff? , 39 Urb. Law. 85 (Winter 2007).
This article analyzes the potential role of the Clean Water Act in implementing a stormwater runoff program in urban or suburban areas with existing development. Part II connects stormwater quantity to stormwater quality from an environmental impact standpoint. Part III provides a background on the Clean Water Act and an analysis of the legal distinctions within the Act that affect its applicability to stormwater quantity. Part IV describes the National Risk Management Research Laboratory’s proposed case study of an indirect application of the Clean Water Act to reduce stormwater quantity in the Shepherd Creek watershed in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Part V concludes that the CWA may indeed be an indirect tool to reduce the environmental impacts of excess stormwater runoff.

 Edward W. McClenathan, Land Use Implications of Casinos and Racinos on Local Governments in New York State, 39 Urb. Law. 111 (Winter 2007).
This article attempts to identify the implications of casinos and racinos on land use control by local governments. It briefly defines the types of casinos that exist in New York and how they were created. It discusses of how a recent U.S. Supreme Court case and subsequent federal district court cases may change the backdrop of implications of land use controls for some types of casinos. An example is given of how the State of New York itself has usurped some traditionally local land use controls as they relate to racinos. The article then examines as case studies of two New York municipalities: the City of Niagara Falls, which has an Indian casino within its borders, and the City of Saratoga Springs, which houses a racino. The article looks at how the two municipalities have dealt with the loss of land use power they have both experienced and how they each plan to move forward. Finally, the article looks at how the land use implications of casinos and racinos may have inadvertently created an environment ripe for intermunicipal cooperation in land use planning and regulation.



Jonathan Flynn, Productive Preservation and the Reinvention of Industrial America, 39 Urb. Law. 123 (Winter 2007).
This article explores the problem of why the traditional model of preservation, characterized by a strict and inflexible interpretation of the law, often fails in struggling communities. Particular emphasis is given to early industrial cities, where the existing urban infrastructure and difficult economic situation often conspire to make preservation exceptionally challenging. A solution is proposed for making preservation productive in these distressed communities. Through a broader, and more flexible reading of existing law, a major preservation problem may be solved, and history can be used as a valuable tool for growth and positive change.

With Cases Notes on:

Dominion Energy Brayton Point, LLC v. Johnson

Skoros v. New York

Taliaferro v. Darby Twp. Zoning Bd.

Mayor of Ocean Springs v. Homebuilders Ass’n of Miss.

City of Norwood v. Horney

State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Daniels

State v. Wash. Educ. Ass’n

Allegretti & Co. v. County of Imperial