Pegasus Tower Company sought to construct a 152.5-foot monopole cellular tower in Louisville, Kentucky, on property owned by Village Manor Properties, adjacent to property owned by appellant, Masonic Homes of Kentucky, Inc. In accordance with Kentucky law, Pegasus submitted a uniform application to construct the tower to the Louisville Metro Planning Commission, which held a [...]
The Association of Guineans in Atlanta, Inc., sought a special land use permit from the Dekalb County Board of Commissioners to create a place of worship and family life center in a residence, which was located in a district zoned for single-family homes. The Board denied the permit, and the Association appealed, seeking a declaratory [...]
Storms and hurricanes are nothing new for New York City. Some four decades after the European founding of the municipality in 1625, a severe storm was chronicled in Manhattan. Subsequently, the Great Storm of 1693 rearranged the coastline, likely creating the Fire Island Cut. Many more significant storms followed over the centuries. To underscore the lessons of super storm Sandy, there are people alive today who can remember the great hurricane of 1938.
What’s new in recent decades is the relentless development of the coastline, haphazardly accelerated with apparent disregard for protective natural buffers, such as wetlands and dunes. As recently as the 1980s, development exploded in today’s storm ravaged Staten Island, even filling and building on marshland.
Also new to many people is the realization of the human contributions to climate change through our modification of atmospheric gases, a warming climate, and the attendant increases in sea levels, storm frequency and severity, droughts, heat waves, and more. These meteorological changes are real and measurable.
Hurricane Sandy, aside from its tragic aftermath, has done us a huge favor, providing a loud and unequivocal “I told you so!” in the nation’s densest population areas and most developed coastline. The visible devastation of New York City and the Jersey Shore brings tangible urgency to our efforts to take all possible measures to alter the lifestyle and behaviors that have brought us to this critical juncture. We need a paradigm shift in our land-use patterns and energy consumption. Most fundamentally, we must change the ways we interact with the natural systems of the earth. Massive sea gates and walls might protect against some storm surges, but what will they do to fisheries, sediment transport, water quality—to mention but a few potential repercussions? We need an integrated approach to climate adaptation and mitigation that uses natural systems as ongoing guides.
Wetland Restoration and Mitigation, image courtesy of appliedeco.com
Stueve Brothers Farms, LLC, owns a large tract of land within the Prado Dam Flood Control Basin in Orange County, California. Following construction of the Prado Dam in 1941, the federal government had obtained flowage easements across Stueve Brothers Farms’ property below 556 feet in elevation. After a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers [...]
The Town of Cary appealed the District Court’s decision invalidating the municipality’s sign ordinance as it applied to William Bowden who painted “Screwed by the Town of Cary” on his house. The court ruled that the ordinance was a content-based constraint on Bowden’s First Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed, [...]
Ben Ray and Brendan Coyne (“Plaintiffs”) live in residences approximately 0.4 miles away (2,212 feet for Ray and 2,002 feet for Coyne) from a planned unit development (“PUD”) that is anticipated to bring in twenty national retailers and house seventy to eighty apartment units. Plaintiffs filed a Petition for Judicial Review in an attempt to [...]
In 1962, Levi Kemp built an earthen berm at the back of his property, located in Marshall County, Kentucky, for use as a shooting range. At the time, no county zoning ordinances, regulations, or state laws were in effect to govern shooting ranges. Kemp expanded the range several times, the most recent in 2006, and [...]
In order for its signal to reach customers, T-Mobile built cell sites in various locations to maximize wireless service. Due to a significant gap in coverage in the Borough of Leonia, T-Mobile applied for a use variance in order to place an antenna and other equipment on the roof of an apartment building. This building, [...]
Roundstone Development, LLC (“Roundstone”), sought to develop an affordable-housing subdivision in the City of Natchez. The land pegged for the site had two different zoning classifications: O–L (Open–Land) and R–1 (Single–Family Residential). The Planning Commission denied the plan after finding that the O-L area must be rezoned R-1 before the plan could be approved. After this, the [...]
In 2008, William H. Thomas Jr. petitioned the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for permits to maintain billboards on three sites he leased from John Charles Wilson. Despite the fact that TDOT denied the permits, citing a failure to adhere to zoning requirements, Thomas continued with construction of the billboards, then filed a request for [...]
MNC Holdings, LLC and its predecessors have operated a medical waste incinerator in the Town of Matthews since the 1980s. At the time, the property was zoned heavy industrial, but in 1991 the Town annexed the property and rezoned it to single-family residential, a designation which requires that MNC obtain a variance from the Town [...]
The plaintiff, Quick Cash of Westchester Ave. LLC (“Quick Cash”) operated nineteen collateral loan broker (a.k.a. pawn shops) locations throughout the New York metropolitan area. In order to operate these businesses, Quick Cash must obtain certain licenses. Plaintiff sought to open a pawn store in Port Chester, but first inquired into the discrepancies between the [...]
Plaintiff Snowden brought this appeal after the lower court judge denied his motion to recuse the trial judge, dismissed his complaint with prejudice, and denied his motion to reconsider the dismissal. Plaintiff had allegedly entered into an oral agreement with the City of Wilmore (“City”), through its City Attorney, Robert Gullette, Jr., and Mayor, Harold [...]
In 2002, John Weiland, a principal of Dunes West Golf Club, purchased undeveloped residential lots and the master development rights to the Dunes West Development, a 4,518-acre golf course development in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Weiland believed that the unused land around the golf course could be used for residential development, and he instructed an [...]
BSRE Point Wells, LP, owns an area known as Point Wells, 61 acres of land on Puget Sound, Washington, just north of the King County/Snohomish County border. While the property had long housed a petroleum terminal and tank farm, as well as an asphalt plant, BSRE in 2007 sought to have the zoning changed so [...]