How to Walk Back Eminent Domain Reform.

  • January 20, 2022

What’s happening? Eminent Domain reform is a perennial issue in Iowa. This year is special there are ghost of new carbon capture pipelines being built which some say led to legislators hitting the pause button on eminent domain reform.

Why is this important? Let’s look at how they are talking about it. Here we go:

  • ” “wrong message” to businesses and to the landowners who’ve already signed easements for carbon pipelines and landowners still considering contracts.”
  • ““I’m pro- you deciding what to do with your farm or your business or your home, unless you’re doing something stupid, like committing a crime or not paying taxes. And the process has worked so far, but someday, it’s not. And someday, landowners are going to get screwed.”
  • “Changing the rules on the use of eminent domain would send the wrong message to potential supporters in Iowa, who are necessary for these projects to follow through on their commitments to landowners. They need to have confidence that Iowa is a great place to do business and that you can count on a stable legal, regulatory and tax structure.”
  •  will pursue “long-term legislation that makes Iowa a great place to do business and innovate, while ensuring the property rights of Iowans are protected.”

How will this be important? Economic Development reasons vs. eminent domain reform is a new hot ticket

Radio Iowa | Kaufmann tables 2022 discussion of eminent domain changes

Tristates Public Radio | Iowa lawmaker wants to address carbon pipelines & eminent domain

Subsidized Housing for Eminent Domain Use

  • January 14, 2022

What is happening? Santa Monica, California is trying to correct for policies in the 1950s and 1960s that led to “the destruction of black and Latino communities via eminent domain to build the 10 freeway, “

Why is this important? Local Governments are looking for ways to correct past acts that impacted the housing and communities.

How will this be important? Santa Monica’s program will offer households or their descendants displaced by urban renewal projects in Santa Monica in the 1950s and 60s affordable housing.

Boing Boing | Beach town offers subsidized housing to families evicted by racist policies of the 50s and 60s

Different Eminent Domain Rules for Pass Through Projects

  • January 13, 2022

What is happening? A debate in Iowa is revealing a call by some Republicans to establish different eminent domain standards for projects that move something through the state and for projects that directly impact the state. The goals seems to make projects like a pipeline or transmission line that moves on through would have a higher standard than an intrastate transmission line.

Why is this important? In Iowa, the Utilities Board approves the use of eminent domain.

How will this be important? Proposals suggest 70-75% land owner approval before eminent domain authority could be granted by the Utilities Board.

Radio Iowa | Representative drafting law to apply to Iowa carbon pipeline projects

Short Term Rental Rules in Corpus Christi

  • January 13, 2022

What is happening? Corpus Christi Texas is following San Antonio and Galveston to regulate short term rentals.

Why is this important? The policy makers say it will protect private property rights by establishing a regulatory framework, including a limited registration fee of $50.

How will this be important? The Legislature in Texas has the reputation of preempting local ordinances.

KRIS 6 | You could soon have to pay in order to list your property as a short-term rental in Corpus Christi

Conservative Advocates for More than Fair Market Value Compensation

  • January 7, 2022

What is happening? Property right advocates say that property owners should also be compensated for subjective value such as how long the property has been owned, ties to the community, emotional connections…the subjective value of the property.

Why is this important? The subjective ties are the same for all owners whether the property is a residence, small business or church.

How will this be important? The solution is a 10-15% add-on to the market value of the property to account for the subjective value.

Washington Times | Governments must pay owners more than ‘fair market value’ when seizing property

Mandatory Parking Spaces in Texas

  • January 7, 2022

What is happening? A mechanic in Pasadena, TX wants to open his own shop. The City of Pasadena says that while another mechanic had a shop in the same space with only 5 parking spaces, the new mechanic will need 28 parking spaces.

Why is this important? Welcome, private property advocates who are challenging the constitutionality of the Pasadena ordinance.

How will this be important? What happens if this case makes it way to the Texas Supreme Court where it may impact larger Texas cities.

Institute for Justice | Texas Mechanic

State AG Argues for LandOwners

  • January 7, 2022

What is happening? In the ongoing litigation for whether a high speed rail project in Texas has the power of eminent domain, the State Attorney General Office offered an argument to the Texas Supreme Court that sides with landowners and the rules of grammar. The AG office says ““The rules of grammar confirm that the Respondents are not railroad companies,” 

Why is this important? Some say the power of eminent domain is required to complete the project.

How will this be important? A ruling would guide other talked about rail projects in Texas.

James Fredrick Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. and Integrated Texas Logistics, Inc., Case No. 20-0393

Required Residential Composting

  • January 6, 2022

What’s happening? California and Vermont both require residences to compost food waste. Vermont was first to the composting game and California’s law went into effect at the beginning of 2022, based on a 2016 bill.

Why is this important? To California, the concern was emissions (methane) from food waste. The State can also fine cities up to $10,000 for not complying. California’s 2025 goal is to cut organic waste in landfills by 75% from 2014 levels.

How will this be important? California will take the food waste and turn it into either (1) biogas or (2) compost.  it “is the single easiest and fastest thing that every single person can do to affect climate change, ” according to Rachel Wagoner, director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.

AP | California pushes composting to lower food waste emissions

Local Proposal Keeps Legacy Owners in their Homes.

  • December 9, 2021

What’s happening? Gentrification is happening or Redevelopment is happening. However you phrase it long time, legacy homeowners, can find their property taxes a burden as their property values soar.

Why is this important? Atlanta’s Mayor issued an Administrative Order for the Anti-Displacement Program  that creates a $10M grant program to keep legacy home owners in their neighborhoods.

How will this be important? Atlanta’s program also includes a private donation fund, nonprofit Westside Future Fund . Detroit is also working to keep homeowners in their neighborhoods through a private donation nonprofit.

Route Fifty | A Unique Funding Program to Keep Homeowners in Hot Neighborhoods in Their Houses

Copy rights and Recipes

  • December 3, 2021

What’s happening? Recipes are generally not copyright-able. Then food industry starlet comes up with a recipe that gets duplicated and put on magazines, and the questions about copyrights re-emerges or parts of a cookbook, including personal stories, get copied and added to a new cookbook by another author.

Why is this important? As a cook and they’ll tell you a recipe is only a guide, two cooks will make two completely different things from the same recipe.

How will this be important? As more industries embrace open source does that copyrighting fall out of vogue?

NYTimes | Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.

Pandemic Social Justice Effect. Property Name Changes.

  • December 3, 2021

What’s happening? The Department of the Interior is renaming properties that have derogatory and offensive names. In the Interior Secretary’s Order, she created the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names

Why is this important? In the announcement, the Department of Interior, noted a new task force that will identify and remove derogatory terms used in the names of public land features such as valleys and lakes, beginning with the word “squaw.”

How will this be important? The DOI wants public lands to be places to enjoy shared culture


Real Estate. Banning Love Letters to Sellers.

  • December 2, 2021

What’s happening? OR passed a law that prohibits real estate agents from including love letters from prospective buyers with their offer to sellers.

Why is this important? A law suit says the law infringes on the free speech of buyers who should be able to share their passion and story with a seller. The goal of the legislation was to “help a seller avoid selecting a buyer based on the buyer’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or familial status.”

How will this be important? Some say discrimination issues are already covered in the law. Some task forces are recommending additional action, like in OR to counter discrimination.

Route Fifty | ‘Love Letter’ Legislation Leads to Lawsuit

City Bans Houses Smaller than 1150 sq. ft.

  • November 19, 2021

What is happening? Calhoun Georgia is prohibiting the construction of homes smaller than 1150 square feet.

Why is this important? Opponents to the ban says the town adopted the ban to artificially inflate property values.

How will this be important? A lawsuit challenged whether this ban is constitutional | Georgia Tiny Homes

What can & can’t you do as a Land Surveyor in Texas?

  • November 19, 2021

What’s happening? The Texas Attorney General will answer whether there is a conflict in statutes concerning what is in the scope of practice for a land surveyor.

Why is this important? THE BORDER! Yes, madness at the Texas-Mexico border where licensed engineers may be overstepping into the specific practice of land surveying… queue the dramatic music.

How will this be important? Attorney General Opinions often are a road map to how to draft legislation or a good source for the arguments for and against certain issues.

Texas Attorney General Opinion Request RQ-0440-KP

Local Government Bans Residential Home Sales to high-tech corporations and private equity firms

  • November 18, 2021

What is happening? Los Angeles is trying to stop speculative purchases of residential property by private equity firms and high tech corporations

Why is this important? The City Council wants to address what they say is a catalyst to the already rapidly rising housing prices. The speculative purchases only further rises prices.

How will this be important? Couple this will recent reports of Zillow over buying and being unable to sell their speculative purchases.

Vice | LA Wants to Ban iBuyers, Private Equity Firms From Profiting off Housing

Land Use. HOAs and speeding tickets

  • November 18, 2021

What is happening? Crystal Falls HOA in Leander Texas is adopting portable camera and radar system to catch speeders and levy fines up to $334.

Why is this important? The HOA is acting like law enforcement and imposing fines on private roads.

How will this be important? The City of Leander is trying to determine with radar enforcement cameras are permitted to be used by HOAs.

KXAN | Leander HOA to start ‘ticketing’ speeders — does that go too far?


Conservation Districts + TX Attorney General Opinion

  • November 12, 2021

What’s happening? Texas Attorney General Opinion KP-0389 answers a question from the Chambers County Auditor. The auditor wants know whether whether the Trinity Bay Conservation District board of directors possesses the authority to change the directors’ terms of office from two to four years

Why is this important? In clear terms about the Water Code, the AG Opinion says that Water Code “section 49.103 not only establishes a four-year term for directors in subsection (a) but also includes its own choice-of-conflicting-law provision in subsection (e), resolving any conflict with prior statutory enactments about director terms”

How will this be important? Watch your Water Board and Conservation Boards for statutory compliance.

Community Land Use Opposition to Crypto Miners

  • November 11, 2021

What’s happening? A crypto mining application in Pitt County, NC was withdrawn after community opposition. The opposition: Equity & Noise.

Why is this important? Community was concerned about : added noise from high powered fans that will required by the data miners, that the area was selected because “of its high proportion of poor and marginalized residents” & proximity to neighborhoods and a school.

How will this be important? The crypto miners pulled their application even though they would fully comply with all applicable noise ordinances. A similar pulled application occurred in nearby Ashboro.

News & observer | Minnesota company withdraws Pitt County crypto proposal due to community concerns

Nov. Ballot Initiative. Right to Food.

  • November 11, 2021

What is happening? Maine voters passed a right to food proposition that will “give small producers and indeed all individuals the “right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being.”

Why is this important? Maine is the 1st state with a Right to Food. And it was pretty popular passing with more than 60%.

How will this be important? The courts will determine what the rules of the game are and how it proceeds in other states that are considering a Right to Food amendment. Opposition in Maine included: Maine Farm Bureau, the Maine Potato Board, the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association, the Maine Veterinary Medical Association and the Maine Municipal Association

AgriPulse | What does Maine’s ‘right to food’ amendment mean for ag? The courts will decide


NewVue Communities.

  • November 5, 2021

What is happening?  NewVue Liabilities to Assets pilot program will support “the purchase and rehabilitation of primarily one- and two-family properties that have been vacant for at least three years at the time of development and have a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood.”

Why is this important? Blighted properties are turned into fully rehabilitated, energy-efficient single-family home while preserving the character of the neighborhood. Purchasers will have to live in the home for 7 years.

How will this be important? Retaining character of the community, without gentrification could be fascinating.

Gardner News | Program aimed at boosting home ownership in the downtown area kicks off in Gardner

Property + Seawalls

  • November 4, 2021

What’s happening? Washington and Virginia recently enacted laws to discourage armoring structures and promote “living” shorelines. Washington State also prohibits property owners from repairing or replacing their seawalls except as a last resort and included compromise language from the state builder association, Building Industry Association of Washington.

Why is this important? Seawalls tend to move the problem of erosion down past the wall, and if seawalls degrade then they can harm the marine environment.

How will this be important? With water levels rising, how will property owners be able to protect their property?

Route Fifty | Coastal States Seek to Limit Seawall Construction

Constitutional Rights and Preemption

  • November 4, 2021

What’s happening? Colorado overturned its state preemption on 2nd amendment laws.

Why is this important? Colorado became the 1st to overturn preemption and 1 of 8 states that allow local governments to pass stricter ordinances on firearms laws.

How will this be important? Does overturning preemption feed into other preemptions, which have been on trend for the last decade. via Govenring | Colorado Overturns Preemption Law; Other States May Follow

Rising Sea Levels , Flooding Property & Short Term Rentals

  • November 4, 2021

What’s happening? Miami Beach has determined the best way to preserve its transportation infrastructure is to elevate its roadways. Some property owners near elevated roadways are suing because floodwaters made their property unusable as short term rentals.

Why is this important? Property owners allege that repeated flooding will make the property inhabitable. The initial flooding has kept the properties from being listed as short term rentals.

How will this be important? Some property owners have seen formerly street level property, prior to roadway elevation, be reclassified as basement property and thus outside the purview of insurance policies.

Miami Herald via Governing | Miami Beach Lifts Roads Due to Sea Rise, Floods Nearby Homes

Private Property Rights in Space

  • October 28, 2021

What’s happening? I had no idea there were formalized agreements on private property rights and space. There are and they’re entitled, respectively, Treaty On Principles Governing The Activities Of States In The Exploration And Use Of Outer Space, Including The Moon And Other Celestial Bodies, aka the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (OST) & the Artemis Accords (Accords), an inter-agency agreement adopted by NASA and its partners as part of the Artemis Moon program.

Why is this important? We’ve been talking about property rights when space junk lands. States are tackling the issue when space junk lands within a state

How will this be important? Space and space travel has been privatized. The laws are coming next.

The Space Review | Is outer space a de jure common-pool resource?

Duluth expands Short Term and Long Term Rental Policies

  • October 28, 2021

What’s happening? Duluth, MN is adopting new policies for rentals:

  • Short-term permits would be valid for 21 nights a year
  • No cap on Short term permits
  • Cap on stays, not to exceed 7 days
  • Full-time vacation rental permits were capped at 60 
  • Full time vacation rentals have no caps downtown & in the business districts

Why is this important? The policies are to be a middle ground between those who want to preserve their neighborhoods and those who want to capitalize on tourist income

How will this be important? Balancing these to interests is at the heart of most dialog on the issue, so let’s see how it plays out

Star Tribune | Duluth expands short-term, full-time vacation rentals

Ballot: Is there a right to Food?

  • October 28, 2021

What’s happening? Maine has a ballot proposition on the right to food. Supporters say it ensures the right to grow vegetables and raise livestock in an era when corporatization threatens local ownership of the food supply. Opponents say it endangers animals and the food supply.

Why is this important? The brainchild of this proposition is a Republican who calls it the 2nd amendment for food.

How will this be important? Supports sy this is basic common sense to have gardens and “to make sure the government can’t stop people from doing things like saving and exchanging seeds, as long as they don’t violate public or property rights. “

VOA | Is There a Constitutional Right to Food? Mainers to Decide 

Outdoor Dining + Restaurant Survival = Restaurant Association

  • October 28, 2021

What’s happening? The US Restaurant Association wrote to the U.S. Conference of Mayors that extending waivers for outdoor dining is necessary for the industry’s survival.

Why is this important? Land Use. Sidewalks and Parking lots are what’s being utilized for outdoor dining. Plus, 2/3 of restaurants who applied received no funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

How will this be important? The restaurant industry numbers show:

  • In recent weeks, the coronavirus delta variant slowed indoor dining at 78% of restaurants nationwide.
  • 20% of diners prefer to eat outside.
  • At 68% of full-service restaurants, outdoor dining is 20% or more of daily sales.
  • Slightly more than 60% of restaurants can only use their outdoor space through October. 
  • Only 30% of eateries plan to utilize outdoor seating the entire winter.

Route Fifty | Restaurants Urge Mayors to Extend Outdoor Dining Through Winter

Short Term Rental Ballot Propositions

  • October 22, 2021

What’s happening? Telluride Colorado has 2 ballot propositions this fall. (1) limits the number of short term rentals to 400 and implement a lottery system for permits. (2) cap and freeze licenses for two years and double short-term rental business license fees.

Why is this important? Tourist towns are grappling with a lack of affordable housing and high numbers of short term rentals.

How will this be important? Both sides argue property rights. One says being able to offer short term rentals in my property is the highest and best use of my property. The other side says I am protecting my property rights and property value by keeping the neighborhoods clear of short term rentals.

Telluride Daily Planet | Short-term rentals ballot questions discussed

Short Term Rental Deal: Incentives to Convert to Local Housing

  • October 22, 2021

What’s happening? Winter Park is participating in “Short-Term Fix” (winter Park) that offers homeowners up to $20,000 for converting their Winter Park vacation homes to housing for locals. Breckenridge is participating in  “Lease to Locals” offers short-term rental owners up to $27,000 if they ink a year-long lease with local workers.

Why is this important? Other localities are considering raising taxes on short term rentals or imposing fees on property owners who don’t live in their homes full-time.

How will this be important? It is a national issue. Tourist communities are facing housing and labor crunches.

Colorado Sun | A flurry of policy experiments in Colorado serves as “regional laboratory” for regulating, limiting short-term rentals

BLM Effect: Eminent Domain Impacts Government Favorability Polling

  • October 22, 2021

What’s happening? Gallup released polling about whether American like their 3 branches of government. Surprise! not so much. 43% like the President. 27% like Congress. 2/5 like the Supreme Court.

Why is this important? When the Supreme Court issued its Kelo decision on Eminent Domain in 2005, its approval tanked to the low level it is now.

How will this be important? People are paying attention to social justice, populist issues like is the big guy (government) taking land from he little guy. Cities and states are returning land and creating commissions to study how to correct for prior governmental acts that displaced minority communities.

Fulcrum | Americans have negative views of all three branches of government

Eminent Domain and the Texas Supreme Court, a Love Affair

  • October 22, 2021

What is happening? The Texas Supreme Court has granted a re-hearing to determine whether a high speed rial project in texas qualifies to use the power of eminent domain.

Why is this important? Oral arguments are set to take place on Jan. 11, 2022. The trial court said no eminent domain. The appeals court said yes. So anything can happen.

How will this be important? The case impacts not only the pending high speed rail between Dallas and Houston but additional high speed rail proposals on the I35 corridor from Dallas to Austin to San Antonio

RT&S | Texas Central now has a date with the Texas Supreme Court regarding its status as a railroad company

World’s Largest Wildlife Bridge

  • October 14, 2021

What’s happening? California is building the world’s largest wildlife bridge over the 101.

Why is this important? The 200-foot-long, 165-foot-wide wildlife bridge will provide passage for a nearly extinct mountain lion.

How will this be important? The project is large ins cope and will be a partnership involving Caltrans and the National Wildlife Federation, which has raised more than $72 million for the project.

Bend BUlliten | California expected to break ground on world’s largest wildlife bridge

Short Term Rental Regulations in Hill Country

  • October 14, 2021

What is happening? Fredericksburg Texas wants to limit short term rentals, which officials say account for 30% of the properties in the historic district.

Why is this important? The hot topic: current city requirements are for only 1 parking space, but some large homes sleep 16 people. Lot of cars, small town.

How will this be important? Short term rental supporters are relying on the economic impact of short term rentals on everything from landscaping companies to plumbers.

KXAN | Why more than 400 Fredericksburg short-term rental owners are opposing city ordinance changes

Cultural Easements for Indigenous Ceremonies

  • October 14, 2021

What’s happening? Los Angeles is creating a cultural easement to grant priority access to parklands for indigenous ceremonies easier.

Why is this important? The City is acknowledging the taking of land from indigenous peoples.

How will this be important? Social Justice issues, such as the treatment of indigenous populations is growing. Local governmental entities will look to find ways to address these issues as a way to acknowledge past actions that impacted indigenous people.

Los Angeles Times | ‘We’re sorry’: L.A. moves to make amends for wrongs committed against Indigenous people

Land Use. Agrivoltaics in Colorado

  • October 14, 2021

What’s happening? Colorado has a new agricoltaic facility. Meet Jack’s Solar Garden in Boulder County. Its 4 acres covered with solar panels with crops growing beneath.

Why is this important? More biodiversity, and growing crops with less water. The panels can generate enough electricity to power 300 homes & the land underneath can grow carrots, kale, tomatoes, garlic, beets, radishes, lettuce

How will this be important? Scientists are considering covering canals with solar panels to generate electricity and to limit evaporation.

Wired | Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

More Local Short Term Rental Bans

  • October 7, 2021

What’s happening? Add Norcol to the list of communities that are banning short term rentals from their communities.

Why is this important? Temecula, Chino Hills and Costa Mesa have all previously banned short term rentals

How will this be important? The winning argument was promoting quality of life by banning short term rentals. For these communities quality of life trumps property rights.

Press Enterprise | Norco bans short-term rentals such as Airbnb

State Wildfire Bill = Home Hardening

  • October 7, 2021

What’s happening? Oregon passed SB76 (2021 | OR) a $200 million wildfire prevention bill that calls for home hardening measures plus firefighting capacity, expanded forest management plans and clean air shelters

Why is this important? Home hardening regulations are targeting the wildland-urban interface. This will include clearing flammable brush from the “home ignition zone” 

How will this be important? Its going to be a process in Oregon and could be a learning tool for other states as Oregon begins mapping fire vulnerabilities to determine where home hardening may be required.


NPR | Oregon Has A New Plan To Protect Homes From Wildfire. Homebuilders Are Pushing Back

Grant Restores Blighted Areas

  • October 7, 2021

What is happening? The Asphalt Art Initiative has extended grants to 6 US cities to improve blighted areas through asphalt art.

Why is this important? Qualifying projects must improve safety, revitalize public spaces and engage local communities

How will this be important? “Asphalt art projects help cities reclaim public spaces, make them brighter and safer and build community–all-important goals, especially amid the continuing hardships of the pandemic,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Route Fifty | 26 Cities Awarded Arts Grants to Transform Blighted Areas

Local Zoning Laws vs. Suburbs

  • October 7, 2021

What’s happening? San Diego is revising their local zoning laws and permitting residential lots to be subdivided into 4 plots for 4 residences. The legislative route for this is Senate Bill 9 (2021 | CA) Opponents say this harms the suburbs. Have they seen Houston?

Why is this important? Urban, within the city limits of the primary metro area, growth coupled with little supply of housing is creating changes to zoning laws.

How will this be important? This is a property rights issue. Protecting the integrity of status quo property rights vs. allowing the highest and nest use of my property rights by subdividing my property.

Is there a catch in SB 9? Yes, the law requires the home owner to make the changes to their property which can be costly and can be a challenging system to navigate.

San Diego Union Tribune via Governing | Is California’s Latest Zoning Law Change the End to Suburbs?

COVID Funds to Expedite Affordable Housing

  • October 1, 2021

What is happening? California Governor Newsom budget includes $1.75 billion one-time Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to shovel ready affordable housing units, which have successfully acquired HCD funding. This keeps the projects from waiting to apply for state tax credits and moves the projects along more quickly.

Why is this important? We’ve seen creative ways to expedite affordable housing, like Los Angeles considering eminent domain of hotels or existing apartments to allocate to affordable housing.

How will this be important? Streamlining affordable housing is a popular subject of the moment.

Governor Newsom Housing & Homeless Budget

Bitcoin as a Property Right

  • October 1, 2021

What is happening? In Berlin, some say property rights are growing unstable as social unrest increases.

Why is this important? This property right would be the first to occur outside a formalized government structure.

How will this be important? This is super fresh. Let’s watch it and see where it goes.

Nasdaq | Bitcoin’s Private Property Rights

When eminent domain gets called out by Billboard Artists

  • October 1, 2021

What happened? At a concert in New York for Global Citizen Live, Lizzo and educated the audience about Central Park’s history.

Why is this important? Central Park was once Seneca Village, home to Black and white communities coexisting until New York City took over the area via eminent domain

How will this be important? Lizzo, a Black voice, added that “if we don’t talk about our history constructively, how can we build a better future? “

BET| Lizzo Calls Out Institutional Racism During Global Citizen Performance

Property Ownership Changes. Suburbs are for Renters.

  • September 30, 2021

What’s happening? 21 million people rent in the nations 50 largest suburbs. Renters are the majority in 103 suburbs. In the next 5 years, add 60 more suburbs.

Why is this important? It is happening in a broad type of areas from the DC suburbs to California, Florida, Michigan and Missouri.

How will this be important? In the next 5 years, we’re adding suburbs in North Carolina, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio and Washington State.

Route Fifty | Renters Now Majority in 100+ Suburbs

US Supreme Court Watch: COVID restrictions prohibit right to assemble in homes?

  • September 24, 2021

What is happening? The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that COVID restrictions did not infringe on the right to assemble in private homes in violation of the 1st amendment. This case is now waiting to hear if the US Supreme Court will take it up.

Why is this important? Could impact the gubernatorial powers in each state.

How will this be important? Could impact how government can act as we ebb and flow through this and other pandemics

The Federalist | How Massachusetts Annihilated Private Property Rights In The Name Of COVID Restrictions

Removing Eminent Domain Provisions from City Contracts

  • September 24, 2021

What is happening? The City of Tweed is renegotiating its agreement with its local airport. That negotiation includes a removal of a provision that would have the city use eminent domain to obtain land to transfer to the airport.

Why is this important? More cities are examining their uses of eminent domain, whether those uses disproportionately impacted certain communities or whether the use of eminent domain is something a 2021 city council wants to support.

How will this be important? Mores appear to be changing on the use of eminent domain. There appears to be a louder echo for fairness toward land owners.

New Haven Independent | 43-Year Tweed Deal Amendment Detailed

Land Use. Mural Moratoriums.

  • September 24, 2021

What is happening? Thomasville Georgia (USA) city council passed on an initial vote a mural moratorium. The moratorium may not go into effect.

Why is this important? City Council members arguing for property rights do not see a need for a mural moratorium, and are considering other forms of regulation.

How will this be important? Imagine if your town council considered a mural moratorium, would certain portions of your town be impacted more severely than others? is this a property rights issue?

Thomasville Times Enterprise | City won’t impose murals moratorium right away

Politician Homes & Protestors. New Laws.

  • September 23, 2021

What’s happening? To limit protestors abilities to protest in front of the houses of politicians, Los Angeles City Council adopted a 300 foot buffer from private residences for protestors.

Why is this important? First amendment attorney expect the ordinance to be struck down in the courts as cities can use trespassing or targeted threats laws.

How will this be important? Protestors continue to be unruly on each side, expect more local or state laws on this.

Los Angeles Times via Governing | Los Angeles Cracks Down on Protests at Politician Homes

What is House America?

  • September 23, 2021

What is happening? Oakland, CA is promising to house 1500 homeless, build 132 new units of permanent affordable housing all within 16 months. Oakland will receive $11.3 Million in American Rescue Plan federal stimulus to accomplish its goal.

Why is this important? It is part of House America, a federal initiative with a goal to house at least 100,000 households and add at least 20,000 new units of affordable housing by Sept. 30, 2022. 

How will this be important? Most major cities are looking for homeless and affordable housing solutions. This is one to learn from or adopt certain portions thereof.

San Francisco Chronicle via Governing | Oakland Pledges 132 New Affordable Housing Units in 16 Months

Is this the new, post-COVID, property rights frontier?

  • September 17, 2021

What’s happening? Oklahoma legislators are looking to protect rental property owners in a world with the CDC eviction moratorium.

Why is this important? Look to reforms to Landlord Tenant laws as the eviction moratoriums roll back.

How will this be important? The Oklahoma legislators say that small property owners who invested in the real estate market so that they can get a return on their investment.

News on 6 | State Representative Tom Gann Looking Into Property Rights For Oklahoma Landlords

Controlling Wildfires Legislatively

  • September 17, 2021

What’s happening? California legislature passed SB109 (2021 | CA) that creates the  the Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development within the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 

Why is this important? The goal is to use technology to conduct research and test emergency technologies to improve the detection of and response to wildfires.

How will this be important? The coalition supporting this legislation includes Breathe California, California Fire Chiefs Association, California State Association of Counties, and Fire Districts Association of California

GovReport | Legislature Approves New Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development

Parks, Beaches & Smoking Bans

  • September 16, 2021

What’s happening? Florida is considering SB 224 (2022 | FL) and HB105 (2022 | FL) would allow counties and municipalities to restrict smoking within the boundaries of public beaches and parks. 

Why is this important? Florida Republican wants to loosen state control over smoking bans.

How will this be important? Whether this is a bell weather for new local control or for smoking bans on park lands and beaches.

Orlando Weekly | Florida Legislature to hear bills that could lead to smoking bans at beaches, parks

Texas Attorney General Opinion: Is a mask a right or privilege?

  • September 10, 2021

What’s happening? The District Attorney in Williamson, County, TX, North of Austin, has asked the state Attorney General for an opinion on the Governor’s Executive Order concerning mask mandates.

Why is this important? Texas Attorney General will answer this question: Does an executive order which recognizes the ability of Texans to preserve their livelihoods and not be required to wear a face covering grant an individual a right, power, privilege or immunity?

How will this be important? The politics of masks is getting richer.


1st in the nation Warehouse Legislation

  • September 10, 2021

What’s happening? California is considering AB 701 (2021 | CA) that would require companies that operate warehouses with large number of employees to disclose the employee productivity requirements. Employees would be able to challenge quotas that allegedly prevent bathroom breaks or other time to rest during the workday.

Why is this important? California Chamber of Congress  withdrew its opposition after the bill was amended.

How will this be important? The author wants the algorithm to include a human factor

The Hill | California legislature approves regulations for Amazon warehouses

Profession Protection: Referees

  • September 9, 2021

What’s happening? Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association says that  harassment of umpires and referees was so rampant it had become impossible to attract enough of them to support their games.

Why is this important? Wisconsin is considering legislation to make harassing an umpire or referee a misdemeanor.

How will this be important? MI, NY and OH are also considering protecting referees and umpires. HI SB 2612 (2021 | HI) considered making harassing a sports official a felony. 20 states already have laws providing special criminal penalties for attacks—including verbal ones—against referees. 

Route Fifty | Lawmakers Call Foul on Referee Abuse

Inclusionary Zoning vs. Housing Development

  • August 27, 2021

What’s happening? The average number of housing units created by Inclusionary Zoning policies per year is only 27 & can produce broader distortions in the housing market

Why is this important? Studies point to New York’s IZ policy essentially froze housing redevelopment in lower-income areas. Portland saw an increase in projects below the threshold for its IZ requirements.

How will this be important? With a shortage of housing state and local governments will be working on crafting housing policies and land use policies

Governing | Affordable Housing and the Dubious Promise of Inclusionary Zoning

18ish States Award Attorney Fees to Land Owners

  • August 27, 2021

What’s happening? As eminent domain percolates in Kentucky, its media is picking up on what states do or do not do to compensate their landowners. Here’s what they say:

  • Florida is best- attorney fees can be awarded and allows people to hire lawyers before the state appraises the property it plans to take and offers a settlement
  • Virginia allows attorney fees if if the final settlement is at least 25% more than the government’s original offer
  • Washington allows for attorney fess + $750 is paid to landowners before a settlement is reached so they can hire their own appraisers 
  • In Kentucky a single holdout juror can force a much lower settlement than the jury would otherwise award. Its the only time in Kentucky when unanimous jurors are necessary in a civil case in Kentucky

Why is this important? Maybe its residual civil justice issues from the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the general greater import to civil justice since 2020. Eminent Domain has long been considered unfair to land owners

How will this be important? States will continue to grapple with how to fairly compensate land owners, especially as the process is more transparent and low offers and bad actors are revealed

Courier Journal | Kentucky law favors the state in property rights cases

NFL’s eminent domain Scandal

  • August 26, 2021

What’s happening? The History Channel has a run down of the NFL’s Top 8 scandals. Coming in at #4 is when Baltimore used eminent domain as a means to keep the Colts in Baltimore.

Why is this important? In the middle of the night, the Indianapolis mayor’s friend who owned a moving company, moved the team to Indianapolis under the cover of darkness.

How will this be important? The team moved immediately after the Legislature codified the city’s authority to use eminent domain in this way.

History | 8 Scandals That Rocked the NFL

U.S. Supreme Court Has Upheld Vaccine Mandates

  • August 26, 2021

What’s happening? In 1905 the US Supreme Court upheld a vaccine mandates in Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

Why is this important? The country was grappling with small pox and adoption of the small pox vaccine.

How will this be important? Court watchers will assuredly wonder if Jackson remains precedent. Most telling is this: “The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances wholly freed from restraint, nor is it an element in such liberty that one person, or a minority of persons residing in any community and enjoying the benefits of its local government, should have power to dominate the majority when supported in their action by the authority of the State. It is within the police power of a State to enact a compulsory vaccination law, and it is for the legislature, and not for the courts, to determine  in the first instance whether vaccination is or is not the best mode for the prevention of smallpox and the protection of the public health.”

197 U.S. 11 (1905)

Nuisance Abatement Fee

  • August 18, 2021

What’s happening? The way Panama City Florida handles nuisance properties is that if an owner fails to clean up a nuisance, the city cleans up property and then tacks on a nuisance abatement fee on the property tax notice.

Why is this important? Most property owners know the properties in their neighborhoods that they believe are lowering property values. Panama City has a nuisance abatement fee to hold residents accountable.

How will this be important? Nuisances aren’t disappearing. Panama City collected $1,000,000 from 100 properties in 1 month.

Panama City News Herald | Got a trashy neighbor lowering your property values? Panama City has a remedy.

Short Term Rentals vs. Party Hosts

  • August 18, 2021

What’s happening? AirBnB is cracking down on parties. In California it is suing a party host that resulted in gun fire. In Houston, AirBnB is cracking down on Halloween parties.

Why is this important? Party hosting, nuisance complaints and noise complaints are a vocal in crafting regulations for shirt term rentals.

How will this be important? More companies working to control their nefarious customers

KPIX | Airbnb Sues Person Who Held Unauthorized Sunnyvale House Party Where 2 Were Shot

Houston Chronicle | Airbnb announces plan to crack down on unauthorized Halloween parties in Houston

How New Orleans Works to Prevent Building Collapses

  • August 17, 2021

What’s happening? New Orleans is doubling down on building inspectors to ward off building collapses.

Why is this important? New Orleans is automating a system to compare GPS data from city inspectors with inspection records. The system will also work to ensure properly credentialed inspectors go to building cites.

How will this be important? By continuing to audit inspection process, it can help identify dangerous situations.

Route Fifty | How Local Governments Can Prevent Building Disasters

ROI: Denver’s Housing Program

  • August 17, 2021

What’s happening? Since 2016 Denver has housed 260 individuals who have been arrested multiple times, in need of housing & support, and with mental health issues. The program has saved Denver millions in reduced city spending on police, court, emergency medical, ambulance and jail services.

Why is this important? We talked about it last week too. $8.6 million came from social impact bonds that the city was able to repay at $9.6 million.

How will this be important? After 3 years Denver found 77% were living in stable environments. Denver er is expanding the program.

Pew Charitable Trusts via Governing | Denver Permanent Supportive Housing Program Saved Millions

Banning Short Term Rentals in Residential Neighborhoods

  • August 13, 2021

What’s happening? A judge in Hendersonville, TN ruled that the city’s ban on short term rentals in neighborhoods is unconstitutional because it interferes with a land owners ability to use her land and that current laws exist to handle issues like public intoxication and nuisances.

Why is this important? Most jurisdictions are trying to find ways to accommodate neighborhood complaints about short term rentals.

How will this be important? Lets start counting how many localities try a full fledge ban in residential neighborhoods

Hendersonville Standard | Judge finds city’s short-term rental policy unconstitutional

National Apartment Association vs. CDC

  • August 13, 2021

What’s happening? The National Apartment Association has filed suit against the CDC over its eviction moratorium claiming it amounts to a taking of property without just compensation.

Why is this important? Previous attempts at these lawsuits have not been great, but a June US Supreme Court ruling concerning a regulatory taking shows promise.

How will this be important? Will the US Supreme Court ruling in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid that said it is a taking to require an employer to have union reps on their property for specific periods of time.

Reason | A Takings Clause Lawsuit Against the CDC Eviction Moratorium

Property Management Company v. Los Angeles

  • August 13, 2021

What’s happening? A managment company is suing the City of Los Angeles over its eviction moratorium arguing that the moratorium amounts to a taking that requires just compensation.

Why is this important? This situation is playing out across the country.

How will this be important? Will states and cities use CARES Funds for landlords is the million dollar question.

Center Square | Landlords sue Los Angeles for $100M over eviction moratorium

Land Use. Tree Ordinances.

  • August 13, 2021

What’s happening? HB 496 (2021 | NC) will preempt local governments in North Carolina from passing ordinances regarding trees.

Why is this important? Local control v. state preemption fight number 6879645787

How will this be important? This on going fight over which layer of government knows best for land use.

WECT 6 | Proposed bill could make protecting trees more difficult for local governments

The Eviction Moratorium + Eminent Domain

  • August 6, 2021

What’s happening? Think Tanks are considering the eviction moratorium a taking of property requiring just compensation.

Why is this important? The estimates are that landlords are wowed $20 Billion or more throughout the U.S.

How will this be important? Either we’ll see some litigation or property owners be recipients of CARES Act Funds or other funding mechanism.

Washington Post | George Will | The eviction moratorium exacerbates America’s institutional disarray

Think Tank’s $23M Claims Against City for Property Rights Violations

  • August 6, 2021

What’s happening? The GoldWater Institute is claiming $23M in claims against Flagstaff for violating Arizona’s 2006 constitutional amendment that allows property owners a claim “to just compensation if the value of a person’s property is reduced by the enactment of a land use law.” 

Why is this important? At issue are land use ordinances in Flagstaff that limit the number of bedrooms and and such, which the Goldwater Institute claims limits a property owner’s authority and use of their property.

How will this be important? It is an incremental march forward in the ongoing tug of war over which local regulations diminish property values.

Arizona Daily Sun | City of Flagstaff threatened with $23 million in claims for violating state property rights

CARES Act Funds for Property Vales + Social Inequities

  • August 5, 2021

What’s happening? Syracuse is planning on utilizing $2M from CARES Act Funding to plant trees.

Why is this important? Tree planting is said to lower temperatures, improve air quality, increase property values, improve quality of life &capture storm water.

How will this be important? Tree abundance has a socio-economic tie. Lower income neighborhoods have fewer trees. The planting of trees addresses the social inequity.

Governing | Syracuse to Use $2M to Plant Trees, Combat Social Inequality

Just Compensation for Ghost Gun Confiscation?

  • July 30, 2021

What’s happening? Nevada passed Assembly Bill 286 which prohibits guns with no serial numbers. Gun Rights Activists sued. Courts ruled fo the State that no compensation is required to take an unmarked weapon.

Why is this important? It applies to 3D printed weapons too. The bill also bans the sale and possession of unassembled weapons sold in kits or made with 3D printer

How will this be important? A Western Independent state that is otherwise 2nd amendment friendly is limiting guns by removing unmarked guns.

Las Vegas Review Journal | Nevada ‘ghost gun’ ban upheld by federal court

Knoxville Determines Urban Removal Funding. Post BLM.

  • July 30, 2021

What’s happening? Some moons ago, post Black Lives Matter, in the new world we have before us, Knoxville created a task force to consider the amount of reparations to the Black Community for the forced urban removal that the Black Community endured.

Why is this important? Urban “renewal” efforts disproportionately impacted Black and Biopic communities and removed them from their communities. Knoxville is committing $100 million funded through grants that still must be secured.

How will this be important? Knoxville will offer resources to help livelihoods and open opportunities to build generational wealth.

KnoxNews | Knoxville finalizes task force that will shape urban removal funding for Black residents

Sales Disclosures of Vacant Buildings

  • July 30, 2021

What’s happening? NYC Council is considering requiring disclosure of the sale of vacant buildings so that the City has first choice to buy the property in stead of using eminent domain to acquire property to build schools, or municipal works.

Why is this important? Cities across the country are talking about using eminent domain to acquire affordable housing or house homeless populations. Giving the city the option to buy it first makes it easier for the City.

How will this be important? Real Estate attorneys say it will slow down deal making.

Commerical Observer | Bill Would Require NYC to Be Notified of Certain Vacant Property Sales

COVID Pivot? New Way to Talk about Eminent Domain

  • July 30, 2021

What’s happening? Alameda Co., CA wants to build wildlife bridges over I-580. That’s going to take acquiring some easements across land. So, to get to that point, Alameda County created the Altamont Landfill Open Space Committee to build trust.

Why is this important? Before talk of easements, the local county government is building relationships, and considering options like incentivize participation through a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) system.

How will this be important? Let’s look at what the county officials are saying: “We will not be part of eminent domain, because we don’t want the landowners to feel that we’re targeting them in a bad way. Our intentions are not to restrict what people do. This is all voluntary, and they can be paid to protect and make money off the land in a way that they’re not making now.”

Independent News | Committee Aims to Grow Trust with Landowners

Land Use Changes after Condo Collapse

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? After the condo collapse in Surfside, FL, the state bar of Florida will organize a committee to review and recommend to the Governor and Legislature.

Why is this important? In Florida after initial building approval, the recertification occurs at year 40 with no inspection visits in between year 0 and year 45.

How will this be important? The Committee is being hired by the same person who chaired a similar committee bout homeowner associations while Gov. Jeb Bush was in office.

WSJ | After Florida Building Collapse, Task Force to Consider Changes to Condo Laws

Eminent Domain v. Volunteer Land

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? Texas Governor announced that the state will build a border wall at the Texas- Mexico Border using state and private funds. The hurdle is acquiring the mostly private lands. To that end, quote from the Governor: ” …the combination of state land as well as volunteer land will yield hundreds of miles to build a border wall in Texas.”

Why is this important? The federal lawsuit concerning the use of eminent domain to build the federal U.S.-Mexico border wall is currently on hold.

How will this be important? Begs the question whether a state built International border wall project can exercise the power of eminent domain.

Construction Dive | Texas prepares to take bids for border wall construction

COVID Relief Funds for Homelessness in California

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? California Legislature agreed to convert former hotels into permanent homeless housing with federal coronavirus relief dollars & will provide another $2 billion over 2 years to local governments

Why is this important? Other localities, like Ausitn, TX are considering purchasing existing facilities to house homeless.

How will this be important? This serves as a blueprint to address homelessness, if the programs are successful.

Los Angeles Times via Governing | California Set to Spend Record Amount on Homelessness

$40M Affordable Housing. Corporation, HQ & City.

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? Amazon is donating $40 million to Arlington County, Va to build affordable housing around its 2nd HQ

Why is this important? Amazon has pledged $2 billion for affordable housing near its facilities in Virginia, Seattle and Nashville, Tenn

How will this be important? We just talked about Apple having a similar program to build affordable housing. If there’s 1, then there’s 2, and soon there will be 100 companies following suit.

The Hill | Amazon donating land to Northern Virginia county for affordable housing

Protecting Rural Property Rights

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? A consideration that National heritage Site Designations can preserve and protect rural property.

Why is this important? Think o the major eminent domain battles- pipelines, border walls, rail lines- the majority of the property at issue is rural property.

How will this be important? We’ve seen the use of conservation easements to protect property, and this proposal is another tool in the tool belt.

Kansas Reflector | Kansas heritage sites can help save rural communities

Statutory Hurdles for Affordable Housing

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? There is a “current [federal] rule that prohibits property acquisition for affordable housing use in the first 10 years after a change in the property’s ownership”

Why is this important? it is seen as an obstacle to building new affordable housing.

How will this be important? Whether states follow suit to change laws that make affordable housing easier to be built.

Daily Camera | Rep. Joe Neguse proposing affordable housing bills

Affordable Housing. $1B from Apple.

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Apple is putting $1Billion into affordable housing around California.

Why is this important? Apple has a $2.5 Billion commitment to improve affordability of housing in California.

How will this be important? Apple’s project includes “new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness”

Apple | Apple deploys $1 billion in affordable housing support across California

Land Development Powered by Solar & Battery

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Tesla, Brookfield Assett Management and real estate developer Dacra are creating the first in the nation neighborhood powered by Tesla solar.

Why is this important? Real estate development and sustainability are finding new partners.

How will this be important? “Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Austin project will help shape the future of housing and sustainable technology projects”

Austin American Statesman | Austin neighborhood to be fueled by Tesla solar, battery tech

Proposed Amendment Constitutional Amendment: Right to Grow Food

  • July 9, 2021

What’s happening? Maine’s November ballot will include the right to “growing, raising, harvesting, and producing food, as well as saving and exchanging seeds.”

Why is this important? This is phase 2.0 after the right to have edible gardens free from local or state laws against it, or HOA rules prohibiting it.

How will this be important? State constitutional amendments spread from one state to the next. Yes, this is a move to make sure Montosanto doesn’t own all the world’s seeds according to a Maine legislator.

Ballotpodeia | Maine legislature sends right-to-food constitutional amendment to 2021 ballot

Meet Florida’s Wildlife Corridor

  • July 8, 2021

What’s happening? Florida passed legislation that creates an 800 mile corridor that connects state parks to open spaces from the Keys to the Alabama border to allow wildlife to move freely.

Why is this important? This is a nuanced approach to environmental and conservation issues by Republicans that passed with broad bipartisan support.

How will this be important? The New Yorker spelled it out- this is a blueprint for other states.

The New Yorker | Florida’s Remarkable New Wildlife Corridor from the Panhandle to the Keys

Land Use + U.S. Supreme Court

  • July 8, 2021

What’s happening? The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case concerning a City of Austin ordinance that limits digital billboards to existing businesses on their property.

Why is this important? Impacts the playing field for billboards in Austin, TX and hundreds of cities.

How will this be important? Ordinances will change when this opinion comes out next term. We’re talking competing constitutional rights from property to first amendment.

Austin American Statesman | U.S. Supreme Court to weigh legality of Austin ban on digital billboards

Land Use Innovation. Vertical. Urban. Farming.

  • July 8, 2021

What’s happening? In an abandoned steel community outside Pittsburgh, Fifth Season is using robotic, vertical farming of greens, and repurposing an abandoned manufacturing facility.

Why is this important? Innovation and Revitalization of Shrinking Communities.

How will this be important? Fifth Season hired only locals,  uses 95 % less water and 98%t less land than conventional farming

Governing | Robots Take Vertical Farming to New Heights

Vaccine Passports & Private Property Rights

  • July 1, 2021

What’s happening? The Goldwater Institute and Reason say Texas SB 968 (2021 | TX) is unconstitutional violation of property rights.  The constitution has long standing standards for businesses to protect their customers as they choose. The bill seeks to prevent businesses from requiring proofs of vaccination.

Why is this important?“”The longstanding legal tradition has always been that businesses owe an obligation to protect their customers’ safety, at least to some basic extent, and this law comes along and says, not only are they not free to make that choice, but they’re prohibited from doing so.””

How will this be important? The article has a laundry list of Texas policies that conform to personal beliefs to protect business but protecting business outside personal beliefs doesn’t get supported. My takeaway —there is no consistency in property rights in Texas.

Reason | In a Rush To Ban Vaccine Passports, Texas Is Violating Private Property Rights

Parsing Chief Justice Roberts Property Rights Opinion

  • June 25, 2021

What’s happening? The legal analysts are on DefCon 2 reading tea leaves of Chief Justice Robert opinion siding for a nursery fighting a California law that required businesses to permit unions on their property for 120 hours to scout new members.

Why is this important? This analysts points to Roberts trying to keep the Court from swinging too far right. That the Chief Justice favors business and favors property owners over government regulations.

How will this be important? Chief Justice has many many years left on the Court walking the tight rope.

KTEN | John Roberts is all business in his conservatism

Building Rail. Create a Special District.

  • June 25, 2021

What’s happening? Colorado has dreams of the Front Range rail line. To further it, the Legislature is working to pass SB21-238 (2021 | CO) that would fund and support a passenger rail line.

Why is this important? Supporters say the district does’ t make rail happen but is a step toward a rail line.

How will this be important? Creating special districts can allow for taxation, eminent domain use and bond authority.

CPR News | Front Range Rail Bill That Would Create A Special District To Support The Project Is Closer To Becoming Law

Supreme Court. Unions. Private Property.

  • June 25, 2021

What’s happening? This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that business could not be forced to allow unions onto their private property for hours at a time.

Why is this important? The agriculture businesses that sued over a California state law argued that allowing a third party onto someone else’s private property without compensating the property owners, violates their property rights.

How will this be important? The ruling was 6-3 supporting that “a physical invasion” on property without compensation is a violation of property rights.

Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Initiative & Referendum Meet Eminent Domain

  • June 25, 2021

What’s happening? Residents of a small desert town are displeased by the town’s use of eminent domain to build an industrial water facility. They responded with an initiative and referendum, The Desert And Open Space Protection Act, to prevent the town from using eminent domain in the future on open spaces and private property.

Why is this important? This is a new approach to reigning in eminent domain

How will this be important? Once one town pulls back eminent domain by initiative and referendum other jurisdictions will follow. It’s like that rule about mice in barns, if you see there are 100s.

Sonoran News | Carefree residents group files ballot measure to limit eminent domain, protect desert open spaces

How do you get rid of the SOB?

  • June 17, 2021

What’s happening? The City of Smithtown NY wants to acquire via eminent domain the land of Oasis Gentleman’s Club (the SOB sexually oriented business).

Why is this important? Yes, a creative use of eminent domain- don’t like a business then acquire the land by eminent domain, or the threat thereof and build a park.

How will this be important? Imagine a town that doesn’t like underwater basket weavers, churn up some eminent domain projects and get to town on those basket weavers.

Greater Smithtown | Town to purchase Oasis Gentleman’s Club property with plans for parkland

Land Use. City Owned Land for Affordable Housing.

  • June 17, 2021

What’s happening? Charlotte, North Carolina is proposing to use its land for affordable housing development.  

Why is this important? The city’s goal is to address acute affordable housing crisis in the city. This sounds familiar….

How will this be important? It is how the land is being used. The city is proposing long term, 50 year leases for developers. Or, if the projects for sale townhomes for affordable housing, then “transfer ownership of for-sale home developments”

Charlotte Observer via Governing | Charlotte Proposes City-Owned Plots for Affordable Housing

Vaccine Passports & Private Property Rights

  • June 17, 2021

What’s happening? The Goldwater Institute and Reason say Texas SB 968 (2021 | TX) is unconstitutional violation of property rights.  The constitution has long standing standards for businesses to protect their customers as they choose. The bill seeks to prevent businesses from requiring proofs of vaccination.

Why is this important?“”The longstanding legal tradition has always been that businesses owe an obligation to protect their customers’ safety, at least to some basic extent, and this law comes along and says, not only are they not free to make that choice, but they’re prohibited from doing so.””

How will this be important? The article has a laundry list of Texas policies that conform to personal beliefs to protect business but protecting business outside personal beliefs doesn’t get supported. My takeaway —there is no consistency in property rights in Texas.

Reason | In a Rush To Ban Vaccine Passports, Texas Is Violating Private Property Rights

Eminent Domain and Border Walls

  • June 11, 2021

What’s happening? Texas Governor Abbott announced the state will build the border wall.

Why is this important? The lands at the Texas border are privately owned, including ranch land with livestock that drinks from the Rio Grande. It’s complicated. The Trump Administration hadn’t resolved the eminent domain issue to acquire the land. Here we go….

How will this be important? Some of the land at issue is owned by the Catholic Church.

New York Times | Texas Says It Will Build Border Wall With Mexico

Bellaire TX Short Term Rental Proposal

  • June 11, 2021

What’s happening? Homeowners say short term rentals are like living next to holiday inn. The solution, you ask, well, it is to create a minimum 6 month term for rental or lease of single-family homes with an exception for family members or previous/former owners.

Why is this important? Instead of parameters on noise an nuisance, the city is defining lease terms as a means to end short term rentals.

How will this be important? lather, rinse, repeat….

Click 2 Houston | Bellaire considering restrictions of short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb, VRBO

NFTs and property ownership

  • June 4, 2021

What’s happening? We just met NFTs, I barely remember your name, and now we’re talking about rights. Let me at least get a refresher to know that your name means NonFungible Tokens. MFTs are built on blockchain. For the gaming people out there, I’m told it’s like buying a celebrity “skin” for your game.

Why is this important? NFTs seem to be sticking around and ownership could be note dint eh blockchain.

How will this be important? What is a NFT closes down,. how does ownership get impacted? Tech including  PRüF  are emerging allowing for migration of NFTs.

Entrepreneur | How NFTs are Disrupting Property and Trade

Short Term Rental Statewide Bill with Local Control.

  • June 4, 2021

What’s happening? The Nevada legislature passed a statewide short term rental bill that applied the state’s hotel tax across short term rentals. However, the bill also left land use decisions, like party houses, to local regulations.

Why is this important? Its an example that an all or nothing legislative proposal can cross the finish line.

How will this be important? If Western, independent Nevada can balance state control and local control maybe other states take note.

AB 363 (2-21 | NV)

A Midwest Special Session on eminent domain

  • June 4, 2021

What’s happening? Republicans are calling for a special session in Missouri for a stalled eminent domain bill, HB 527 (2021 | MO) .

Why is this important? The bill would “require companies wishing to establish merchant lines to provide proof of support from each county commission it would impact when applying for approval from the Public Service Commission (PSC). It would also prohibit certain groups from using eminent domain to construct merchant lines. “

How will this be important? The messaging around this eminent domain issue is key. The property rights advocates want to deny eminent domain for the transmission line because the benefit from the transmission line will not be felt in Missouri. The transmission line merely passes through Missouri. Any projects in your state where a county or city won’t benefit directly from the project that uses eminent domain?

Missouri Times | Lawmakers ask Parson for special session on agriculture, eminent domain issues

COVID Legislation: Protecting HealthCare Worker Identities.

  • June 3, 2021

What’s happening? People are doxing health care workers during the COVID pandemic. Colorado passed HB21-1107 (2021 | CO) to make it illegal to share the personal information of public health workers and their families online so that it can be used for purposes of harassment.

Why is this important? Other states have addressed doxing across all professions. Some have focused just on law enforcement.

How will this be important? Protecting a person’s privacy and allowing the person to do their job without harassment will continue to be addressed in a multitude of ways. Let’s Frankenstein some laws, shall we?

New York Times | Colorado Makes Doxxing Public Health Workers Illegal

@WashingtonPost on instagram

Tulsa Race Massacre + Eminent Domain

  • May 28, 2021

What’s happening? This week marked the 100 year remembrance of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 50 years after the Massacre, the rebuilt black community met eminent domain when property was taken for a new highway.

Why is this important? History and eminent domain are having a renaissance.

How will this be important? Discussion of eminent domain policy will include societal impacts.

NBC News | Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood found prosperity after the 1921 massacre. Then the highways arrived.