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.

Builder | OREGON PASSES WILDFIRE BILL TO PROTECT HOMES FROM FUTURE DESTRUCTION

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.

RQ-0429-KP

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.

Social Justice and Eminent Domain

  • May 28, 2021

What’s happening?Whether it is a city making amends for using eminent domain to move out a black community for a highway, California for historically using eminent domain to move a black community from a beach or National Geographic discussing how Central Park was built after the use of eminent domain removed black land owners.

Why is this important? Diversity, fairness and equality is the name of the game when information is easily accessed as it is now in a pandemic/post-pandemic world.

How will this be important? Local governments and states are creating checks and balances to prevent these types of actions from occurring again.

National Geographic | This Is How We Can Envision Black Freedom

New Transparency. Police use of Black Lives Matter Legislation: Drone Reporting.

  • May 27, 2021

What’s happening? Minnesota adopted a new drone law that requires law enforcement agencies to file an annual report on drone usage, costs and if a search warrant was obtained for a flight

Why is this important? The legislation further limits drone use by law enforcement to prohibit drone use (1) for facial recognition or (2) to collect data at public demonstrations without a warrant.

How will this be important? Early adapters of drone laws often did not have the privacy and data limitations that newer drone laws have.

Governing | Minnesota Law Increases Transparency on Police Use of Drones

New State Board to Challenge Land Use Issues non-judiciously

  • May 27, 2021

What’s happening? NH, like many states, has a hot housing market. To keep the market in check, the state Legislature created the Housing Appeals Board “to provide a non-judicial avenue for aggrieved landowners and developers to appeal local land-use decisions.”

Why is this important? Other states see a Housing Appeals Board as a way to keep a pro-housing tool, without addressing zoning rules by allowing it to “intervene to approve formerly denied applications and allow projects to proceed.”

How will this be important? This will be replicated, especially as housing markets grow tighter. Its quicker and cheaper than courts and doesn’t change any laws or zoning laws.

Governing | When Governments’ Barriers to Housing Step Over the Line

Short Term Rental Numbers 2021

  • May 21, 2021

What’s happening? Short term rentals are exceeding 2019 numbers.5.4% more than 2019. Up 66.4% over 2020’s numbers as of April 2021.

Why is this important? Higher rental numbers, more potential for issues, which opens the doors for more regulation to solve the issues.

How will this be important? Short term rentals are regulated in different levels in different states

Motley fool | Short-Term Rental Demand Surpasses 2019 Numbers — but There’s 1 Problem

Intellectual Eminent Domain

  • May 21, 2021

What’s happening? Pundits are calling the possibility of limiting patent protections for COVID vaccines a form of intellectual eminent domain.

Why is this important? It’s happened in other times in history, mostly around war time.

How will this be important? The issue hinges on whether federal funds were used to create the patent. If so, more likely to pull back patent protections.

Newsmax | A New Era of Intellectual Eminent Domain

Meet the Property Rights Issue that will be in your Special Session

  • May 20, 2021

What’s happening? Meet the Republican legislation in response to President Biden’s 30×30 Executive Order. 30×30 opponents call it a land grab to meet arbitrary climate change goals

Why is this important? The legislation looks to prevent federal control over private lands, which is what opponents to 30×30 believe is occurring.

How will this be important? A private property rights issue against a sitting administration, it has all the trappings of a hot topic for special sessions and election season.

KRSL | REPRESENTATIVE MANN, SENATORS MORAN AND MARSHALL INTRODUCE LEGISLATION PUSHING BACK AGAINST 30X30 PROPOSAL

Land use and Battery Storage Facility

  • May 20, 2021

What’s happening? The Butte-Silver Bow, Mont., Zoning Board is considering a zoning request for a 5 acre proposed battery storage facility.

Why is this important? Residents say it will scar the views and character, pose safety risks and lead to further industrialization in open spaces. The developer says it will “help fill gaps in energy capacity and provide electric power if needed during peak loads and critical times”

How will this be important? As the number of battery facilities expands so will the concerns of nearby residents. Take notes.

Governing | Montana County Debates Battery Storage Facility Installation

Solar Installations & An Eminent Domain Amendment

  • May 14, 2021

What’s happening? When a county approved a solar array, it added this eminent domain cavet: “prohibiting the use of eminent domain to cross a joining property with the infrastructure needed for community solar”

Why is this important? Let’s think of this as a way to create a list of all the ways to limit eminent domain

How will this be important? No one is re-creating the wheel- maybe this amendment language works for you or against you, either ay keep it in your back pocket for use.

Capital Gazette | Carroll commissioners approve zoning text amendment to set ground rules for community solar energy

Eminent Domain = Economic Assassination?

  • May 14, 2021

What’s happening? Reason has an article entitled, When Eminent Domain Is Used for Economic Assassination, and it caught my attention. They use the phrasing as away to talk about eminent domain and economic development.

Why is this important? No one is ever going to think eminent domain is fair. On one side is growth and progress and on the other individual property owners. It will always be contentious issue.

How will this be important? The messaging in this could resonate. Its new and fresh.

Reason | When Eminent Domain Is Used for Economic Assassination

Who knows property that falls from space?

  • May 14, 2021

What’s happening? Florida Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, HB 221 (2021 | FL), that says property rights remain attached as property re-enters the earth’s atmosphere and lands.

Why is this important? The goal is to allow aerospace companies to obtain their property.

How will this be important? Does your state have a growing aerospace presence, well, hello, you! This one is for you.

Apopka Voice | New Florida law says when space debris falls from the sky, property rights still apply

Add Houston to the Lit of Cities Looking at Historical Eminent Domain Use

  • May 14, 2021

What’s happening? Houston Freedman’s Town Conservancy was created with the support of the city planning office. The Conservancy is looking into the historical use of eminent domain that “wipe[d] out our heritage”

Why is this important? Coast to coast cities are looking at historical uses of eminent domain that impacted black and people of color communities.

How will this be important? Like many of the issues that rose to the top during the pandemic, this is only getting started.

Click2 Houston | Major efforts underway to restore, preserve Houston’s oldest Black community

Full Use and Enjoyment of Land Meets Renewable Energy

  • May 7, 2021

What is happening? Imagine a couple planning their retirement home on top of a ridge looking at the Cascades. They said no to solar arrays and their neighbors did not.

Why is this important? How does one align renewable energy and land owner desire to protect property values, protect wildlife, and address concerns about the potential for fires should batteries be part of a project.

How will this be important? More renewable will continue to be sited and eventually regulators or legislators will address how to build the infrastructure while respecting property values, wildlife and address wildfire concerns.

Governing | Solar Farms Will Redefine Energy If They Can Get Installed

Land Use and Cemeteries

  • May 7, 2021

What is happening? Saunders County (Nebraska) Planning Commission rejected a solar installation site in part for its proximity to a cemetery

Why is this important? It’s not an often brought up reason for solar placement, but how many small rural cemeteries are within a certain number of feet of a solar array?

How will this be important? can’t imagine any solar siting ordinances, rules or laws including cemeteries… or at least not yet.

The Telegraph | Planning commission votes against permit for solar farm

+1 State Statewide Short Term Rental Legislation

  • May 7, 2021

What’s happening? Nevada Legislature is considering AB 363 (2021 | NV) which would preempt local ordinances and establish a statewide framework for short term rentals.

Why is this important? In addition to the usual who is operating and licensing, this bill would also provide space distance requirements between short term rentals of 500 feet.

How will this be important? Spacing of short term rentals isn’t that common in ordinances and Las Vegas has an ordnance of 660 feet between short term rentals. Other state and local government swill pick up on this & try their hand at it.

News Now Las Vegas | Neighbors push back against bill to change short-term rental regulations

Land Use- Multi County Bike Trail

  • May 6, 2021

What’s happening? 6 counties in the Greater Sacramento California are are joining forces to build a biking and hiking trail through 6 counties. Which will involve the taking of land.

Why is this important? COVID has resulted in an increase in the sale of bicycles.

How will this be important? The bike trail will be built in ways to improve equity and access to nature trails.

Sacramento Bee via Governing | Six Sacramento Counties Plan Biking Highway System

US Supreme Court Case

  • April 30, 2021

What’s happening? The US Supreme Court is hearing a case between the State of New Jersey and a Pipeline on whether the pipeline can take state land for its project. I want to say this a goose and gander situation, but I’ll withhold.

Why is this important? Eminent Domain cases getting tricky the multiple constitutional rights overlap. Like when land is owned by a Church, or in this case, when

How will it be important? There is no level playing field among entities with eminent domain authority over whether they can or cannot take state lands.

State Impact PA | SCOTUS hears arguments in eminent domain case involving PennEast pipeline project

Limiting Developer Fees

  • April 30, 2021

What is happening? Florida passed legislation to limit developer impact fees.  Impact fees are fees paid by developers to help local governments shoulder the cost of roads and other infrastructure associated with new growth. H337 (2021 | FL)

Why is this important? Critics say this only harms local control.

How will this be important? A tool for the tool belt of state officials reigning in local fees and services.

WMFE | Legislature Approves Limits On Developer Fees

Requiring Middle Housing Designations

  • April 29, 2021

What is happening? North Carolina is considering HB 401 (2021 | NC) that would require local zoning codes to include middle housing in residential zoning. Middle Housing is duplexes, townhomes, triplexes, & quadplexes in single family residential zoning. It also requires local governments to allow at least one accessory dwelling for single-family resident. These accessory dwellings may not be held to owner-occupancy, minimum parking or conditional-use zoning requirements.

Why is this important? It balances the need for housing in tight housing markets by including townhouses and friends but it also gives single family property owners access to add a guest house, show term rental or home office on their property.

How will this be important?High growth cities are grappling with adding more housing and changing local single family zoning to include townhouses, duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes.

Carteret News Times | Towns worry 2 state bills could thwart local ability to regulate property use

Tree Ordinances Continue. State Preemption

  • April 29, 2021

What’s happening? North Carolina Legislature is considering House Bill 496 (2021 | NC), the Property Owners’ Rights/Tree Ordinances Act, that would require state legislature approval of any local government tree removal ordinance.

Why is this important? The mix of policy considerations is what makes this interesting. The State protecting a property owner’s right to use her land as she pleases. The Local Government power being usurped by the state.

How will this be important? This balance between state power and local power is playing out in many areas- land use, homeless population policies, plastic bag bans, ride share regulation, short term rental legislation, electric scooters and more.

Carteret News Times | Towns worry 2 state bills could thwart local ability to regulate property use

County by County Approval for Eminent Domain Projects

  • April 23, 2021

What is happening? Missouri is considering SB 508 which would require that a project that uses eminent domain is overseen by the Missouri Public Service Commission would have to present resolutions from each county that has a portion of the project to the Commission for approval.

Why is this important? In Texas, there have been counties that have passed resolutions that opposed high speed rail projects.

How will this be important? The pendulum will swing and local governments will have a greater voice in state matters, and taking into account the local voice in eminent domain projects is one of those steps.

Missouri Times | Legislators, landowner groups rally in support of eminent domain legislation

State Moves to Public Use Only

  • April 23, 2021

What is happening? North Carolina Legislature is moving HB271 (2021 | NC) that will eliminate public benefit from eminent domain considerations in the state.

Why is this important? North Carolina is looking to make the change statutorily and constitutionally. Numbers and data on eminent domain support coming your way after that election.

How will this be important? Property Rights advocates have long advocated for public use only.

North State Journal | House bill would limit eminent domain

Local Petition to Limit Eminent Domain In Texas

  • April 23, 2021

What is happening? Plano, TX city council declined an initiative petition that sought to limit eminent domain in the city. The petition was declined because the signatories could not be verified or did not provide information for verification.

Why is this important? Looking for an eminent domain ban? Look to your local officials.

How will this be important? Cross your T’s and dot your I’s, but also consider local government official responses like this one from City Attorney Paige Mims who “argued that the ordinance was legally incompatible with the city charter and state law and criticized it as being unenforceable”

Plano Star Courier | Eminent domain petition dies in Plano City Council chambers as City Secretary rules that it does not have enough verifiable signatures

COVID World: Cities Monitizing Curbs

  • April 22, 2021

What is happening? The new economy has increased use of delivery services, ridesharing and micromobility. All of which make curb space more valuable.

Why is this important? Cities are using curbside kiosks to collect video data, auto type and license plate information to time how long the vehicle stays at the curb. Aspen is using “smart zones” so delivery drivers can reserve curb side space. Las Vegas is using curb space tech to make ride share pick up and drop off smoother.

How will this be important? More cities are pursuing more curb side technology policies that use curb land in varying ways and collect varying amounts of data. New rules and laws forthcoming.

Government Technology | Cities Focus on Urban Curbs and How to Manage Them

New Maine Rules for Short Term Rentals and Vacation Homes

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? LD 1377 (2021 | ME) would generate revenue to develop affordable housing, provide property tax relief & encourage more units to be used as permanent housing

Why is this important? Maine is pretty much following what D.C. did with some added help for low and middle income households

How will this be important? Maine dedicates the funds to Housing Opportunities for Maine, or HOME, program, which funds things such as affordable housing and homeless services & to a state fund for the state’s homestead tax exemption program.

Sun Journal | Bill would impose new fees on vacation homes, short-term rentals

Another Agricultural Trespass Bill

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? The Iowa Legislature is considering another “AG Gag” bill. HF 755 (2020 | IA) would make knowingly entering private property without the owner’s consent and taking soil and water samples or samples of an animal’s bodily fluids or other animal products would become an aggravated misdemeanor on the first offense. Same penalties for a trespasser who plants a camera on land for the same purpose.

Why is this important? 2 previous versions of an “Ag Gag” in Iowa are tied up in court. While opponents say it infringes on their 1st amendment rights.

How will this be important? The balance between animal welfare and property rights in the agricultural industry shall continue.

Des Moines Register | Iowa Legislature sends another ‘ag gag’ bill criminalizing specific types of trespass to Gov. Kim Reynolds

Just Compensation. What about similar sales?

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? A court in North Dakota determined that just compensation in the taking of property by eminent domain can include a review of similar sales.

Why is this important? Determining just compensation is a hot topic.

How will this be important? There’s always a lot of talk about market value, introducing evidence of similar sales could be the new term of art for just compensation policy makers.

JD Supra | North Dakota Court: Similar Sales Admissible to Determine “Just Compensation” for Eminent Domain

What happens when a property developer accepts bitcoin for rent?

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? California Real Estate Developer Rick Caruso will be accepting bitcoin as a method of payment. 1% of Caruso Properties’ treasury is in bitcoin after an investment in Gemini, a cryptocurrency.

Why is this important? A growing list of payments may be made by cryptocurrency some taxing entities accept crypto currency, some political campaigns accept crypto currency.

How will this be important? States are just beginning to regulate cryptocurrency. It’s the new frontier.

LA Times via Governing | Some L.A. Apartments, Stores Can Now Pay Rent in Bitcoin

Bill would Restructure Short Term Rental Taxes

  • April 9, 2021

What is happening? California is considering SB 555 that would create a statewide collection system for short term rental taxes directly from the short term rental platforms. SB 555 (2021 | CA)

Why is this important? This bill does not prohibit local agencies who want to continue with their own Voluntary Collection Agreements and allows cities to opt in.

How will this be important? Short term rentals appear to have faster trajectory to a new normal than hotels. Fewer people in the space = fewer germs mentality.

North Bay Business Journal | California legislation seeks to create state-run vacation rental tax revenue system

Prohibit Ag Land Sale to Non-Profits

  • April 9, 2021

What’s happening? Montana is considering legislation to prevent agricultural land from being sold to a non-profit. HB 677 (2021 | MT) Seem unusual? Well, it is allegedly aimed at stopping the American Prairie Reserve from acquiring land. The bill excepts all other nonprofits except land trusts, public lands and conservation organizations.

Why is this important? Land owners, ranchers, wildlife vs. environmental conservations is a perennial legislative fight.

How will this be important? Can you envision legislation that would prevent sales of property to people who are citizens of certain countries? Or work in certain industries? Sounds eerily familiar to bills that divest funds from certain interests

Missoula Current | Bill aims to limit nonprofit land buys; opponents see infringement on property rights

Anatomy of North Carolina’s Eminent Domain Reform Bill

  • April 9, 2021

What’s happening? North Carolina legislature has passed with bipartisan support an eminent domain bill HB271 (2021 | NC) that fortifies public use requirement, require just compensation be determined by a a jury, and requires voter approval to add these requirements to the NC Constitution.

Why is this important? NC legislators want to eliminate “public benefit” as a means of utilizing eminent domain authority and wants a more robust look of property value.

How will this be important? We should see states follow suit with the jury requirement for valuation.

North State Journal | House bill would limit eminent domain

Local Ordinance. Evict Violent Tenants. No Rent Raising.

  • April 9, 2021

What’s happening? The District of Columbia passed an ordinance that will allow landlords to evict violent tenants but prohibit rent increases.

Why is this important? D.C. is stepping back from its pandemic-related tenant protections 

How will this be important? The standard DC adopts is key- whether a tenant poses a physical risk to others. Does your state protect against violent neighbors?

Washington Post | D.C. Council votes to let landlords evict dangerous tenants, but not to raise rents