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AICP Top 25 Cases

Top 25 Cases in planning and environmental law

QuestionAnswer
Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 1922 Taking - Mining Rights - The U.S. Supreme Court indicated, for the first time, that regulation of land use might be a taking.
Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 1926 Zoning - Established zoning as a valid exercise of police power by local government. Amber Realty challenged the enforcement of a zoning ordinance on the ground that the enforcement would constitute an unconstitutional taking by devaluing his land.
Berman v. Parker, 1954 Emnt Domn - Established aesthetics and redevelopment as valid public purposes for exercising the power of eminent domain. The Court found that the 5th Amndmnt doesn't limit Congress' power to seize private property with just compensation to any specific
Cheney v. Village 2 at New Hope, Inc., 1968 Legitimized PUD process. An ordinance creating a PUD district and authorizing the planning commission to approve the type, size and location of buildings and uses within the district was not in violation of the municipal comprehensive plan or an illegal
Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe , 1971 Established the “hard look” doctrine for environmental impact review. Citizens and local and national conservation groups successfully challenge the decision of the Secretary of Trans. to authorize the use of federal funds to finance the construction of a
Calvert Cliffs’ Coordinating Committee v. Atomic Energy Commission, 1971 Made National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements judicially enforceable. EIS must be considered by the ultimate licensing authority
Sierra Club v. Morton, 1972 Opened up environmental citizen suits to discipline the resource agencies.
Golden v. Planning Board of Ramapo, 1972 Recognized growth phasing programs. Zoning ordinance, allowing subdivision development only by special permit upon showing that adequate municipal facilities and services were available or would be provided by the developer, constituted a rational attemp
Just v. Marinette County, 1973 Significantly integrated public trust theories into a modern regulatory scheme. Challenge to Shoreline Zoning Ordinance that owners can't develop land near navigable waters upheld. Not a takings because it preserved a public right rather than conferring
Fasano v. Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, 1973 Required zoning to be consistent with comprehensive plans. The board wanted to rezone an area from single family to planned residential. Lower court: allowed the rezoning. SC: the board did not show that the zoning change was in accordance with the compr
Young v. American Mini Theaters, Inc., 1976 Opened up the possibility to control pornography via land use. Special requirements applicable to adult theaters and bookstores upheld.
Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 1978 Established that discriminatory intent is required to invalidate zoning actions with racially disproportionate impacts. The disproportionate racial impact of the village’s refusal to grant rezoning necessary to allow construction of low-income housing is
Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill, 1978 Created modern Endangered Species Act law (protecting the snail darter). U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision held that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 prohibits the completion and operation of the Tellico Dam.
Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 1978 Introduced a means-end balancing test for regulatory takings and validated historic preservation controls. Restrictions on the development of the Grand Central Terminal did not amount to a taking of property, since Penn Central could transfer the developm
Agins v. City of Tiburon, 1980 (APA amicus curiae) Used an alternative takings test to the Penn Central test. U.S. Supreme Court rules that the open space zoning ordinance of the city of Tiburon, California, does not result in a taking of property without payment of just compensation.
Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego, 1981 Extended commercial speech to aesthetic regulation. Ordinance that substantially restricted both commercial and noncommercial off-site billboards as well as noncommercial on-site billboards held unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Township of Mt. Laurel (II), 1983 Created the model fair housing remedy for exclusionary zoning. The court affirmed and refined the state’s constitutional requirement that municipalities must provide their fair share of low- and moderate-income housing.
Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, 1985 (APA amicus curiae) Defined the ripeness doctrine for judicial review of takings claims. No final decision for judicial review has been made and a claim of a taking without just compensation is premature where a property owner fails to seek the possible relief of variance an
First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. Los Angeles County, 1987 (APA amicus curiae) Allowed damages (as opposed to invalidation) as a remedy for regulatory takings. Just compensation clause of Fifth Amendment requires compensation for temporary takings which occur as a result of regulations ultimately invalidated in court.
Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 1987 Created the “essential nexus” takings test for conditioning development approvals on dedications and exactions. Requiring the conveyance to the public of an easement for lateral beach access as a condition for a permit to replace a one-story beach hous...
Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 1992 (APA amicus curiae) Defined categorical regulatory takings and an exception for regulations rooted in background principles of law. Compensation to be paid to landowners when regulations deprive them of all economically beneficial land use unless uses are disallowed by ti...
Dolan v. City of Tigard, 1994 (APA amicus curiae) Extended Nollan’s “essential nexus” test to require “rough proportionality” between development impact and conditions. Permit condition requiring land dedication for pedestrian/bike path is unconstitutional taking when city has not made individualized...
Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon, 1995 Applied the Endangered Species Act to land development. Secretary of Interior’s definition of “harm” to endangered species is valid when defined as “significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife.”
Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 2002 (APA amicus curiae) Sanctioned the use of moratoria and reaffirmed the parcel-as-a-whole rule for takings review. Moratoria on development are not per se takings under the Fifth Amendment, but should be analyzed under the multi-factor Penn Central test.
Created by: Troyofkat