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Supreme Court land-use decision and what it means for walkability

If you are a land-use attorney, a staunch follower of the Supreme Court, or just your average planning geek (like me) then you have heard of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Koontz vs. St. John’s River Water Management District case.  You are comparing it to Nollan and Dolan and throwing around terms like “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality”.  You know that permit denials from municipalities are now subject to a higher level of scrutiny.

If you are really good, you are asking what effect the decision will have on the environmental review process and who will bear the additional costs associated with the higher scrutiny.  You’re wondering if municipalities are going to lose the freedom to have ‘flexible’ zoning in order to avoid litigation.

On the other hand, if you are a developer, municipal planner, or permitting agency that just doesn’t have time to keep up with it all  OR if you hear ‘Nollan’ and think Nolan Ryan or ‘Koontz’ and are looking for the next mass produced paperback, there is an opportunity to get the quick and dirty summary.  The American Planning Association is hosting a webinar on July 17th from 4:00-5:30pm to discuss the case and what it means and how to comply with the Court’s mandate.  If you are involved in land-use decisions or permitting it would be worthwhile to see if your day to day operations are going to be impacted.

It’s a bit pricey, so invite your friends.  Each registration includes unlimited attendees.

What does this have to do with walkable neighborhoods?  A lot.  It’s a major land-use decision and walkability can be affected by these decisions.  The slightest change in mindset,  municipal priority, or funding  can mean the difference between sidewalks being installed or not.  Additional financial burdens are going to have to come out of municipal budgets and some project(s) is going to have to be deferred to balance the books.  As we all know, sidewalks, street trees, trails, and public art are often easy targets.

If you are an AICP and in need of those pesky law Certification Maintenance credits, this webinar has you covered.

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