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Legal Notes Archive

Title Issue
Home Sharing in the New Economy

Home Sharing in the New Economy

August 2015
Ride Sharing in the New Economy

Ride Sharing in the New Economy

Cities have regulated taxis for decades for legitimate reasons related to local public safety and consumer protection. Now ride sharing services present a new set of challenges.

June 2015
The Challenges of Open Data and Privacy Issues

The Challenges of Open Data and Privacy Issues

The recent advent of extraordinary technological advances has made it possible to provide easy access to city information and data. It has also presented an unprecedented opportunity to improve services and provide this information in formats that enable city residents and businesses to create or obtain programs that can manipulate and readily interpret and evaluate data made available or disclosed upon request. Cities are at a crossroads. As public stewards of information in this “brave new world,” we must balance the public’s interest in and right to public information against our residents’ privacy rights and interests. We must simultaneously protect the privacy rights of residents while providing open and transparent access to government information.

April 2015
Cost-Effective Public Records Act Compliance and Records Transparency Following Proposition 42

Cost-Effective Public Records Act Compliance and Records Transparency Following Proposition 42

City policies and practices can maintain records transparency, simplify responding to disclosure requests and reduce costs even before a records request is submitted.

February 2015
Addressing Health and Safety Issues Related to Public Encampments and Vehicle Habitation

Addressing Health and Safety Issues Related to Public Encampments and Vehicle Habitation

In dealing with public encampments and vehicle habitation, city officials must be sensitive to the constitutional rights of the affected individuals, who are often homeless, and the many related complex social welfare challenges.

December 2014
The Better Part of Valor: Amending Local Sex Offender Ordinances

The Better Part of Valor: Amending Local Sex Offender Ordinances

Few city officials or residents favor the idea of repealing an ordinance intended to protect children from sexual predators, but many cities with such ordinances are being forced to do just that as a result of legal challenges. By moving quickly and carefully, city councils can address the appellate rulings and avoid paying for the privilege of repealing their ordinances.

October 2014
Sober Living Businesses in Residential Zones

Sober Living Businesses in Residential Zones

This article presents the current legal constraints and considerations related to local regulation of sober living homes and residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities, which is limited by state law.

August 2014
The Gatto Act Provides Cities With New Opportunities for Environmental Cleanup

The Gatto Act Provides Cities With New Opportunities for Environmental Cleanup

The Legislature’s elimination of redevelopment agencies in 2012 stripped cities of several important tools to address blight in the community. Meanwhile, contamination or the threat of contamination still serves as a blighting influence in many California communities. The Gatto Act provides local agencies with a tool to address brownfields.

June 2014
Wireless Industry Seeks to Limit Local Zoning Authority

Wireless Industry Seeks to Limit Local Zoning Authority

Wireless industry lobbyists continue to advocate before Congress, state legislators and the Federal Communications Commission that local zoning requirements are a barrier that must be cleared away. It is not too late to voice concerns, and city officials have many reasons to do so.

April 2014
Practical Advice for Minimizing CEQA Liability in Your City

Practical Advice for Minimizing CEQA Liability in Your City

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is the primary state law that requires public agencies and their decision-makers to understand and evaluate the environmental consequences of their discretionary decisions before making them. Moreover, CEQA requires that public agencies not only consider but take action to mitigate or avoid significant adverse environmental impacts where feasible.

February 2014