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Legal Notes Archive

Title Issue
What You Need to Know About AB 2 and Community Revitalization Tools

What You Need to Know About AB 2 and Community Revitalization Tools

City officials seeking creative ways to finance economic development projects should take a look at the tools provided by AB 2.

April 2016
Temporary Directional Signs Lead U.S. Supreme Court to the Strictest First Amendment Scrutiny

Temporary Directional Signs Lead U.S. Supreme Court to the Strictest First Amendment Scrutiny

Following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, California cities should ensure that their sign codes comply with the court’s strict approach to defining content neutrality.

February 2016
Factfinding Under AB 646: Impacts and Lessons Learned

Factfinding Under AB 646: Impacts and Lessons Learned

When a city and a recognized employee organization are unable to reach agreement on matters within the scope of bargaining, an impasse occurs. In addition to any other resolution process the parties may utilize, such as mediation, AB 646 authorizes the employee organization to request that the parties undergo factfinding.

December 2015
California Supreme Court Upholds Inclusionary Housing Programs

California Supreme Court Upholds Inclusionary Housing Programs

The California Supreme Court in June 2015 issued one of its most important and city-friendly decisions in many years, reaffirming the breadth of cities’ power to address the affordable housing crisis.

October 2015
Home Sharing in the New Economy

Home Sharing in the New Economy

Online hosting platforms make it easy to rent a home or room for short periods of time. Cities’ traditional regulatory tools allow communities to address short-term rentals and their potential impacts.

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