Legal Notes

Overview

Legal Notes

Article Legal Notes Margaret Rosequist

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.

Article Legal Notes Bruce A. BarsookJoshua A. Goodman

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…

Article Legal Notes Thomas B. BrownRichard Doyle

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…

Article Legal Notes Trevor RusinAndrea Visveshwara

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…

Article Legal Notes Joan BorgerRebecca Moon

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.

Article Legal Notes Barbara J. ParkerKiran Jain

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…

Article Legal Notes The League Of California Cities’ Committee On The California Public Records Act

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.

Article Legal Notes Stephen A. McewenLisa S. Kurihara

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…

Article Legal Notes Michael R. CobdenTeresa L. Highsmith

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…

Article Legal Notes Christi Hogin

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…

Article Legal Notes Leah Goldberg

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…

Article Legal Notes Gail A. Karish

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….

Article Legal Notes Stephen E. Velyvis

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…

Article Legal Notes Gregory P. PriamosNeil D. Okazaki

California Supreme Court: Cities May Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Over the past several years, California cities and counties have faced the issue of whether to permit or ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Many cities imposed bans or prohibited dispensary…

Article Legal Notes Amy Greyson

Due Process Walls in the City Attorney’s Office: Safeguarding Fair Hearings

In light of a recent court decision, cities should make sure their practices are consistent with the due process rights of parties involved in quasi-judicial proceedings.

Article Legal Notes Robert A. Blum

Opportunities to Save Pension Costs Through Collective Bargaining After Pension Reform

The Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 mandates uniform, generally lower benefit formulas for all “new members” of California public agency defined benefit retirement plans.

Article Legal Notes Brian I. Hamblet

Making Drug Dealers Pay For Law Enforcement

Cities are increasingly using civil actions rather than criminal prosecution to curb illegal drug sales within their borders. Often such actions are taken either under general nuisance laws or the…

Article Legal Notes Kent J. Bullard

Filarsky v. Delia: An Unqualified Win For Qualified Immunity

The doctrine of qualified immunity protects government defendants from liability as long as their conduct did not violate clearly established law. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on the issue…

Article Legal Notes Matthew R. Silver

Realignment: How Cities Can Maximize Existing Powers and Recover Costs to Fight Crime

Cities can draw on their own police powers and state laws to abate problems from drugs and prostitution to graffiti and gangs.