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In a case that we reported on around this time last year, late last month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal district court’s ruling denying a motion for preliminary injunction against Bel-Nor, Missouri’s “one sign” rule.  The Eighth Circuit’s ruling means that the city will be temporary enjoined from enforcing the law. The facts of the case are discussed in our earlier post. The court of appeals had no problem finding…
Earlier this month, a federal district court in Kansas awarded summary judgment to a plaintiff who claimed that the City of Williamsburg’s sign code violated the First Amendment. The plaintiff, Eric Clark, placed several signs and other objects in a city right-of-way easement.  The city issued a notice of violation, which set off a series of interactions between the city’s code enforcement officer and Clark, and Clark issued several letters to the city claiming various…
Two weeks ago, a federal district court granted the motion to dismiss of Joe Daus, the zoning administrator for Howell Township, Michigan, in a case challenging the township’s billboard regulations. Crossroads Outdoor is a billboard company that sought to install a sign on property owned by the local American Legion post in Howell Township.  The township, through Daus, denied the variance on the grounds that it was not permissible to place the sign in the…
Two weeks ago, a federal district court in California granted preliminary injunctive relief to a tattoo shop owner who challenged the City of Montebello, California’s geographic restrictions on body art establishments. Montebello’s regulation prohibits tattoo parlors within 1,000 feet of certain sensitive uses, including residential properties, schools, libraries, and religious institutions.  The effect of the regulation is to limit such establishments to two small shopping centers in the city.  Tattoo parlors are also subject to…
Last month, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction in a case initiated by HomeAway and Airbnb challenging the City of Santa Monica, California’s short-term rental regulations.  The plaintiffs in the case alleged violations of the First Amendment right to freedom of association. Located on the Pacific coast and known as a tourist destination, by early 2018, Santa Monica had nearly 2,000 Airbnb or HomeAway listings—in…
This post follows up two earlier posts about a citizen initiative to limit residential growth in Lakewood, Colorado.  Details about the proposal can be found here. On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted 10‑0 to call a special municipal election for July 2 to allow voters to decide whether to impose a 1% growth cap for new dwelling units in Colorado’s fifth largest city. The Strategic Growth Initiative has been a focal point of local…
Déjà Vu of Nashville, Inc. is a business engaged “in the presentation of female performance dance entertainment to the consenting adult public.”  More prosaically, Déjà Vu operates a strip club.  That business, you will not be surprised to learn, has its detractors.  After those detractors found themselves unable to prevent Déjà Vu from operating as a permitted use in downtown Nashville, they took aim at Déjà Vu’s planned valet service, which was to be operated…
The rats and cats are back.  We first reported on this case in 2016, after the Seventh Circuit determined that it might be moot.  As it turns out, the case was not moot, and “Scabby the Rat” returned to the appeals court again.  In a ruling last month, the Seventh Circuit found that the district court properly determined that the town’s ordinance prohibiting the inflatable rat was not content based and accorded with the…
This week, the City and County of Denver revoked a short-term rental license for the first time, after a hearing before the Department of Excise and Licenses revolving around whether the host actually did meet the “primary residence” requirement.  This action comes just before the new rules for short-term rentals, covered in an earlier blog post, take effect on April 10.  Among other things, those rules give Denver broader rights to revoke or deny…