Letter from the Chair - Articles

All Content

Posted by: Lynn Pointer on Dec 20, 2013

The TBA Environmental Law Section is presenting a 3.25 hour CLE in January about land use issues and how the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), may affect those issues.  When this decision was issued, Justice Elena Kagan predicted it will work a revolution in land-use law.  This case deals with the requirements that the government must meet when it demands property from a land-use permit applicant as a condition to approving the permit, even when the demand is for money.  Two prior U.S. Supreme Court cases established those requirements – that there must be “a ‘nexus’ and ‘rough proportionality’ between the government’s demand and the effects of the proposed land use.”  Id. at 2591.  Some critics are concerned that the extension of those holdings in Koontz “will result in long-lasting harm to America’s communities.”  John D. Echeverria, A Legal Blow to Sustainable Development, N.Y. Times, June 26, 2013.  Those critics are concerned that the ruling will discourage negotiation and cooperation among municipal governments, developers, and communities.  Id.

Two of our Section’s members, Rick Hitchcock of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga and Greg Young of Stites & Harbison in Nashville, are teaming up with J.B. Ruhl, Vanderbilt Law School, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law and Co-director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, to fully explore and educate our bar about the topic.  This CLE is geared towards the general practitioner and is relevant to many practice areas including environmental law, real estate law, and construction law, whether you are in private practice or work in the non-profit or government arenas.  I encourage you to attend in person on January 23, 2014 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville.  The last portion of the program will be an interactive question and answer session to allow you a chance to flush out specific issues with the presenters.  If your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend in person, you can watch the Webcast afterwards through TennBarU.   I look forward to seeing many of you at this CLE. 

On another note, the Section is moving forward with planning tree planting projects in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville in the February to March timeframe.  Please contact me if you are interested in participating in or contributing to this project.

May each of you have a joyful and fun holiday season!

Catherine W. Anglin, Esq.
Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers, LLP
900 South Gay Street, Suite 2200
Knoxville, Tennessee  37902-1821
Telephone 865/525-0880

Correction Note:  The Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award Writing Competition reference in my Letter from the Chair in the October newsletter incorrectly spelled Jon's name.  We apologize for the error.