8/12/2014 - "Municipal Options for Controlling Fracking: How Local Communities Can Use Planning and Zoning to Mitigate the Consequences of the Fracking Boom." The need for local zoning to address the impacts of drilling and fracking for oil and gas resources is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. This Webinar focuses on the need for local government regulation of oil and gas fracking, drilling, and production to avoid preemption and ﬁll the vacuum left by less than comprehensive federal and state regulation. The Webinar: (1) demonstrates that federal and state preemption of local government activity arising from mining and oil and gas extraction is not currently the majority rule in the United States; and (2) provides numerous examples of specific local government oil and gas ordinance provisions through land use planning and implementation techniques. To watch the webinar in its entirety click here or on the photo to the left.
5/14/2013 - "Revenue Streams for Cities and Counties in Supplying Renewable Solar Energy for Commercial and Residential Markets." As states require utilities to meet portfolio standards ranging from 10% to 33% renewable energy production, an enormous market is available through city installation of solar panels on residential and commercial buildings. This market avoids bringing electrical transmission from remote large scale wind and solar facilities. Cities gain by the sale of renewable energy credits and property owners benefit by paying for the systems through the "negawatts" saved from rising electric utility rates. To watch the webinar in its entirety click here or on the photo to the left.
3/12/2013 - Oil and Gas Fracking: The Santa Fe County Plan and Ordinance, A Model for Local Governments Throughout the United States." The recent boom in oil and natural gas drilling resulting from the technological advance of fracking has overwhelmed many small communities. The need for local zoning to address the impact fees and adequate public facilities dedications is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life.This slideshow/talk demonstrates how local communities can protect themselves from the worst consequences of oil and gas drilling. To watch the webinar in its entirety click here or on the photo to the left.
Books & Articles
12/2014 - The Fall 2014 issue of the The Public Law Journal, a publication of the California State Bar Public Law Section, includes Bob Freilich's and Neil Popowitz's new Article, "To Ban or Not to Ban: How California Cities and Counties Can Effectively Regulate Oil and Gas Fracking Activity without the Risk of a Total Ban."A growing number of California cities and counties, acting under the authority of the current oil and gas statute, S.B. 4, California Public Resources Code, Section 3690 have, or are moving to ban all oil and gas drilling and fracking from their jurisdictions. This article analyzes: (1) whether cities and counties are preempted from banning all oil and gas drilling and fracking pursuant to state preemption and operational conflict doctrines; (2) whether banning all oil and gas drilling and fracking, even if authorized by S.B. 4, would constitutes a taking of lands or leases whose only value lies in oil and gas extraction; and (3) how cities and counties, not banning fracking, can effectively regulate and tax oil and gas drilling and fracking to achieve fiscal balance, economic activity and employment, adequate public facilities and services, affordable housing and protection of environmentally sensitive lands, air and water quality. The full article is available here or by clicking on the cover photo to the left.
1/2014 - The Fall 2013 issue of The Urban Lawyer, the American Bar Association's national journal on land use, includes Bob Freilich's and Neil Popowitz's new article, "How Local Governments Can Resolve Koontz's Prohibitions on Ad Hoc Land Use Restriction." The U.S. Supreme Court's recent pronouncements in the highly contested five to four decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District essentially prohibits ad hoc, non-legislative conditioning of applications for development approval that do not meet the "nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests of Nollan and Dolan regardless of (1) whether by monetary exaction or dedication of land; (2) whether the application is approved with such conditions or denied for failure to agree to such conditions; or (3) for infrastructure or mitigation of environmental harm. This article addresses how local governments may move forward in a post Koontz world while maintaining flexibility in planning and development.The full article is available here or by clicking on the cover photo to the left.
12/2012 - The Summer 2012 issue of The Urban Lawyer, the American Bar Association's national journal on land use, includes Bob Freilich's and Neil Popowitz's new article, "Oil and Gas Fracking: State and Federal Regulation Does Not Preempt Needed Local Government Regulation - Examining the Santa Fe Oil and Gas Plan and Ordinance as a Model." The recent boom in oil and natural gas drilling resulting from the technological advance of fracking has overwhelmed many small communities. The need for local zoning to address the impact fees and adequate public facilities dedications is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. The article details how local communities can protect themselves from the worst consequences of oil and gas drilling without running afoul of federal and state preemption. The full article is available here or by clicking on the cover photo to the left.
5/2012 - The 6th edition of Dr. Freilich's "Cases and Materials on Land Use," co-authored with Tom Roberts and David Callies, was published by Thomson West. This is the leading planning and law casebook in the United States, used in more law schools than any other land use casebook, and it covers the entire range of modern land use legal practice and constitutional litigation from the onset of Euclidean zoning through the wide range of new issues arising in the 21st century. New materials on accessory uses, zoning out competitors, and contract zoning accompany the classic cases of the prior edition. Topics covered include regulation of formula businesses, sustainability and green standards, new urbanism, transit oriented development, mixed use and the resurgence of large scale new towns, new perspectives on affordable housing, revitalization of cities in light of the mortgage crisis affecting suburban sprawl, new regional and state policies for growth management, conservation of water and monetization of solar energy. There is enhanced coverage of the Clean Water Act (TMDLs) and wetlands (the Rapanos case) and of disaster planning for fire hazards and flooding. Order your copy here.
9/2010 - The Summer 2010 issue of The Urban Lawyer includes Bob Freilich's and Neil Popowitz's review of Joan Fitzgerald's new book, "Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development," an exciting new book for lawyers, planners, city managers, engineers and economists working in our modern urban environment. Emerald Cities focuses on green development and renewable energy efforts by Central Cities and we highly recommend this book to anyone in the sustainability field interested in innovative and successful practices. The book review is available here or by clicking on the cover photo to the left.
2010 - The 2nd edition of "From Sprawl to Sustainability - Smart Growth, New Urbanism, Green Development, and Renewable Energy," authored by Bob Freilich, Bob Sitkowski and Seth Mennillo, has been published by the American Bar Association. Green InSight Newletter writes that the book "...is a must read for everyone desiring to create more sustainable communities. ... If you are involved in land use and the environment and don’t read this book you will be left behind and out of the excitement of solving the problems of the 21st century." For the full review, click here. Click here to read the Preface. Click here to see the Table of Contents. Click here for the Google Books preview. Click here to order your copy.
5/2010 - The lead article in the Winter 2010 issue of The Urban Lawyer, the American Bar Association's national journal on land use, is Bob Freilich's and Neil Popowitz's "The Umbrella of Sustainability: Smart Growth, New Urbanism, Renewable Energy and Green Development in the 21st Century." This first decade of the 21st century has generated unprecedented levels of environmental awareness and activity around the globe. Although this focus on sustainability has been championed by environmentalists and concerned citizens acting on civic imperatives—and may have been viewed until recently as a fad by developers—the economic reality of global warming has now taken hold. Land, especially within job-producing regions, is the ultimate nonrenewable resource. If built under sprawl development patterns, unsustainable burdens on the environment and public infrastructure and the loss of environmentally sensitive open space and agricultural lands will become intolerable. The inevitable result is that the sustainability movement will continue to build momentum and manifest itself in the priorities of governments, citizens, consumers, developers, and the industrial-commercial complex. The full article is available here or by clicking on the cover photo to the left.
2008 - The 21st Century Land Development Code authored by Bob Freilich and Mark White, is a complete planning and law model code integrating traditional Euclidean zoning with green codes, new urbanism, and smart growth. It covers sustainability, traditional neighborhood development, transit-oriented development, mixed use centers, subdivision regulations, official mapping, adequate public facilities, variances, conditional uses, religious uses, adult uses, telecommunications, and complete forms and procedures. Commentaries in each section provide guidance on everything you need to know for adapting the code to your community. Illustrations, definitions, forms, checklists, and specifications for documents are included. In her review of the book, Professor Patricia Salkin of Albany Law School stated that the book "is perhaps the best place to begin local reform efforts." Professor Salkin's review is available here. Click here or on the cover photo to the left to order your copy.