Planning and Zoning for First Amendment-Protected Land Uses
You'll learn about:
Different types of First Amendment protections in land use regulations and recent trends in the law.
How to avoid possible First Amendment violations in land use regulation, including how they may regulate land use through content-neutral zoning.
Planning tips to better position municipalities to defend against First Amendment claims.
This session will provide planners with an understanding of the different types of First Amendment issues that can arise in land use regulation. Attendees will learn how the Supreme Court’s decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert affects First Amendment issues in land use beyond sign regulation. The program will: (a) provide an overview of the different types of First Amendment issues in land use about which planners should be aware (i.e. religion, adult uses, speech); (b) review some common pitfalls for planners dealing with these issues; (c) discuss the types of claims that can be brought for violations of First Amendment protections; (d) provide tips as to how planners can avoid First Amendment violations in land use regulations, such as through content-neutral zoning regulations; and (e) discuss ways in which municipalities may defend against First Amendment claims if all else fails.
, Mauck & Baker, LLC
Invited SpeakerNoel’s practice is split between litigation and transactional work on behalf of churches and small businesses. He has litigated at both the trial and appellate levels in courts across the country from Idaho to New Jersey, advocating for the civil liberties of churches and ministries in the land use context. “My practice is primarily devoted to ensuring that people are free to serve God and their neighbors in their communities and in the marketplace,” said Sterett. Noel was born in Rockford, Ill., and received his undergraduate degree in 2003 from Truman State University where he majored in French. His love of languages and several semesters abroad in France laid the foundation for his interest in going to law school. “I wanted to use my language skills to serve others. I saw law school as an opportunity to sharpen those skills.” Noel is a graduate of Regent University’s School of Law where he served for two years as the law school chaplain and as a member of the Christian Legal Society and Regent Students for Life. Noel now resides in Elmhurst, Illinois along with his wife and three children. He is a member at Pathway Community Church in Elmhurst, and currently serves on the board of Courtside Ministries, a prayer ministry for people on their way in and out of court.
, Robinson & Cole, LLP
Confirmed SpeakerEvan Seeman is a member of Robinson+Cole's Real Estate + Development Group, where he practices land use, environmental, and municipal law. Evan advises clients on meeting requirements for land development, real property disputes, and other administrative and real estate issues that arise in the context of land use and environmental matters. He represents developers, landowners, municipalities, corporations, and advocacy groups in administrative proceedings before municipal and state agencies, as well as in litigation in the state and federal courts. Evan has experience in eminent domain and inverse condemnation, First Amendment issues, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), fair housing, equal protection, zoning appeals, wetlands regulation, littoral and riparian water rights, coastal management, easements, restrictive covenants, property rights, landlord/tenant disputes, and tax appeals. He also counsels clients on all aspects of permitting and development, municipal development agreements, purchase and sale agreements, and commercial lease agreements. Evan is a contributing editor to the blog RLUIPA Defense (www.rluipa-defense.com) and frequently writes and speaks on the topic. He advises municipalities on ways to revise zoning codes to comply with the requirements of RLUIPA and represents both municipalities and religious groups in federal litigation. Evan has been named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers® list as a Rising Star in the area of Land Use/Zoning for 2013, 2014, and 2015. In 2014, Evan received Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service Award for his commitment to pro bono work. He earned his B.A. from Trinity College and his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Prior to joining Robinson & Cole, he clerked for the Honorable F. Herbert Gruendel of the Connecticut Appellate Court.
, Otten Johnson
Confirmed SpeakerBrian J. Connolly is a planner and attorney in the Land Use practice group with the Denver, Colorado law firm of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti, P.C. Brian represents public- and private-sector clients in matters relating to zoning, planning, development entitlements and other complex regulatory issues. Brian’s practice encompasses a broad range of land use matters including zoning compliance, rezonings and other regulatory amendments, planned-unit developments, development agreements, private covenants and restrictions, land use and zoning litigation, initiatives and referenda associated with land use approvals, and real estate transactions. Brian additionally specializes in the First Amendment and land use issues associated with outdoor sign and advertising regulation, and fair housing matters in local planning and zoning. Brian is an author or co-author of two books and several articles on land use law topics, and Brian has been selected by the American Bar Association as editor of the forthcoming publication Local Government, Land Use and the First Amendment: Protecting Free Speech and Expression. Brian holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, as well as a Master of Regional Planning and B.S. in urban studies, both from Cornell University.