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New Approach to Land Use Disputes – U.S. Supreme Court-Village of Willowbrook v. Olech.

A new approach to land use and litigation disputes under Village of Willowbrook v. Olech may arise in a variety of circumstances; e.g. downzoning, restricting use of property for environmental purpose, denial of development permit, a subdivision map, a conditional use permit, a lot line adjustment or a certificate of compliance. These are just a few of the circumstances that may give rise to a Federal Court Action as a Class of One to challenge the local jurisdiction’s acts.

The land use litigation challenge can be made in Federal Court on some, or all, of the following: violations of federal due process, federal equal protection clause, the First Amendment, the contracts clause, and other federal laws on the basis of allegations that local land use authorities acted in an irrational or wholly arbitrary manner.

Under Olech, one person can allege a class action that affects only that one person. The individual must allege and ultimately establish the intentional and disparate treatment compared to others similarly situated.

This new approach still requires that the affected party exhaust all administrative remedies and speak at the hearing(s). To protect your land use rights, diligence is required when a notice of a hearing is received from a governmental agency. If you do not know what it means, do not ignore it. The Loftin Firm has experienced land use attorneys who can assist you.