January 2-6, 2019: Tim Henderson will, again, be Co-Chairing the Environmental, Land Use, Energy, and Litigation seminar at the 36th National Environmental Law Conference in Snowmass, Colorado.
Mr. Henderson will facilitate a conversation where program participants will gain insights from experts across the country on the subject matter. Participants will also have the unique opportunity to catch up on a variety of environmental, land use, and energy issues such as:
- Clean Water Act and RCRA citizen suits,
- Buying and selling dirty property
- Energy industry changing perspectives on federalism
- Accessory dwelling units
- Challenges for condominium and other homeowner associations
- Shoreline protection designs and approaches for coastal properties
- Takings claims and the federal courts
- Update on important land use decisions
- Real estate development update
- Key legal challenges in finding adequate water supply for municipalities and water intensive businesses
- Stakeholder engagement in risk and crisis communication
Mr. Henderon’s Co-Chairs are respected environmental attorneys Gregor I. McGregor, McGregor & Legere, PC, Boston, MA, and Brian J. Connolly, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC, Denver, CO.
Pintail Point: The US District Court for Maryland dismissed the pending Citizen Suit filed by ShoreRivers, Inc. regarding the operation of a shooting sports facility on Pintail Point Farm in Queenstown, Maryland. The lawsuit alleged that the shooting sports operation violated the federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation & Recovery Act. The Court granted the Motion of Michael Schaefer to dismiss the entire action for lack of jurisdiction. In dismissing the lawsuit, the Court ruled that the plaintiff’s Amended Complaint lacked even basic allegations sufficient to show it, or any of its members, had suffered or would suffer any harm from the operation of the shooting sports facility. The Court has also granted the defense Motion for Attorneys’ fees under the federal statutes, with the specific amount awarded to be determined in subsequent briefing in accordance with applicable federal and Local Rules. Attorney Tony Gorski handled the matter for Mr. & Mrs. Schaefer and their entities that own and operate Pintail Point Farm. ShoreRivers, Inc. v. James Franzoni, et al., Civil Action No. GLR-17-3769, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (October 25, 2018).
Tolson And Associates, LLC Rubble Landfill: The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the decision of the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals which granted the property owner and landfill permittee additional time to implement the existing special exception allowing the construction and operation of a rubble landfill near Crofton, MD. The owner had already obtained the necessary State refuse disposal permit and began construction of the rubble landfill in 2014. This latest appeal, the last of three actions filed by several local citizens and a nearby community association, challenged the Board of Appeals’ decision, essentially claiming that the special exception approval was dated and needed to be re-evaluated. The plaintiffs were also unsuccessful in previous lawsuits and appeals where they sought an injunction to stop construction and challenged the State refuse disposal permit. Attorneys Peter Hershey were successful in defending the property rights and due process rights of the owner and permittee against all challenges to its operation. Erika Garrett, et al. v. Cunningham Excavating, Inc., et al., Case No. 13, Maryland Court of Special Appeals (Unreported Opinion, October 11, 2018). See also, Piney Orchard Community Association, et al. v. The Maryland Department of the Environment, et al., 231 Md. App. 80 (2016)(cert. den’d, COA-PET-0553-2016, March 27, 2017). Piney Orchard Community Association, et al. v. Tolson And Associates, L.L.C., et al., Case No. 1824, Maryland Court of Special Appeals (Unreported Opinion, December 1, 2016).
County Ordered to Pay $45.4 Million for Regulatory Taking. After decades of fighting with Harford County, Maryland over the plan to reclaim a closed mining site with a rubble landfill operation, the property owner sued, claiming the county’s actions were an unconstitutional taking and required compensation. In April, after an eight day trial, the jury agreed and rendered its verdict awarding $45.4 million dollars to the landowner.
Sometime in the 1980s, Harford County incorporated the proposed rubble landfill in its solid waste management plan. The landowner then obtained its refuse disposal permit for the rubble landfill from the Maryland Department of the Environment. Thereafter, the county made changes to its zoning code inhibiting the ability to build and operate the landfill. Despite efforts by the landowner to seek further approvals from Harford County, it was unable to construct the facility. After being unsuccessful in obtaining approvals, the landowner sued Harford County seeking just compensation, asserting that the county’s actions prohibited it from making “beneficial use” of its land, in violation of the Maryland constitution.
Maryland Reclamation Associates, Inc. v. Harford County, Maryland, Harford County Circuit Court, Case No.: 12-C-13-000509 (April 17, 2018)