Title: Water Quality Management - Will Construction Be Shut Off?
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004598/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water Quality Management - Will Construction Be Shut Off?
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Language: English
Publisher: State and Urban Reporter - The National Association of Home Builders
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Water Quality Management - Will Construction Be Shut Off? (JDV Box 70)
General Note: Box 24, Folder 2 ( Emerging Issues and Conflicts - 1976-1994 ), Item 25
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Full Text





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National Housing Center, Headquarters of NAHB


National Association of Home Builders 15th and M Streets, N.W.*Washington, D.C. 20005


Vol. VII, No. 3 Fall 1976


Water Quality Management

Will Construction Be Shut Off?


Impact Taxes


Erosion Controls

Sewer Moritoriums
Sewer Moritoriums


VESt'bt) zt I 6

















SIrACE J& T. FT~R.B.N
R B E 01B R -Vol. VII, No. 3 Fall 1976


CONTENTS

Water Quality Management Planning and Land Use Controls ................................... 2

C cases ............. ....................................... ............................. 4

Local Government News Notes ............................................................. 10

State Legislative Briefs and News Notes ...................................................... 11












NAHB President: John Hart

NAHB Committee Chairmen: John Koelemij, Chairman, Special Committee on State Governmental
Affairs
Charles A. Pechette, Chairman, Special Committee on Urban Govern-
mental Affairs

NAHB Staff Vice-President and Legislative Counsel: Carl A. S. Coan, Jr.

Coeditors: Phyllis Slesinger, Director and Counsel, State Governmental Affairs
Michael S. Mandel, Director and Counsel, Urban Governmental Affairs








Water Quality Management Planning

and Land Use Controls


What is a water quality management plan
prescribed by S208 of the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act (FWPCA)? Almost by definition it
entails the adoption of land use controls. The
Environmental Protection Agency states in its
regulations that a plan must address pollution
control in a manner that considers the "relation-
ship of water quality to land and water resources
and uses on an areawide basis."1
In recent months efforts to implement 208 have
accelerated. EPA is currently operating under a
court order2 to distribute $136.4 million appro-
priated during FY 73-74 for the development of
areawide water quality management plans. Over
the summer EPA awarded many 208 grants
although their contracts will not be liquidated from
the disputed appropriation. The Justice Depart-
ment has noted an appeal of the court order, at the
urging of the Office of Management and Budget,
but is still weighing whether to pursue it. At this
point, EPA wants to proceed with the 208 program
and opposes any appeal. As Congress acquiesced
to the President's wishes, expressed with the
court decision in mind, and reduced the appropria-
tion for the 208 program for FY 1977, it appears
likely that OMB and EPA will soon reconcile their
differences in a way that will permit EPA to
obligate the full $136.4 million in the form of 100%
grants. Pursuant to the recent EPA appropriation
for FY 1977,3 the federal share of 208 grants will
only be 75%.
Planning may be initiated in one of two ways.
Upon EPA approval, a local agency may assume
planning responsibilities for a community or
region, if designated by a governor, who has
identified the relevant area as one experiencing
substantial water pollution control problems from
population pressures, industrialization or other
factors.4 If a local agency does not receive 208
planning authority, a state agency must assure the
performance of the required planning activities.5
The deadline for completion of all water quality
management plans, regardless of when funded, is
November 1, 1978.6 The district court for the
District of Columbia has concluded that this cutoff
date provides enough lead time for the attainment
of Congress' water quality goal for 1983. In its
timetable for pollution abatement, contained in
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act,7
Congress has determined that the nation's waters
must be "fishable and swimmable" by 1983.


As with all federal legislation that requires the
adoption of state programs for implementation,
the water quality management planning process
imposed by 208 has the potential to influence
profoundly the conduct of affairs at local levels of
government. To a large extent, the planning
process promises to determine the future of land
development in any given area since a plan will in
part, plot the course of sewer construction over the
next 20 years.8
A water quality management plan must cover
the abatement of both point and nonpoint source
pollution. A point source is any identifiable
discharger of effluents. A nonpoint source,
however, is a road, construction site, or farm that,
as a result of erosion and other processes,
conducts pollutants into streams.
EPA has construed the FWPCA to sanction the
use of land use restrictions to supplement
pollution control efforts under the National
Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
permit program. The Act requires an implementa-
tion plan to include a program regulating the loca-
tion, modification, and construction of any
any facilities in an area that are dischargers.9
Defining facilities as "any controllable source of
pollutants, the regulation of which contributes to
attaining water quality standards,"10 EPA inter-
prets 208 as authorizing management agencies to
seek changes in land use plans and controls from
those agencies invested with appropriate jurisdic-
tion.11 If this interpretation is carried to its logical
conclusion, a home could conceivably be con-
sidered a facility to the extent homes are'
"controllable sources) of pollutants." A manage-
ment agency could then attempt to regulate the
location and construction of housing under the
aegis of water quality control.
What are the land use controls and practices
recommended by EPA? The list is not short.
Techniques include: zoning, flood plain manage-
ment regulations, environmental performance
zoning, subdivision regulations, planned unit
development regulations, buffer zones, conserva-
tion and scenic easements, density bonuses,
housing codes, building codes, construction
permits, development permits, transferable de-
velopment rights, hillside development regula-
tions, drainage regulations, grading regulations,
soil erosion and sediment control ordinances,
septic tank ordinances, taxation policies, public








investment policies, land conservation policies,
discharge permits.12
Land use controls play such an important role in
water quality management under the FWPCA and
EPA regulations because they allow a planning
area to select between structural and nonstruc-
tural solutions for particular water quality prob-
lems. While nonstructural approaches are usually
deemed less expensive, studies are being initiated
to document the hidden costs of land use
regulation and no- or slow-growth policies to
housing consumers and their community.
To inform the public of the dangers of overly
restrictive plans, the housing industry should
become involved in the planning process and try to
focus attention upon the potential costs of
proposed regulations, as when, for example,
planners begin to address 208's antidegradation
element.13 To counter the propensity to translate
"antidegradation" into "no growth," the industry
must speak the language of fiscal responsibility.
While to be sure, a 208 plan must set time limits
for plan implementation, identify the costs of
implementation within the given time frame ar.-
assess "the economic, social, and environmental
impact of carrying out the plan within such
time,"14 this requirement does not assure that a
plan will contain measures that are reasonably
cost effective. For instance, the regulations call for
the use of "best management practices"15 to curb
nonpoint source pollution but allow a planning
area to determine its own "desired level of
control."16 Thus, whether or not a plan prescribes
the use of certain expensive management prac-
tices to attain an unreasonable degree of control is
determined by the planning body, an administra-
tive agency. Past experience, shows only too well
that planning agencies have a tendency to
emphasize a proposal's benefits over its costs and
environmental enhancement over fiscal responsi-
bility.
As legislatures have nothing to do with plan
adoption and approval, builders must find a role in
the administrative process to temper excesses on
the part of other groups. Members of the housing
industry must take advantage of the ample
opportunity for public participation afforded by
the FWPCA to assure that the water quality
management plans governing their bases of
operations result in regulatory frameworks within
which they can continue to function.
Pursuant to 101(e) of the FWPCA, EPA and
the states must provide adequate mechanisms,
i.e., citizen advisory panels and public hearings,
to obtain input from all interested persons and
groups. The policy advisory committee structure
established in the 208 regulations17 seems to be


the most suitable affirmative action activity
available for the development of plans which
contain strong housing elements, allow for
adequate sewer capacity, and otherwise balance
environmental enhancement with economic con-
siderations.
A legitimate question is whether any good can
come from a water quality management plan.
Ideally, a plan should identify problems before
they become crises, establish reasonable priorities
for treatment works construction, determine
target dates for the enforcement of pollution
standards, and coordinate various permit applica-
tion procedures.
According to O. Francis Biondi, an attorney for
builders in Delaware and participant in that state's
planning process, in the long run and with
effective builder participation, a 208 plan should
aid builders by making the governmental decision-
making process more orderly-if intergovernmen-
tal jealousies can be appeased. In the short run,
however, he thinks builders will have to cope with
the growing pains of a fledgling bureaucracy18
Congress may see fit next term to delegate the
administration of EPA's sewer construction pro-
gram to the states through a process of
certification. Congress has already received a
recommendation that it condition the qualification
of state programs upon EPA's approval of
statewide water quality management plans re-
quired by 303(e) of the FWPCA.19 Because 303
Because 303 plans are based upon 208 plans,
builders may have no choice but to enter the 208
planning process in its initial stages. Only then
may builders maximize any advantages attendant
to state control of sewer construction grants while
minimizing any problems resulting from efforts to
tie land development to water quality control.

1. 40 C.F.R. 130.2(f).
2. National Association of Regional Councils v.
Train, 8 ERC 2025 (May 17, 1976).
3. P.L. 94-378
4. Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amend-
ments of 1972, 208(a)(2).
5. National Resources Defense Council v. Train,
396 F. Supp. 1386 (D.D.C. 1975).
6. Id.
7. 1972 Amendments, op. cit., 101(a)(2).
8. Federal Register, Vol. 40, p.55346, 131.11(h).
9. 1972 Amendments, 208(b)(2)(C)(ii).
10. Draft Guidelines for State and Areawide
Water Quality Management Program Develop-
ment, Par. 6.1(B), p.6-2 (February 1976).
11. Id.
12. Id. 6-4, 6-5.
13. 40 C.F.R. 130.10(c((5).


j








14. 1972 Amendments, 208(b((2)(E).
15. Federal Register, Vol. 40, p.55338, 130.2(g)
(November 28, 1975)
16. Id. 55346, 131.11().
17. Id. 55340, 130.16(c).
18. 0. Francis Bondi, Remarks before Fourth
Legal Conference, The National Association of
Home Builders (Washington, D.C., June 3, 1976).
19. Report to the Congress by The National
Commission on Water Quality, p.26 (March 18,
1976)).




Cases

Annexation

The City's mayor brought a civil rights action in
Federal Court in his capacity as a resident
taxpayer seeking damages and injunctive relief
against four State legislators and two private
individuals for allegedly conspiring to secure
passage of legislation which operated to impair
tentative boundaries agreements made by the City
with two neighboring Cities to plan for the
provision of municipal services. The Court held
the mayor not to have standing; the City to not be
a person for the purposes of the Civil Rights Act,
even when a Plaintiff; and the Contracts Clause of
the Constitution not to be impinged when a State
legislature takes action regarding annexation of its
political subdivisions merely because those subdi-
visions have signed an agreement between them-
selves concerning annexation. City of Safety
Harbor v. Birchfield, 529 F.2d 1251 (5th Cir.
1976).

Apartments

Having previously barred all apartment uses, a
locality created a zone allowing apartment
construction on an area representing .9% of the
township's area of 5,250 acres. Because most of
the included area is commercial and selling for
$132,000 an acre, apartment construction is
unfeasible. A request to change zoning classifica-
tions to allow apartment construction in other
sections was denied, and the courts held the
overall scheme unconstitutional. Reasonableness
of zoning must be assessed regarding conditions
as they now exist, not as they might exist in the
future. For all purposes, the locality has main-
tained an effective ban on apartment construction.
Waynesboro Corp. v. Easttown Township Zoning
Bd., 350 A.2d 895 (Pa. 1976).


Assessments

A local government rejected the protest petition of
a group of property owners against the construc-
tion of sidewalks and the assessment of property
within the district. The court reasoned that where
the total cost of the construction was to be
assessed on an adjusted front-foot basis without
regard to the proximity of the property to the
sidewalk, the city failed to carry out a statutory
obligation to assess the property in a benefit
district by imposing substantially equal burdens
upon such property. Davies v. City of Lawrence,
545 P.2d 1115 (Kan. 1976).

Special benefit tax bills were issued by a sewer
district against a nonprofit cemetery. Holding the
rate application applicable to all property within
the district, the court noted that there was no
evidence that the board of trustees failed to
consider the use to which the property was being
put. Moreover, channelling raw sewage through
conduits conferred a "benefit" on abutting
property owners justifying a special assessment
despite the fact the property did not directly use
the sewer in the sense of generating raw sewage.
Lakewood Park Cemetery Assn. v. Metropolitan
St. Louis Sewer Dist., 530 S.W.2d (Mo. 1975).

Billboards

Plaintiffs sought to have a permit for a 15x55 foot
outdoor advertising sign revoked on the grounds
that it was not permitted by city ordinance and
that, even if it was, the procedure required by the
ordinance, which necessitated city planning
commission approval, was not followed. The board
of zoning appeals had approved the issuance of the
permit, even though the planning commission's
approval had not been obtained. The court, in
upholding the permit, noted that the commission's
duty to approve the permit was purely ministerial
if the statutory requirements were met. The
board's approval after determination that the
statutory requirements were met vitiated the
failure to receive commission approval since the
board had final decision on all planning commis-
sion decisions. Souter v. Board of Zoning Appeals
of City of Grand Rapids, 234 N.W.2d 562 (Mich.
App. 1975).

Condemnation

A condemnee purchased land and began develop-
ment in reliance upon the city's repeated
assurances that it intended to pursue its condem-
nation action to acquire strips of the condemnee's
land to construct a limited access street. The city







then attempted to abandon the project because the
municipality determined that it could require
dedication. The court held that the city could not
abandon the project. City of Torrance v. Superior
Court of Los Angeles, 545 P.2d 1313 (Cal. 1976).

Despite the condemnee's objection to the expres-
sion of opinion by an expert witness because he
had never handled the buying and selling of
easements where the property was not in threat of
condemnation, nevertheless the court held that
expression of such judgment was not error. The
witness had been a real estate appraiser for
twenty-five years for a variety of properties and
clients, was a past national president and present
state director of an appraisers society, and had
been a member of the city real estate board for five
years. Reed v. City of Atlanta, 220 S.E.2d 492 (Ga.
1975).

In assessing damages for property taken for
highway reconstruction, it is not proper to allow
the landowner's testimony as to the cost of
rebuilding a dissimilar structure at a different
location, where the condemned structures were
permitted to stand for several years and such
testimony was the only possible basis for the
award made. State v. Schaefer, 530 S.W.2d 813
(Tex. 1975)

Exclusionary Zoning

A developer challenged a three-acre minimum lot
size requirement on the ground that it was an
unreasonable requirement on the use of land and
had an exclusionary effect, and proposed a
curative amendment. The amendment was re-
jected by the township because, although one-half
of the township was classified in the zone, there
were enough remaining areas available for
development with various smaller required lot
sizes to meet three and one-half times the
projected housing demand for the next 35 years.
The court upheld the township's practice because
no exclusionary purpose or effect was shown.
DeCaro v. Washington Township, 344 A.2d 725
(Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 1975).

The "fair share" concept does not extend to
commercial uses. This being the case, it is not
sufficient, absent a showing of total prohibition,
for a developer to merely point out that a relatively
small area of a municipality is only for commercial
use without any proof that the needs of the
community's residents are not being adequately
served in an attempt to prove an ordinance
exclusionary. Sullivan v. Bd. of Supervisors,


Lower Wakefield Twnshp., 348 A.2d 464 (Pa.
1976).

Historic Preservation
A challenge was brought concerning the designa-
tion of a train terminal as a landmark. However,
because the landmark parcel was not devoted to a
charitable purpose, and because no claim was
made that it could not be used for its prime
function, it was impossible to show that the parcel
could not be used for its prime function. Nor could
it be shown that the landowners would not receive
a reasonable return on the property. Therefore,
under the circumstances, such action was a valid
exercise of the police power. Penn Central
Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 377
N.Y.S.2d 20 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. 1975).

Inverse Condemnation

A property owner brought an action against the
city and its councilmen alleging violation of the
Federal Civil Rights Act. The city adopted a plan
to use land adjacent to streambeds for park land
five years before the property owner applied for a
permit to build a structure on that land. No cause
of action was held to lie against the city because
the city is not a "person" subject to suit under the
Civil Rights Act. Moreover, because the actions of
the councilmen in denying the request for a land
use permit were not shown to be in bad faith,
councilmen were immune from liability under the
Act. Zisk v. City of Roseville, 127 Cal. Rptr. 896
(Cal. App. 1976).

Mandatory Dedication

Plaintiff applied for a permit to convert an
apartment building to condominiums. The city,
under an ordinance requiring any subdividerr" to
dedicate land or pay an in-lieu fee, granted a
permit under the condition that a fee be paid. The
requirement was upheld on the theory that condo-
miniums present special land use problems, and
should be treated more like single-family detached
units that apartments for these purposes. Norsco
Enterprises v. City of Fremont, 126 Cal. Rptr. 659
(Cal. 1976)

Mobile Homes
A special permit allowing development of a mobile
home park in a general service district was denied,
though permitted under the city's zoning ordi-
nance. Nevertheless, the denial was upheld. It is
not arbitrary to deny permission to construct a
5


1








mobile home park even though mobile homes are
allowed on property across a street from the
property in question. Though both sides of the
street were zoned the same, their immediate
surroundings were significantly different. More-
over, the landowner failed to establish that the
denial was unrelated to the public health, safety
and welfare, or that his property could not be used
for those uses allowed as of right in the general
service district. Johnson v. City of Elgin, 333
N.E.2d 287 (111. App. 1975).

Plaintiff municipality sued defendant to enforce
the portion of the zoning ordinance prohibiting
mobile homes and trailers within village limits,
except on property designated as a "mobile home
park." Such restriction was held to be clearly
within the authority of the municipality, absent a
showing of deliberate and arbitrary exclusion.
Matherville v. Brown, 339 N.E.2d 346 (111. 1976).

Moratorium

The owner of a 750-acre parcel of farmland sought
to subdivide it into 21/2-acre lots, permitted under
the local zoning ordinance which required a
special permit for residential development. Rather
than approving the request, however, the town
board adopted a six-month moratorium on further
development. Eight months later the board
adopted a new zoning ordinance which in effect
prohibited lots smaller than five acres. The court,
in upholding the action of the town board, held
that the developer had not acquired vested rights
in the property and that the moratorium was
necessary to allow development of a comprehen-
sive plan for the township. As to the new
ordinance, the court held that the developer would
have to show "material damage" in order to
obtain a judicial determination that he may
develop under the old zoning provisions. Almquist
v. Town of Marshan, N.W.2d Minnesota
Supreme Court, decided 2 April 1976.

An order of the Illinois Pollution Control Board
prohibited a sanitary district from allowing any
additions to present sewer connections, or new
connections, to its facilities until it could show its
ability to treat the added wastes. Persons who had
been issued permits were ordered to be allowed to
connect with the sewer system, but had not yet
made a connection before the prohibiting order.
The court held that to deny the right of prior
permitholders to connect would be to deny due
process, since those holders had no knowledge or
notice of the proceedings that resulted in the
sewer ban. North Shore Sanitary District v.


Pollution Control Board, 62 111.2d 385, 342 N.E.2d
376 (111. 1976).
Preemption

The city refused to grant electrical and plumbing
permits to a landowner because he had no
electrician's or plumber's license. The court,
however, held that the state had preempted
electrical contracting licensing in a statute
exempting individuals who work only on their own
residence, and the city code restricting permits to
licensed electricians could not be enforced. The
municipal code prohibiting plumbing permits to be
issued to nonlicensed plumbers violated the
owner's property rights because public health and
safety can be adequately protected by insepction
of plans and the final work before a certificate of
occupancy was granted. City Council of City of
Elizabeth v. Naturile, 345 A.2d 363 (N.J. Sp. Ct.
1975).

A housing developer challenged a portion of a
township building code which required installation
of copper electric wiring to be used by the
developer, preempted state Public Utility Com-
mission's (PUC) regulations, which set standards
for wiring in accordance with the National
Electrical Code and permitted aluminum electric
wiring in accordance with the National Electrical
Code and permitted aluminum electric wiring to
be used by the developer. The court noted that the
legislature had given the PUC broad regulatory
powers over the public utilities and had specifical-
ly required that standards set by cities not be
inconsistent with the National Electrical Code or
the PUC regulations. Warren Park Estates, Inc. v.
Township Committee of Township of East Wind-
sor, 345 A.2d 346 (N.J. 1975).

Public Facilities

A home builder sought to compel issuance of
building permits for a residential development.
The permits had been denied because of allegedly
inadequate sewer facilities. The county had
arranged for two sewage treatment facilities to be
connected together, shifting a portion of the load
of one plant to another not yet at capacity. The
sewage treatment company, operating under an
exclusive franchise from the county, had, under an
exclusive franchise from the county, contracted
with the developer sometime earlier to provide
sanitary sewer service for the planned develop-
ment. The developer charged that the agreement
to connect the two treatment plants impaired its
contract with the sewerage company, and thus was
arbitrary and unreasonable. The court held the







agreement to constitute discrimination against
landowners already planning to use the under-
capactiy facility. Heinzman v. U.S. Home of
Florida, Inc., 317 So.2d 838 (Fla. App. 1975).

Rent Control
A class action was brought against the City
housing authority administrators, challenging the
constitutionality of a statute allowing landlords of
rent-controlled buildings to pass along increased
fuel costs to tenants. Such legislation was held not
to constitute an improper delegation of admini-
strative authority to the landlords of rent-control-
led buildings; neither does it deny due process and
equal protection, where the tenants had both
administrative and judicial means of challenging
an increase. Colosi v. Starr, 381 N.Y.S.2d 389
(Sup. Ct. 1976).

Restrictive Covenants
A development corporation refused to give the
defendant permission required in a restrictive
covenant to build a house containing less than the
stated minimum square footage. Upholding the
validity of the covenants, the court sanctioned
their use to enforce a uniform plan, but required
the exercise of approval to be "reasonable and in
good faith." The exercise here was held not to be
reasonable because the advertising was aimed at
low-income purchasers who were given the
impression that they could build small houses, and
that there was a prior policy approving houses
containing a minimum of 800 square feet without
restriction on the ground floor. Boiling Spring
Lake Division of Reeves Telecom Corp. v. Coastal
Services Corp., 218 S.E.2d 476 (N.C. 1976).

A developer challenged single-family zoning
regulations and a private subdivisions restrictions
which permitted only single-family residences.
Although there had been an attempt to waive the
covenant by 14 of the 25 lot owners to allow the
construction of a church and school on two lots,
this agreement was not sufficient to abrogate the
restriction completely since it was not signed by all
lot owners. The restrictive covenants were not
abrogated by a substantial change in the character
and environment of the area, since internally the
subdivision had not changed, except for the
church property which was consistent with the
residential character. Becuase the developer had
constructive notice of the restrictions which were
on the recorded plat, the court held them
enforceable against the developer. Exchange
National Bank of Chicago v. City of Des Plaines,
336 N.E.2d 8 (III. App. 1975).


Rezoning
A property owner sought a rezoning to low-den-
sity, multifamily apartment classification which
was at the time zoned for agricultural use and was
located in a developing part of the county. The
land was bordered by a school site, a developing
mobile home subdivision, and land on which a
sewage treatment plant with a sludge field was
planned. The court held the denial of the rezoning
arbitrary and unreasonable. The character of the
subject property and other properties in the area
had already been changed by other actions of the
county board. Since the agricultural use was not
consistent with the surrounding area, there was no
relationship to traditional police power goals.
Davis v. Sails, 318 So.2d 214 (1975).

Certain property owners prepared a plan for an
aesthetically pleasing multiple residential devel-
opment. It was shown that a need for such housing
existed in the community. Nevertheless, the city
denied the rezoning. The court held that higher
density per se should not be determinative in
denying or permitting a rezoning request.
Deltowne Housing Corporation v. City of Es-
canaba, 237 N.W.2d 587 (Mich. App. 1975).

The fact that land is worth more if used for
developing multi-family dwellings does not suffice
to render it unreasonable. Thus, even though
more units could be constructed under a
multi-family rather than existing single-family
classification because of unique geographical
features, to be confiscatory there must be a
showing that all permitted uses are devoid of
feasibility. Ettinger v. Avon Township, 236
N.W.2d 129 (Mich. 1976).

Landowners challenged the borough's refusal to
rezone their narrow strip of property from
residential to a professional office classficiation,
arguing that the refusal amounted to "reverse
spot zoning." The property was not singled out for
treatment different from other property around it;
adjacent land was residentially zoned though land
across the street was within the professional office
zone. The court pointed out that lines must be
drawn somewhere, and the decision here was
fairly debatable and not arbitrary or discrimina-
tory. Guentter v. Borough of Lansdale, 345 A.2d
306, (Pa. 1975).

Signs

A gasoline service station owner sought an
injunction to enjoin the enforcement of an
ordinance restricting and regulating the number
7








and maximum size of gasoline price signs. No
more than one sign (other than the required signs
on the pumps) was permitted, with the size not to
exceed eighteen inches square. Such ordinance
was held discriminatory. The owner had docu-
mented information indicating lower than average
gasoline sales on the days when the nonconform-
ing signs were not displayed, thus showing a
unique and specific injury to his property rights as
a result of the restriction. Stubbart v. County of
Monroe, 381 N.Y.S.2d 623 (Sup. Ct. 1976).

Subdivision

A developer sought judicial review of a county
board's denial of approval of a subdivision plat,
claiming that the board had no authority to require
proof of the availability of domestic water as a
condition to approval. Although there was no
explicit statutory provision for review of the
board's order, a special action petition was
appropriate. However, the court held that the
board did not have statutory authority to condition
plat approval on the availability of water. Since the
developer had complied with all other appropriate
requirements, the court ordered that the plat be
approved. Owens v. Glenarm Land Company, 539
P.2d 544 (Ariz. App. 1975).

The developer of a subdivision challenged the
county legislative body's denial of a subdivision
where the proposal had met all technical
requirements of the county's subdivision ordi-
nance and had been unanimously approved by the
planning commission. There was evidence that the
board's decision was based in part upon the
recommendations of the state forest service that
the development would create a fire hazard, even
though the reports had not been submitted within
the time limit set by statute. The court also noted
that the developer had seen the reports. Thus, the
court determined that the board had authority to
make its own determination as to whether all
requirements were satisfied. Shoptaugh v. Board
of County Commissioners of El Paso County, 543
P.2d 524 (Colo. App. 1975).

Transfer of Development Rights

The city informed a developer that he would not be
permitted to build a high rise structure on certain
parcels. The land was being used as park space by
his tenants. Under a development rights transfer
scheme, however, he was given additional
development rights for other property. The court,
however, refused to equate the TDRs he was given
to the development rights that were withheld.
8


Fred F. French Investing Co. v. City of New York,
N.Y. Ct. of App., decided 4 May 1976.

Tree Ordinance

In the absence of specific statutory authority, the
city was held not to have the power to forbid
landowners to cut trees in a tree protective zone,
and to plant trees in replacement where trees
could not be retained. Dunbar v. City of
Spartanburg, 221 S.E.2d 848 (S.C. 1976).

Variance

The township appealed the grant of a variance to a
landowner by the zoning hearing board for
construction of several townhouses on land
classified for single-family residences. The land
consisted of a narrow strip that was part of a larger
parcel in a neighboring township properly zoned
for the development. The court found the evidence
submitted by the owner did establish an unneces-
sary hardship unique to his property, and
therefore the board did not commit an abuse of
discretion in granting the variance. The change
was properly a variance and not a rezoning
because it did "not greatly derogate the Town-
ship's land use plan." The court also concluded
that there was not self-imposed hardship where
the development was a permissible use in the
neighboring township. Township of Haverford v.
Zoning Hearing Board of Haverford Township,
344 A.2d 758 (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 1975).

Vested Rights

A builder contracted to buy land contingent upon
receiving a septic system permit. Following proper
procedures, he had received a permit for an
on-site disposal system from the city, he bought
the land, and commenced construction. Beacuse of
the city's mistake in issuing the permit when the
land in fact did not meet the regulatory standards,
the state Department of Environmental Resources
(DER) ordered the permit revoked at a time when
the landowner had invested nearly $50,000 in the
house. The Environmental Hearing Board (EHB)
reversed DER's order, finding no danger to the
waters. The decision was upheld because the court
found that the owner had acquired vested rights to
use the sewage and building permits because of his
due dilligence in attempting to comply with the
law, his good faith throughout the proceedings,
and the expenditure of substantial unrecoverable
funds. Commonwealth, Department of Environ-
mental Resources v. Flynn, 344 A.2d 720 (Pa.
1975).








A city commission rezoned certain property from
light commercial to multiple family residential.
The landowners had taken no action to develop the
property and had not changed their position in
reliance on the previous zoning beyond the initial
step of purchase. Thus, they failed to establish an
existing use to be protected from the rezoning.
Houston v. Board of City Commrs. of City of
Wichita, 543 P.2d 1010 (Kan. 1975).

A town sought to enjoin the construction of a motel
for which a permit had been obtained prior to the
rezoning of an area. The property owner, in good
faith, had attempted to comply with the time
requirements in the ordinance, had incurred
obligations in excess of $100,000 including the
purchase price of the property; and construction of
several of the units was nearly complete. Thus, the
property owner acquired a vested right to proceed
under the original permit, subject to conditions as
to sewage facilities. Town of Southampton v.
Todem Homes, Inc., 377 N.Y.S.2d 112 (N.Y. Sup.
Ct. 1975).

Zoning

A local ordinance prohibited real estate "for sale"
signs in a portion of the city. The ordinance
allegedly sought to achieve "racial stability" by
prohibiting such signs in a predominantly white
demonstration area that was experiencing an
influx of blacks. The court held that the ordinance
denied Equal Protection. The ordinance impinged
upon the fundamental right to live where one
chooses, and established a suspect classification
based on race. Allison v. City of Akron, 343
N.E.2d 128 (Ohio App. 1975).

An ordinance prohibited signs projecting over
public areas and mandated removal of existing
signs at the landowner's expense. The court held
that the ordinance had a valid public purpose in
protecting motorists and pedestrians, facilitating
fire fighting and appreciating real estate values.
The ordinance was not held to be a total zoning
ban on an innocuous use because any sign, even a
projecting sign, is permitted if entirely on private
property. Costopoulos v. Zoning Board of Adjust-
ment, 351 A.2d 318 Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 1976).

Several landowners attempted to enjoin the City
from rezoning property and from applying a
proposed density ordinance to it. The developers
relied in good faith on zoning for multiple family
use and had expended considerable funds on
preliminary planning. Thus, the developers had
acquired a vested right in continuation of the


multiple use zoning and did not forfeit that right
when they did not proceed with construction nor
when they requested the return of the building
permit fee until economic conditions improved,
since the City aooarentlv attempted to thwart the
project by unconscionable delays in its rezoning
procedure, knowing that the developers' activities
would be brought to a halt until the City decided
the rezoning issue. Hollywood Beach Hotel v. City
of Hollywood, 329 So.2d 10 (Fla. 1976).

A local ordinance kept an area of 300 dwellings as
a single-family zone but allowed one-third of those
dwellings occupied in violation as two-family
dwellings to be continually occupied as such. The
ordinance could not, stated the court, be held
invalid per se because it denied the city an
opportunity to present evidence of the prevailing
circumstances and conditions to which the
ordinance was directed, such evidence being the
basis for a determination of the ordinance's
reasonableness. Ilasi v. City of Long Beach, 342
N.E.2d 594 (N.Y. 1976).

Where the relative gain to the public is small
compared with the hardship imposed by a zoning
restriction upon the property, a restriction denying
a rezoning from "Agricultural" to "Single Family
Dwelling District" would be unreasonable. A
determination was made that the proposed
development of a mostly wooded area as
residential would not be incompatible with the
contiguous agricultural property. Smeja v. County
of Boone, 339 N.E.2d 452 (111. App. 1975).

A landowner's application for subdivision approval
was denied primarily because it did not provide for
realignment of a road, presently making two
90-degree turns around their property, so it would
run diagonally across the tract to be subdivided.
Because the denial did not relate to any specific
provision or regulation in the applicable subdivi-
sion ordinance, the disapproval was held invalid.
Snyderv. Owensboro, 528 S.W.2d 663 (Ky. 1975).

Several lot owners petitioned to have their
property rezoned for commercial use. The lots
were surrounded on three sides by property which
had been rezoned commercial general, and only
was one side zoned residential. Thus, under the
circumstances the city's denial of the rezoning was
unreasonable and arbitrary. Young v. Gibbs
Sanitation Service, Inc., 328 So.2d 857 (Fla. App.
1976).









Local Government News Notes


BREMERTON, Washington, has adopted an
ordinance which provides a simplified procedure
for short subdivisions and plats, where division of
land is into less than five parcels. Also included is
an appeal procedure and other provisions.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, has consolidated
the city's Department of Parks and Recreation into
the Department of Leisure Services. The Depart-
ment's Board is required to establish Neighbor-
hood Advisory Councils made up of citizens of all
ages, including young people under the age of
eighteen, to advise and inform the Board of the
needs of citizens in each neighborhood in the area
of leisure activities. The Board may not delegate to
those Councils any of its rights, powers or duties.

DAVIS, California, has adopted an ordinance
which sets energy conservation performance
standards for residential construction within the
city. Included in the ordinance are standards
which could greatly reduce or even eliminate the
need for air conditioning and heating.

ELLENSBURG, Washington, has adopted an
ordinance which establishes a housing and
community development fund which is designated
as a trust fund for the elimination and prevention
of slums, blight, unhealthy and unsafe conditions;
conservation and expansion of the nation's
housing stock; expansion and improvement of
community services; more rational use of land;
reduction of the isolation of income groups; and
historic preservation.

A FRESNO, California, ordinance sets architec-
tural, structural, electrical, and plumbing require-
ments for new structures and substantial improve-
ments to existing structures in flood prone areas,
in accordance with National Flood Insurance
guidelines. Materials utilized in a structure below
the flood level must be concrete, masonry, steel, or
pressure-treated wood. Basements must be water-
tight with no openings below the flood level.
Electrical wiring and electrical equipment below
the flood level must be approved for underwater
use. Water outlets connected to the public water
supply, and heating ducts and equipment must be
located above the flood level.

A JOLIET, Illinois, ordinance establishes a
Neighborhood Services Division, headed by a
Supervisor appointed by the City manager. The
Supervisor is responsible for the administration
and execution of community development pro-
10


grams and activities created for neighborhood and
housing stock improvement. A position of Rehabil-
itation Specialist is created within the Division,
with responsibility for inspecting dwellings;
obtaining data for analysis and for housing code
enforcement; and advising residents regarding
home improvements and repairs.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, has enacted an
ordinance establishing historic districts and sites
within the City, and providing a procedure for the
designation of additional landmark and historic
sites. In all zoning districts lying within the
boundaries of an historic district or landmark site
the regulations for both the zoning district and the
historic district or site shall apply; should there be
a conflict between the regulations, the more
restrictive shall apply. The ordinance authorizes
the City Council to establish an historical
landmark committee, which may advise the City's
Planning and Zoning Commission; however all
final decisions are made by the Commission.

STILLWATER, Oklahoma, adopted an ordinance
relating to the condemnation and removal of
unoccupied and dilapidated structures, which
become detrimental to the public health, safety
and welfare, or which creates a fire hazard. The
city must give notice to abate the violation and a
hearing may be obtained. The cost of removal of
the structure must be borne by the owner.

THOUSAND OAKS, California, requires that all
model homes in new subdivisions must accurately
represent the corresponding production homes
which are built or proposed to be built. The seller
must provide the prospective buyer with informa-
tion relating to the zoning of surrounding
properties the City's general plan land use
element, and the existence and condition of public
schools and parks serving the subdivision. Before
any residential property is sold, the seller must
obtain from the buyer a written acknowledgement
that the information required under the ordinance
has been furnished to and received by the buyer.

A VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, ordinance grants a
sewer line fee exemption of from 20 to 100 percent
depending on income, to elderly persons, subject
to several conditions: to title to the property for
which the exemption is sought must be held by the
applicant for at least 120 days prior to the
installation of the sewer line; the dwelling to be
connected to the sewer line is the sole dwelling of
the applicant; the total combined income of the







owner and the owner's relatives living in the
household during the previous year may not
exceed $6,000; the applicant must be at least 65


years of age; the net combined financial worth of
the owner, excluding the fair market value of the
house, may not exceed $20,000.


State Legislative Briefs and News Notes


Building Codes

Nebraska adopted the Uniform Standards for
Manufactured Housing Units.

NEW JERSEY will soon have a uniform construc-
tion code composed of sub-codes relating to build-
ing, plumbing, electricity, fire prevention, etc.
These codes will apply to construction, alteration,
renovation, rehabilitation, maintenance, occu-
pancy and use of buildings and structure. The act
provides for a citizen code advisory committee for
each subcode. A designated municipal construc-
tion official will be the chief administrator and
enforcer of the new codes which will b3
promulgated as rules and regulations by the
Commissioner of Community Affairs. (1975 New
Laws; 561, Chp. 217).

FLORIDA failed to pass a statewide building code
because of a disagreement between the House and
Senate over whether its application to counties
should be optional or mandatory. The counties are
presently in a difficult legal position regarding
enforcement of operative local codes since the
Legislature refused to fund the Building Board of
Codes and Standards.

Coastal Zone

The U.S. OFFICE OF COASTAL ZONE MAN-
AGEMENT has issued guidelines for eventual
proposal as regulations on the subject of using
existing and proposed authorities to enforce
management plans, the so-called "networking
approach." The guidelines provide that a state
must "be specific and spell out the procedures
that the (enforcement) agency will follow, the
criteria it will use in exercising each authority it
administers...and the methods it will use to report
on its decisions." The National Resources Defense
Council has pushed for the OCZM to postpone the
approval of state plans now before it pending the
approval of the networking regulations.

Condominiums

Carla Hills testified before a Housing, Banking
and Currency subcommittee recently that she


favored state rather than federal regulation of
condominium sales except where an individual
developer intends to market his condos in several
states.

Economic Impact

MISSISSIPPI has joined several other states in
requiring the attachment of a fiscal note on each
bill or resolution introduced which would expand
or authorize the appropriation of state funds and
increase or decrease state revenues. (SCR 542).

WASHINGTON State and FLORIDA have enacted
laws requiring consideration of economic conse-
quences by governmental agencies. It has been
suggested in WASHINGTON that environmental
impact statements could incorporate the fiscal
analysis.

Elections
A ceiling on campaign contributions has been
imposed by the KANSAS legislature. A maximum
of $2500 may be given to a candidate for statewide
office while local candidates may only receive
$500. The limitations do not apply however to bona
fide political parties, the candidate, or the
candidate's spouse. (S.B. 910).

Energy
The UTAH state legislature has acted to require
the state building board to compile, adopt and
maintain a building code addressing energy
conservation. The act creates an "energy conser-
with the new standards, the code will be advisory
to local governments and the state's building
industry, despite a statutory recommendation for
municipal enactment of the code. (1976 New Laws
37; S.B. 30).

UTAH has passed legislation authorizing a
demonstration project for the construction of no
more than four structures of no more than four
dwelling units designed to minimize energy
consumption, the act creates an "energy conser-
vation account" of $15,000 to implement the act.
The project is exempted from all applicable
building codes. (1976 New Laws 29; S.B. 31).
11


1








The GEORGIA legislature has established an
energy council to plan energy matters. (H.B.
1698).

The GEORGIA legislature has also acted to have
local governments encourage the use of solar
energy by placing its recommendation on the
November ballot for voter approval. (S.R. 284).

Historic Preservation

In LOUISIANA legislators have acted to protect
the Vieux Carre in New Orleans through use of the
transfer of development rights concept. Local
governing bodies must adopt procedures to
preserve structures having historical or aesthetic
value. Criteria for development rights are lot area,
floor area, floor area ratios, heights limitations, or
other factors established by local law. (1975 New
Laws, P. 891, Art. 771).

Housing Finance

NEW JERSEY's legislature has approved a bill
promoting neighborhood preservation which
authorizes the commissioner of the Department of
Community Affairs to coordinate and assist in
financing activities proposed by local agencies for
the promotion and restoration, and rehabilitation
of declining but still viable neighborhoods. The act
provides for code enforcement activities, the
removal of dangerous buildings and low interest
grants and loans. (1975 New Laws 615, ch. 248;
619, ch. 249).

A bill passed both houses of the FLORIDA
legislature and received the governor's signature
creating a housing finance agency that will
become operative in November after a referendum
is held to authorize the sale of tax-free bonds. A
$100 million ceiling was placed on the amount of
funds that can be outstanding at any one time.
(H.B. 2010).

Both houses of New JERSEY's Legislature
approved a bill permitting banks, savings and loan
associations and mortgage bankers to sell home
improvement loans to the Mortgage Finance
Agency. The MFA interest rates should be lower
than those available from commercial sources.
MFA under the Act would sell tax-free bonds to
finance its loan purchases, which would be FHA
insured. Backers of the bill intend it to fight
redlining.

Landlord-Tenant

A NEW JERSEY statute provides that where a


rental apartment building is being converted into a
condominium, tenancies may be terminated only
after a three-year notice period and the expiration
of any outstanding lease. Tenants are required to
receive 60 days notice of intent to convert and to
obtain an exclusive right of purchase for 90 days.
Tenants may request comparable rental housing
from the landlord within eighteen months of the
three year notice.

Land Use

After much opposition, the CALIFORNIA legisla-
ture has adopted and the Governor signed three
bills establishing permanent controls on the use of
the state's coastal lands. The bills authorize the
creation of six regional commissions, the exercise
of permit authority by cities to control develop-
ment between the coast and a coastal boundary
1000 yards inland, and the review of local coastal
plans by a statewide commission. (S.B. 1277).

A MASSACHUSETTS act calls for local growth
policy committees of city officials and residents of
each municipality to formulate local growth
management priorities, develop criteria for identi-
fying developments of regional impact and areas
of critical planning concern, and recommend mea-
sures for coordinating state agency allocations of
state and federal monies affecting economic devel-
opment and land use, etc. A committee must hold
public hearings and provide its regional planning
board with its findings for preparation of a
regional report for submittal to the state planning
director. (1976 New Laws, ch. 807).

The MONTANA Economic Land Development Act
calls for the classification of land as agricultural,
recreational, residential, commercial or open
space for purposes of tax valuation. By varying the
taxable valuation of the land, the Legislature
intends to foster appropriate utilization of the land
through economic incentives. The statutory
scheme allows for subclassifications within each
land use category based upon fixed criteria. These
subclassifications establish the permissible varia-
tions in taxable valuations. (1975 New Laws 1309,
Ch. 549).

PENNSYLVANIA's Department of Environmental
Resources has singled out eight critical areas
deserving of special protection for purposes of
preparing the state's environmental master plan.
The areas are prime farmlands, watersheds with
high quality streams, flood plains, coal resources,
areas with limited water supplies, clean air
resource areas, open space in metropolitan areas,
and geologic areas with developmental restraints.







the Department has scheduled hearings on the
classifications.

The WASHINGTON STATE Legislature has acted
to reduce the amount of delay attendant to
construction along the coastal zone and thus the
cost of construction. A builder need now wait only
30 days after a local government has issued a
permit to allow a private citizen or the state
Department of Ecology to appeal its issuance. The
original wait was 45 days. The act also allows a
builder to begin construction after an appeal to the
Shoreline Hearings Board has been heard and an
appeal from its decision taken to a court provided
that, the builder can show no significant
irreversible damage to the environment would
occur. The permitee proceeds at his own risk.
(SHB 676).

WASHINGTON STATE has amended its laws to
permit any "nonprofit nature conservancy cor-
poration or association," in addition to public
bodies, to own space lands for public use and
enjoyment in fee simple or any other les-or
interest. A nature conservancy corporation must
meet the criteria for tax exempt status under the
Internal Revenue Code and engage in scientific
research and conservation of natural resources.
(1976 New Laws 43, Ch. 22-XX).

Mandatory Dedication

A CALIFORNIA act authorizes local governing
bodies to require a dedication within a subdivision
for local transit facilities where the developer
contemplates construction of over 200 dwellings or
where the subdivision exceeds 100 acres; provided
that a finding is made that Transit services will be
furnished to the subdivision. The Act further
permits the local legislative body to rescind any
rejection of a dedication for local transit facilities
from a final subdivision map. Excluded by the Act
are apartment buildings over 5 years old converted
to condominiums. (1975 New Laws 1305, Ch. 491).

Public Facilities

The WISCONSIN State Natural Resource Board
adopted emergency rules relaxing requirements
for sewer extension approvals in Milwaukee.
Previously, under a Milwaukee ordinance, appli-
cations had to be rejected where a treatment plant
was already overburdened. Under the new rules,
an applicant community may receive a permit if it
submits a plan for upgrading a nonconforming
plant by July 1, 1982. The plan cannot rely on
federal funding. Before the regulations can


become permanent, there must be a public
hearing and another vote.

Rehabilitation

MICHIGAN has clarified the authority of its
townships to deal with dilapidated housing in
blighted areas. P.A. 137, IE.

Licensing

Twin bills exempting apartment managers from
the need to be licensed by the FLORIDA Real
Estate Commission failed to pass in both houses of
the legislature.

The FLORIDA legislature moved to re-define the
term "registration" and revised the procedures
used by the Construction Industry Licensing
Board. The bill removed the requirement for a
specified net worth as a standard for financial
responsibility. (S.B. 181).

Taxation

The MARYLAND legislature has eliminated the
phase-in provisions relating to increases in
assessments on real property exceeding 36
percent in any three year period effective in 1977.
Each county or other incorporated municipality
must grant homeowners' tax credits against the
property taxes levied by such taxing authorities on
residential structures only. A homeowner is
eligible if his assessment for the taxable year
1976-1977 has been increased by more than 36
percent over the 1975-1976 taxable year. (H.B.
964).

The ALABAMA legislature has authorized cities
with populations exceeding 300,000 to exempt
property from taxation for up to 15 years where
owner-developers build new commercial or indus-
trial facilities on previously developed property
within the city limits. During the tax exemption
period, the property must be assessed at the
highest valuation designated within the immedi-
ately preceding 5 years. (1975 New Laws; P. 349,
Art. 927).

The ARIZONA legislature has decided that real
and personal property rented for residential
purposes will be classified separately for deter-
mining assessed valuation and basis. A lessee or
renter will be able to receive a rent reduction
owing to a provision of the act calling for a
mandatory passthrough of the tax differential
resulting from the staged reduction in the ratio of
13


_j









assessed valuation to full cash value. (S.B. 1332;
1976 New Laws; Ch. 176).

CALIFORNIA has approved a tax credit in lieu of
any applicable deduction for purchase and
installation of solar energy devices on premises in
the state owned and controlled by the taxpayer to
the extent of the lesser of 10% or $1000 (oint
return) or 5% or $500 (separate return) of the cost.
(1976 New Laws; Ch. 168).

COLORADO has clarified its assessment proce-
dures and now requires its assessors to consider
and support with data all factors relevant to a
determination of value of all lands excepting
agricultural. Factors for consideration are: "loca-
tion and desirability; functional use; current
replacement cost, new, less depreciation; com-
parison with other properties of known or
recognized value; market value in the ordinary
course of trade; and earning or productive
capacity." The assessor cannot rely solely on the
market value and comparison of value factors.
Moreover, he can only increase or decrease
property valuations pursuant to an order of the
state board of equalization on a property by
property basis for an entire class or sub-class or
parcels and by using each applicable valuation
factor. (H.B. 1025).

The GEORGIA legislature has exempted solar
heating and cooling equipment from sales and use
taxes. (H.B. 1480).

INDIANA has acted to extend a tax credit for
business contributions of services or funds for
community development in poverty areas in an
amount up to 50% of the contribution or $25,000.
Provision of recreational and housing facilities
constitute qualifying expenditures (1976 New
Laws; P. 105).

In IOWA after January 1, 1977, nonprofit
organizations owning property on which they
operate low-rent housing for senior citizens and
the physically and mentally handicapped may
have their property taxes deferred until either the
development's mortgage is fully paid or expires.
(H.B. 1590).

In MICHIGAN taxpayers owning existing or new
residential and commercial buildings will be
exempted from the use tax on solar, wind or water
energy conversion devices for heating, cooling or
electrification. The exemption does not apply to
those parts of a heating, cooling or electric supply
system that would be necessary for the operation


of such system, regardless of energy source. (H.B.
4139).

In OREGON the Department of Revenue has
promulgated new assessment regulations which
call for valuations to reflect existing zoning
restrictions and provisions of local comprehensive
plans. The Department has abandoned a strict
market value approach in recognition of the
increased difficulty of obtaining zoning changes as
a result of recent legislation discouraging piece-
meal zoning changes.

Usery

A corporation, organized as nominee of a
partnership for the sole purpose of obtaining
financing for an apartment complex in excess of
the usery ceiling imposed upon loans to indi-
viduals, was found to be a distinct entity. The Tax
Court therefore precluded the partners from
taking the cooperation's net operating loss
deduction as their own. William B. Strong, Docket
No. 2173-74 (T.CT. April 5, 1976).

The legislatures of ILLINOIS and MINNESOTA
approved changes in their usery laws recently.
ILLINOIS set the maximum usery rate at 2.5%
above the average monthly yield of U.S. govern-
ment bonds held for 10 years. MINNESOTA has
approved on a trial basis a rate of 2% above the
U.S. bond rate.

VERMONT has extended a statute until June 30,
1977 providing a method for calculating interest
rates on loans secured by a lien on real estate on
which is a family dwelling of no more than two
units or on which agriculture is carried on by an
operating farm unit, so as to avoid exceeding the
ceiling on lawful interest rates. (H.B. 103).

Miscellaneous

Under CALIFORNIA's State Contract Act, a
general contractor will have to pay his subcontrac-
tors within 10 days of his receipt of a progress
payment absent any written agreement to the
contrary. (S.B. 547).

Builders in MARYLAND will have to secure a
groundwater permit when developing 11 or more
lots under regulations reinterpreted by the Water
Resources Administration. The regulations state
that a permit is necessary if a development will
lead to the use of 5000 gallons of gound water per
day. Originally, the Administration required a
permit only where 33 lots were slated for
development.








The NEW ENGLAND RIVER BASINS COMMIS-
SION has published a study showing that barrier
beaches and other coastal areas subject to flooding
are undergoing development stimulated by federal
regulations. The study found that insurance rates
do not reflect the hazards of coastal construction
where the emergency phase of the National Flood
Insurance Program is in effect. In the emergency
phase, the federal government provides a subsidy
to the insured making development economically
feasible. Where actuarial rates are imposed, the
cost of insurance may render a project prohibitive-
ly expensive. The Commission thus argues that
the flood insurance program is undermining the
objectives of coastal zone management where the
emergency program is in effect.

In an executive order, Governor Brendan Byrne
ordered NEW JERSEY communities to make any
changes necessary in their zoning ordinances and
comprehensive plans to promote housing opportu-
nities for the elderly, poor, and families with
children. Non-complying communities would be


faced with the loss of state aid. The Governor has
proposed a quota system whereby each county
would have to supply a certain number of units for
each housing group. E.O. April 2, 1976.

SOUTH CAROLINA has become the first state to
obtain complete control of its occupational safety
and health program. The federal government now
will only monitor the state's administration
activities.

TENNESSEE approved a proposed amendment to
the United States Constitution prohibiting "Con-
gress, the President, and any agent or agency of
the federal government, from withholding or
withdrawing, or threatening to withhold or
withdraw, any federal funds from any state as a
means of requiring a state to implement federal
policies which the Congress, the President, or
agent or agency of the federal government has no
power, express or implied, under the Constitution
of the United States, to impose upon the states or
implement under its own power.


I_








I I The National Association of Home Builders PLAN TO
15th and M Streets, N.W. N.A.H.TB.'S
Washington, D.C. 20005 /.., i






















1068- 0100 0
EDwAHO I CUTLE ,
CAiRLTON FIELD ) '
PO BOx 3CL./
TAMPA FL 33601


I




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