Land Use Facepalm
by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, May 16, 2017
We all have had those moments, haven't we?
Today's linked story is more land-usey than eminent domain-ey, but still interesting for you condemnation lawyers on the line (besides, condemnation lawyers really do have to know land use law, don't they?).
Honolulu can is a tough place to be, with our status as one of the most expensive places in the world to live, and the high cost of housing is one of the prime reasons for that. In Honolulu Civil Beat, Stewart Yerton has a story on the legal risks triggered when a City Council member suggested that the council might deny development permits if the permitted condos were sold to Chinese nationals instead of local residents.
In "Opposition To Foreign Condo Sales Raises Legal Questions," In addition to national experts on such things like Professor Eugene Volokh, the article quotes us about those times we have all had as lawyers, when a client goes and says something that you really wish he or she would not have said:
Robert Thomas, a Honolulu lawyer who specializes in land-use law, agreed the anti-Chinese buyer comments could create problems for the City and County of Honolulu.
“The good lawyers for the Corporation Counsel down at the City and County must sort of wince when they see those statements,” he said.
The Corporation Counsel’s office declined to comment, and Anderson did not return calls for comment.
. . . .
That’s partly what makes Anderson’s comments potentially problematic, said Thomas, the Honolulu land-use lawyer. Courts often defer to land-use decisions made by a city council.
But when trial lawyers see remarks like Anderson’s, Thomas said, “The lawyers start rubbing their hands a little bit because the comments are giving them ammunition.”
Check it out. We'll post more as this story develops.