Archive | December, 2013
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New Wind Farm in Wisconsin?

In October, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin obtained a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to construct a wind farm in St. Croix County.  The Highland Wind Farm would be the first to be permitted following Wisconsin Act 40, a controversial state law passed in 2009.  Act 40 establishes […]

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When it Comes to the Various Uses Under a Zoning Designation, One of These Things is Not Like the Other

The uses of the lands within a zoning designation generally fall into one of two categories:  permitted and conditional.  Most property owners do not give a second thought as to how the use of their property was approved so long as they get to use it the way they intended.  But, whether the use is […]

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When is an Unconstitutional Condition of a Governmental Land Use Permit a Taking?

We all know that the Constitution prohibits the government from taking private property for public use without just compensation. Additionally, the government cannot coerce people into giving up their constitutional rights, such as conditioning a person’s receipt of a governmental benefit on the waiver of a constitutionally protected right.  At what point do unconstitutional conditions […]


More Amicus Briefs Filed in Brandt

Another amicus brief has been filed in support of the landowner, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the 10th Circuit’s decision, this time by two public interest law firms.  The Pacific Legal Foundation and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence argue that the Tenth Circuit’s decision that the United States retained an “implied reversionary interest” in […]


OCA/NFIB Amicus Brief Filed in Brandt Rails to Trails Case

The Owners Counsel of America (OCA) and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center filed their amicus brief in support of the landowner in Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173 (cert. granted October 1, 2013) arguing the United States Supreme Court should reverse a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which held […]

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When Does a Condemning Authority Have to Condemn?

Chapter 32 of the Wisconsin Statutes grants the power of condemnation to governmental subdivisions, public utilities, school districts, a number of commissions, and a host of other entities.  It specifies precisely who may condemn, and specifies the purposes for which each condemning entity may exercise its power.  Chapter 32 has within its 29 pages virtually […]