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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just Released - Fall Issue of "In the Zone: Current Trends in Land Use Law"

Check out the fall issue of Ancel Glink's e-newsletter, In the Zone:  Current Trends in Land Use Law, for updates on new laws and recent cases in the land use and economic development area.  This edition also includes an in-depth analysis and commentary on land use topics of interest to government officials, as well as property owners and developers, including the following:

All in the "Family":  Changing Times and Changes to Local Zoning Ordinances

Most municipalities define "family" in regulating single and multiple family housing districts.  Many of these definitions track the language in the Illinois Municipal Code, which allows municipalities "to classify, to regulate and restrict the use of property on the basis of family relationship, which family relationship may be defined as one or more persons each related to the other by blood, marriage or adoption and maintaining a common household." 

Beginning June 1, 2011, Illinois recognized its first civil unions under the recently adopted Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.  (P.A. 96-1513).  A civil union is a legal relationship between two persons of the same or opposite sex established under the Act.  Municipalities should recognize that their zoning code's definition of "family" will now include civil unions because the Act provides that a party to a civil union will be included in "any definition or use of the term . . .  family . . .  and other terms that denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law."  For more about how this new law affects municipalities, consult the fall issue of In the Zone.

The RCRA Ultimatum:  How an Inexpensive Letter can Clean Up Contaminated Lots

RCRA is a long-standing federal law setting standards for handling, transporting, and disposing of "waste."  However, there is more than meets the eye.  RCRA requires owners and operators to take all necessary steps to abate any "imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment" caused by their waste. Most importantly, RCRA authorizes citizens and local governments to take direct action against owners or operators of facilities to clean up their waste, including gas stations, dry cleaners and other local sources of contamination.  The tool: the RCRA citizen suit. Upon closer look, you will find that the RCRA citizen suit offers three unique and remarkable powers, which are detailed in the fall issue of In the Zone.

For a full copy of the fall edition of In the Zone, visit Ancel Glink's website at http://www.ancelglink.com/.


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