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Municipal – Real Property – Subdivision Approval Process – Constitutional – Equal Protection (access required)

Town of Hollywood v. Floyd Where the defendant-developers wanted to put a subdivision on a dangerous curve on a narrow road, the plaintiff-town did not violate the developers’ equal protection rights when the town required the developers to conduct a traffic study. The developers failed to point to any similarly situated developments that received different treatment: Stono Plantation was approved long before the town adopted its ordinances; Wide Awake Park is a public park rather than a subdivision, was already developed when the town acquired it, and required consolidation rather than subdivision of lots; and Holly Grove is a low-income, “planned development” subject to a different approval process than residential subdivisions.

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Municipal – Psychic Counselor Subject to License Law (access required)

Moore-King v. County of Chesterfield, Va. A Virginia county may require a “spiritual counselor” who offers psychic readings to obtain a business license and follow local zoning laws; the 4th Circuit says she is entitled to some First Amendment protection, but the county has not unconstitutionally abridged her free speech rights, nor has it violated RLUIPA or plaintiff’s right to equal protection.

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Municipal – Spot Zoning – Building Height – Historic Charleston (access required)

Historic Charleston Foundation v. City of Charleston Where every other property in the 400 block of King Street is zoned 3X (a maximum building height of three times the distance from the facade of the building to the center of the street), there is a considerable amount of property adjoining the rezoned building that falls within the proposed classification.

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Municipal – Zoning – Special Exception Application – Fireworks Store (access required)

Wyndham Enterprises, LLC v. City of North Augusta Residents’ unsubstantiated concerns about increased traffic and decreased property values wasn’t enough to support the defendant-city’s denial of appellants’ request for a special exception to open a fireworks store in a commercial district. We reverse the circuit court’s order upholding the denial of appellants’ request.

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