Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Remember this? NIMBY Challenge Begins on San Felipe High-Rise

an Felipe Construction
(Cross-posted from www.bryantlaw.net)
Remember the Ashby high-rise trial? Get ready for round two. The San Felipe high-rise is gearing up for a similar legal battle. Here’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, when it comes to our desire for space and our need to accommodate a fast-growing city.
How far will the bounds of nuisance law stretch in order to accommodate these types of lawsuits? In one sense, the jury has a lot of power in determining the reasonableness of new construction and the diminution of value of surrounding properties. It may all come down to voire dire—and whether one party gets a favorable jury. That’s just how it goes.
On the other hand, if the residents win (again), I would not be surprised if it prompted City Council to seriously consider adopting a comprehensive zoning ordinance. Such a measure would, I believe, curtail nuisance lawsuits related to new construction. It would also have numerous other benefits, but that is irrelevant here.
In the courtroom scene, recent successes have emboldened property owners to stand up to developers for what the owners perceive are irresponsible and senseless developments. It will be interesting to see how the law adapts to these challenges (especially through appeals) in an economy that has a reputation as a developer-friendly atmosphere.
But I think, if we are really honest, we must recognize at least a slight case of NIMBY-ism from the homeowners.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Taking Possession

[Moses]  said to them, 'Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word to you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.' (Deut. 32:46–47).
God promised Israel long life in the land if they would keep the covenant between them and God—if they kept the law and obeyed God's word. The Word was their life. That sounds so...Pauline. "When Christ who is your life appears..." (Col. 3:4). But back to the story. It's no secret that Israel failed at being "careful to do all the words of this law." They couldn't even if they tried. God's promise to them, however, was that they would live long in the land He was giving them. Keep that scenario in mind. Israel had this promise—and the Word—but they failed, repeatedly. Just like we do.

Then Christ came. And he did keep all the words of the law. Some even say he was the embodiment of the law—he was the Word of God made flesh. So it's easy to see how Paul could say that Christ is our life. It wasn't a novel concept—Moses said the same thing way back in the desert. But here's the great news: despite our failure, Christ obtained the promise for us, and he gave his righteousness to us. Therefore, we have an even greater promise. Where Israel (a type of the church) was promised long life in the land through their obedience, we (the church) are promised eternal life in the New Jerusalem through Christ's obedience. What a promise! What a salvation! What a possession!

Moses was right. The Word of God was no "empty word," as if it were powerless, but our very life. For without The Word, we have no life. And as Israel went over to possess the land for a long time, we go over to possess a greater land for eternity. Both by God's word, our life.