June 2021

Town esthetic zoning law does not violate the owner's free speech rights

The Eleventh Circuit ruled that a town could prevent an owner from building a home that had an architectural design out of keeping with surrounding homes. Burns v. Town of Palm Beach, 2021 WL 2325300 (11th Cir. 2021). The owner hoped to demolish his home and build one more than twice as large in a midcentury modern style rather than the typical Palm Beach beachfront...

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Rights of first refusal do not violate the rule against perpetuities if they must be exercised during the holder's lifetime

New York retains a version of the traditional rule against perpetuities. Like most states, it has classified options to purchase and rights of first refusal as "executory interests" subject to the rule against perpetuities. They therefore must vest (if at all) within 21 years of their creation, or within 21 years of the death of a named person in the conveyance or during the lifetime of a named person. The latter was the case in...

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