December 12 – Land Use – L11
Disparate Impact Liability and the Fair Housing Act
Speakers: Brian Connolly, Dwight Merriam & Dan Mandelker
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project brought clarity to the question of whether disparate impact liability exists under the Fair Housing Act. Disparate impact looks at discriminatory effects of facially-neutral policies and practices, including zoning laws. In upholding the use of disparate impact, the Supreme Court kept intact one of three ways that local governments can be held liable under the Fair Housing Act, but with some important limitations. This program will review the Inclusive Communities Project case and outcome, and will talk about its implications for local governments.
Brian Connolly is an attorney in the Land Use, Real Estate, and Litigation practice groups at Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti, P.C. in Denver, Colorado. There, he represents public- and private-sector clients in matters relating to zoning, planning, development entitlements and other complex regulatory issues. Prior to practicing law, Brian was an urban planner in the planning department of Westchester County, New York, and he has also worked in planning capacities at the federal and municipal government levels. Brian additionally specializes in the First Amendment and land use issues associated with outdoor sign and advertising regulation, and fair housing matters in local planning and zoning.