Flaherty & Hood Senior Attorney Robert Scott successfully defended a Greater Minnesota city in District Court in a lawsuit brought by residents of the City who sought to compel the City to hold a special election on their petition to enact an ordinance pursuant to the initiative process outlined the City’s Charter. The proposed ordinance would have 1) amended the City’s existing public nuisance ordinance by significantly expanding the types of conditions and activities that constitute nuisances in the City and 2) identified several specific activities and conduct that would constitute nuisances per se, and thus be prohibited throughout the City without regard to the circumstances in which they might take place. As several of the proposed regulations were closely associated with features of a specific planned development, Robert argued on the City’s behalf that the initiative amounted to an illegal attempt by the residents to prevent a specific development from proceeding in circumvention of the exclusive procedures applicable to local land use regulation contained the Municipal Planning Act, Minn. Stat. § 462.351 – 364. Following briefing and oral argument, the District Court denied the residents’ motion for a special election and dismissed their lawsuit against the City in its entirety, with prejudice, upholding the City’s position that the Municipal Planning Act had preempted the initiative provisions in its Charter with respect to local land use regulations such as the residents’ proposed amendments to the City’s nuisance ordinance.