Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use Residential Real Estate

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Motion to Amend CEQA Action Judgments to Make Additional Judgment Debtor Liable For Million Dollar Fee Award Not Barred By...

In a published opinion filed January 26, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (Division 2) reversed a trial court’s order denying CEQA plaintiffs’ motion to amend judgments entered four (4) years...more

Purple Line Continues to Move Forward

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 22, 2016 holding in favor of Montgomery County, Maryland that the future Purple Line (the proposed light rail between Bethesda and New Carrollton that includes a stop...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

The Thin Line Between Land Litigation and Land Use Controversies

Frequently, land litigation—land boundary and ownership claims - is a controversy concerning the use of land. The recent case of Hedgepeth v. Parker’s Landing Property Owners Association, Inc. ___ N.C. App. ___ ___ S.E.2d...more

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Guideline Requiring Analysis of the Existing Environment’s Impacts on a Proposed Project

A unanimous California Supreme Court has held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require an analysis of how existing environmental conditions will impact a project’s future users or...more

“Reverse CEQA” Reversed: California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Analysis of Impacts of the Environment on the Project

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (December 17, 2015) (Case No. S213478) (CBIA v. BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court rejected a requirement for so-called “reverse CEQA”...more

Denver City Council Passes Construction Defect Litigation Reform Ordinance

After successive failures to pass similar legislation at the state level, the Denver City Council is following Lakewood and other municipalities to pass reforms to curb construction defect litigation. Designed to address...more

Risky “Business as Usual”: The California Supreme Court Upholds the BAU Approach to CEQA Climate Impact Analysis, but Sets a High...

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife,1 the California Supreme Court upheld the “Business as Usual” (BAU) approach for analyzing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental...more

California Supreme Court Decision Regarding Newhall Ranch Development Could Significantly Impact Developments

California Supreme Court Overturns Environmental Impact Report Related to Proposed Residential Development - In a much-anticipated decision, Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife,...more

California Supreme Court Rules Mitigation Measures Constitute Take of Fully Protected Species

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision comes at...more

Right of Entry Statutes Are Back in Business – For Now

For decades, California public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with acquiring the...more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2015

CEQA Baseline Can Consider Historic Levels of Use - North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015)—Cal.App.4th—Case No. D066488: Why It Matters: This case addresses an important issue under CEQA relating to the...more

Water Rights Adjudication Process Serving Streamlined

AB 1390 expedites comprehensive groundwater adjudications to determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin. While AB 1390, a companion bill to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, streamlines several...more

Think Legal, Act Local: How One Attorney Gave Back to the Community In Which He Lives and Works

We spoke recently with attorney Jeffrey Lewis of Broedlow Lewis to learn more about his firm's pro bono work on a hot-button Southern California case focusing on land use restrictions and the preservation of open space. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Disparate-Impact Claims Under Fair Housing Act

In a recent holding, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) may be premised on "disparate impact," meaning that a plaintiff may challenge a practice even if it was not...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015 #2

Use It or Lose It: San Clemente Required to Refund $10 Million in Unused Impact Fees: Walker v. City of San Clemente (August 28, 2015, G050552) - Why It Matters: In a strict reading of a local agency’s...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36390 - Folsom v. Zoning Board of Appeals - Trial court properly granted a motion to strike a direct lawsuit by a disgruntled neighbor against the Town Zoning Enforcement...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

Colorado Supreme Court Oral Argument Held in Case Deciding Whether Courts and Commissions May Overrule Each Other in Eminent...

In June, the Colorado Supreme Court held oral argument in a case that is set to shape the way condemnation actions will be tried to commissions in the future. In Colorado, a landowner has the right to choose whether a jury or...more

City Ordered to Refund $10.5 Million in Beach Parking Fees

On August 28, 2015, a California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment against the City of San Clemente (City) ordering the City to refund approximately $10.5 million in unexpended development impact fees...more

Supreme Court Takes on Housing Discrimination

Court rules that actions that disproportionally affect minority groups can support lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that certain actions that adversely affect minorities in poor...more

Flushing Out the Safe Harbor: “General Land Area Minimum” Offers Newton No 40B Shelter

Municipalities long unable to achieve ten percent affordable housing are now turning more frequently to a different Safe Harbor to block development of low and moderate income housing – compliance with the “General Land Area...more

Disparate Impact Claims Fair Game under the Fair Housing Act

The United States Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision in June, brought housing discrimination law ever-so-slightly more in line with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) by holding that claims of...more

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