Commercial Real Estate Environmental

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New LA Ordinances “Clean Up, Green Up” Industry in Residential “Toxic Hotspot” Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, two new Los Angeles ordinances will go into effect under the Clean Up, Green Up (CUGU) initiative. The initiative aims to improve air quality and residential quality of life in areas with high concentrations...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Voter support for clean energy policies up since last presidential election - Solar Industry Magazine - May 18 - A new survey by Lazard Ltd., a financial advisory and asset management...more

Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - 399 Fremont tower's water heated by solar power - Bisnow - May 11 - San Francisco's 399 Fremont Street, owned by UDR and MetLife, now features the world’s tallest solar water...more

CDFA Creates New Brownfields Project Marketplace to Advise on Projects and Financing Resources --- Online Marketplace Scheduled...

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (“CDFA”), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests, announced the creation of the Brownfields Project Marketplace...more

New Kansas Act Allows Relief for Purchase of Contaminated Property

On May 9, 2016, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act (the “Act”). The goal of this Act is to allow purchasers in Kansas to acquire real property with pre-existing...more

Oakley to Condemn Century-Old Building for Street Widening Project

As cities become more dense and urbanized, it is common for infrastructure to get outdated or insufficient to handle increased demand. We see this with roads, highways, schools, and even utilities. When new infrastructure...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

"IRS Guidance Clarifies 'Begun Construction' Standard for Renewable Electricity Production Credit Property"

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released welcome new guidance with respect to renewable electricity production and energy investment tax credits. A notice issued on May 5, 2016, reflects changes to the production tax...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Simon Property Group and Current, powered by GE, collaborate on mall of the future - PRNewswire - Apr 19 - Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, and...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #5

Renewable Energy Focus - California utility-scale solar beat wind for first time in 2015 - Solar Industry Magazine - Apr 28 - In 2015, energy from grid-connected, utility-scale solar plants surpassed that from...more

Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and...more

Can Solar Reboot Your Coal-Fired Plant Site?

The future of coal-fired plants is not bright. With regulations weighing on them, many plant operators are powering down and asking themselves what’s next for their sites. Solar offers viable options for reusing a plant site....more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

MassDEP Proposes Revisions to Facilities of Public Accommodation Regulations

After a multi-year study process involving an advisory group of stakeholders, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is proposing revisions to regulations implementing the state waterways licensing program under...more

Two San Diego Projects Moving Forward

There are two interesting projects in San Diego County that are moving forward, both of which involve at least some use of eminent domain. The San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is proceeding in, not surprisingly, San...more

Oil, Gas and Mineral Companies Take Note: Agreements Purporting to “Run with the Land” may be Rejected in Bankruptcy

A recent bankruptcy court decision from the influential Southern District of New York permitted a debtor to reject executory contracts with midstream gathers as an exercise of sound business judgment. In In re Sabine Oil &...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

Does a Project’s Impact on the “Character of the Community” Need to Be Evaluated under CEQA?

Harry Rogers owned and operated a horse boarding facility called the Stock Farm, in the City of Poway, California – a city that proudly calls itself the “City in the Country.” Rogers wanted to shut down the Stock Farm and...more

Fourth District Holds CEQA’s Definition of “Project” Does Not Encompass Municipal Ordinance Merely Restating Existing Prohibition...

In a published opinion filed March 25, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition that challenged a 2013 ordinance of the City of Upland which expressly prohibited...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

Selling Property “As Is” Won’t Protect Seller From Superfund Liability

Everyone is familiar with the two little words - “as is” - that pop up in real estate contracts. The “as is” clause is a means of allocating risk between seller and buyer. Generally, a seller who sells property “as is” will...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a particular site by issuing a “jurisdictional determination” (JD). A JD is of great significance to...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Armada of Lobbyists, Lawyers and Consultants Has to Fear Curtatone in His Rowboat

If you’re in a construction trade, you’re probably not too happy with Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, the only person standing between Steve Wynn and his dream of a $2 billion casino in Everett. Yet I have to believe...more

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