Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Tuolumne Jobs Case

The California Supreme Court has just issued an opinion which may encourage the use of initiatives. At issue in the case was an initiative to adopt a specific plan to streamline approval for construction and operation of a...more

FDEP Touts the Success of the State’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) touts the success of the State’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Since its inception in 1997, Florida’s Brownfields Redevelopment Act ( Florida Statutes Sections...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review Required for a Voter Initiative-Sponsored Ordinance

In a relatively short decision, the California Supreme Court held in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court of Tuolumne County (Tuolumne Jobs) that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not...more

The California Supreme Court Further Limits the Scope of CEQA Review for Voter-Sponsored Initiatives in Tuolumne Jobs & Small...

Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code requirements may be adopted directly by local governments without first conducting a full review under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), according to...more

Keeping its Options Open: Lodi Passes Resolution of Necessity as Negotiations Continue

As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the...more

California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Inapplicable To City’s Adoption Of Qualified Voter Initiative Approving Wal-Mart “Supercenter”...

In a concise 15-page opinion filed August 7, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s judgment which had held that a city may not adopt a voter-sponsored initiative with potential...more

Implied Restrictive Covenant Prevents Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Lots

A federal court of appeals held that a golf course was encumbered by an implied restrictive covenant, preventing the foreclosing lender from selling the golf course for residential development. The U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

Tax credit increases what’s available for historic renovation

In May, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act (also known as House Bill 14-1311). By substantially increasing the amount of funds available for the...more

Proposed House Bill would Create Appeals Process for Qualified Census Tract and Difficult Development Areas

On July 24, 2014, Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would amend Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide for an appeals process for HUD Qualified Census Tract...more

New Development Extension Opportunities Now Available

The Florida Legislature has provided numerous extensions for development permits and approvals over the past several years, which have typically required that the holder of the permit or approval provide notice to the issuing...more

Atlantic Crossing: Delray Beach Gets a Makeover

The City of Delray Beach, Florida has experienced a dramatic rebirth of its downtown inner core within the last decade. Restaurants, jazz clubs, art galleries and specialty retail provides the genesis for this exciting area...more

Environmental Alert: "Clearly Allocate Risk of Change Interpretations in Transactions"

When buyers request that sellers warrant compliance with environmental law, sellers need to appreciate that agency interpretation or agency enforcement discretion may have played a role in the seller’s apparent ongoing...more

Environmental Due Diligence: A Practical Guide to Environmental Site Assessments Part 2

If after a Phase I ESA, the EP determines further investigation is warranted, that more invasive investigation takes the form of a Phase II ESA. The primary purpose in conducting a Phase II ESA is to evaluate any REC(s)...more

Collateral Estoppel Bars Copy-Cat Environmental Plaintiff in New Case After Judgment

Roberson v. City of Rialto (4th Dist., Div. 2, 5/21/2014, E058187) - The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate to invalidate project approvals for the construction...more

Community right to buy to be extended to urban areas Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill introduced on 11 June 2014

In November 2013 the Scottish Government published a consultation paper to which was annexed a draft "Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill". The consultation included proposals to extend the existing "community right to buy"...more

Faulty Notice of Hearing Not Enough to Stop Wal-Mart Supercenter

In Roberson v. City of Rialto, No. E058187 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., May 21, 2014), the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s judgment, upholding several project approvals for a new commercial retail center in...more

Make your Developer Note more marketable - 8 tips

There is a common misperception that a municipality's willingness to issue a so-called Developer Note on a pay-as-you-go basis is tantamount to providing equity to the redevelopment project. Unfortunately, most...more

Curb Appeal: Looks Matter When It Comes to the ADA

I’m frequently asked two questions by business owners and managers when it comes to ADA compliance and lawsuits. The first question is, “what type of businesses get sued most often?”...more

Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo County Community College District

Why it matters: The 30 day statute of limitations for CEQA challenges was upheld to bar litigation alleging that a project, as constructed, was different from how that project was described in the CEQA document....more

Fremont Latest California City Seeking to Reinvent its Downtown

Undaunted by the so-called "death of redevelopment," several California cities have pushed to reinvent -- a.k.a. redevelop -- their downtown cores. And it appears to be working....more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...more

FPPC Revises Regulations Regarding Conflicts of Interest Involving Real Property

The Fair Political Practices Commission recently changed its conflict of interest regulation concerning real property owned or leased by public officials. The old rule was that if an official owned (or had a long-term lease...more

The New ASTM E1527-13

In 2013, the EPA issued an amendment to the ASTM E1527-05 to reflect “evolving practices and a higher level of rigor.” While the most recent standard is encouraged, there is no law mandating that it must be used. E1527-05...more

2014 Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

CS/CS/CS/HB 325 amends statutory provisions relating to the brownfield program and modifies the procedures for establishing a brownfield area. The bill also authorizes the local government designating a brownfield area to use...more

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