Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use Construction

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California Supreme Court Shifts Gears on “Reverse CEQA”

The California Supreme Court has shifted gears on so-called “reverse CEQA” under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)....more

New regulations will oblige owners of buildings in Scotland to improve or report on energy efficiency of buildings

Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for regulations to be made for: (1) the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings;...more

A Good Reminder: State and Federal Wildlife Laws Have Severe Penalties for Harm to Endangered Species

Welcome to the New Year! I have decided to declare 2016 to be the year of the endangered species. Why? We ended 2015 with a bang by seeing how serious the take prohibition in the California Fish and Game Code can be for fully...more

New Right-of-Way Regulations on Indian Lands

Every once in a while, infrastructure projects we’re working on involve traversing Indian lands. For those of you involved in such projects, you should take a look at the Final Rule published by the Department of the...more

Colorado Construction Monitor - Winter 2015 / 2016

Construction activity in Denver (and throughout Colorado) remains remarkably high. Sherman & Howard's Construction Index rose to 119.15 for the quarter, which establishes a new record high for the Index. The previous high was...more

Top Ten Stories in California Construction for 2015

Cranes, cement trucks, and street closures seem to be everywhere these days, especially in city centers such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. After the meltdown of 2006, real estate development went into hibernation for...more

Construction Continues To Improve, But Are We In A Boom?

Cranes, cement trucks, and street closures seem to be everywhere these days, especially in city centers such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. After the meltdown of 2006, real estate development went into hibernation for...more

Worth the Wait? The California Supreme Court Rules that CEQA Does Not Require An Analysis of the Environment's Impacts on a...

On December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (No. S213478). The sole question before the Court...more

Special Alert: Building Moratorium Initiative

As you may have learned from the news, a group called Coalition to Preserve L.A. (CPLA) is seeking to place an Initiative on the ballot in 2016 that would establish a City-wide building moratorium. The key provisions...more

Rogers v. Forest City Ruling

On Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Rogers v. Forest City Stapleton, Inc. (Case No. 2015COA167), a ruling that may have lasting importance for developers, builders, contractors,...more

Colorado Court of Appeals Recognizes Implied Warranty of Suitability Between Master Developer and Later Purchasers

Last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion recognizing for the first time that a master developer may be liable to a subsequent home purchaser under an implied warranty of suitability. Rogers v. Forest City...more

Deadlines Approach to File 2015 Development Approval Extensions

In August, Governor Scott issued a statewide emergency declaration as well as a more localized emergency declaration, providing opportunities for extending certain development approvals within the state of Florida. ...more

LEED Gold Rating Not Enough to Save Building’s Zoning Variance

A New Jersey court recently reversed a variance issued by a zoning board to a building designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The owner of the planned office building sought and obtained site plan approval and a height...more

Russia’s New Advanced Development Territories Law: Far East Focus

An initiative to spur investment in this underdeveloped region. Amid the ongoing loud noise surrounding the situation in Ukraine (and in Syria) and the related sanctions and counter-sanctions, a new Russian development...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: 9th Edition Anticipated to be Issued without Concurrency Period

The Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (the “State Board”) has announced that it expects to issue the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code in the first half of 2016, which will...more

Los Angeles City Council Approves Major Earthquake Retrofitting Ordinance

On October 9th, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to approve an ordinance requiring mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings in Los Angeles. The ordinance comes nearly a year after the publication of...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality...

On October 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Supreme Court Case No. S213478), a case which calls into question...more

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Baseline Issues In Partially Published Opinion Upholding EIR For Carlsbad Shopping Mall Renovation

In an opinion filed September 10, and later ordered partially published on October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the substance of a judgment upholding an EIR for a regional shopping center renovation project in...more

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Governor Signs AB2 Allowing for a New Tool to Combat Blight in Disadvantaged Communities

After rejecting earlier attempts to revive redevelopment, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2 on September 22, 2015, creating a new process to allow local governments to address blight in economically disadvantaged...more

Tax Increment Financing Implementation Changes Coming Soon

As many of you who are involved in developing projects in urban renewal or downtown development areas know, the principal method for financing such projects is tax increment financing (TIF). Tax increment financing is...more

Winn Everett's Environmental Virtues Are Yin to the Yang of Casino Profits

The site in Everett where Steve Winn wants to build a resort/destination casino at a cost of more than a billion dollars has got to be the most run-down, contaminated, crummy looking oceanfront properties in Greater Boston. ...more

Fishers Revises List of Permitted Building Materials for Commercial/Industrial Buildings

The City of Fishers approved this week amendments to the City’s Unified Development Ordinance that added four new permitted exterior building materials to its list of permitted exterior materials for commercial and industrial...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Denies Bid to Return Water/Sewer "Impact Fees"

Impact fees are defined, generally, as a charge on new development to pay for the construction or expansion of off-site capital improvements that are necessitated by and/or benefit the new development. Impact fees have been...more

Major Changes to District of Columbia Zoning Regulations

Effective in early 2016, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission will adopt a major overhaul of the zoning regulations. Although the overhaul is intended to simplify and update the 1958 zoning regulations, the new...more

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