Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Don’t Overlook the Potential Value Added By Green Buildings

It is increasingly important for buildings to be energy efficient. So-called “green buildings” can not only lead to more efficient energy use, but can also result in significant cost savings over time. Indeed, green...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The New York Legislature Ends The Guessing - Brownfield Tax Credits Extended And Modified

On April 1, 2015, the New York Legislature passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2015-2016, which included numerous amendments (the Amendments) to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a state program designed to incentivize...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Finding of Jurisdiction Over 4.8 Acres of Wetlands in Chesapeake, Virginia

On March 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. Corps of Engineers (Corps) had lawfully denied a permit to an applicant seeking to fill 4.8 acres of wetlands in order to build...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2015

Be Careful What You Agree To (City of San Marcos v. Loma San Marcos, LLC) - Why It matters: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision upholding an agreement between the City of San Marcos and a property owner...more

Federal Government Takes First Steps to Impose Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Public Lands

On March 20, 2015, the Interior Department announced the issuance of a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and American Indian lands. The rule was initially proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)...more

Superior Court of New Jersey Pierces the “LLC” Veil, Holding Sole Member Liable for Environmental Liabilities

On February 26, 2015, in Coty US LLC v. 680 S. 17th Street LLC, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, pierced the veil of a New Jersey limited liability company and held its sole member liable for environmental...more

Sacramento Kings Win Again; Second CEQA Challenge Rejected

Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento (2/18/2015, 3d Civil No. C077772). The Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District of California has ruled in favor of the City of Sacramento with regard to a series of challenges...more

EU Court limits the scope of environmental liability for new owners of polluted land

The Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) has shed light on the application of the “polluter pays” principle in the context of the EU’s Environmental Liability Directive. The judgment, handed down on 4 March...more

Coastal Flooding and Resiliency: New Challenges and Opportunities for the Commercial Real Estate and Finance Industry

Virginia, North Carolina and other mid-Atlantic coastal communities are no strangers to severe weather and related storm surges and flooding. However, many of these communities are experiencing storm surges and tidal and...more

California Supreme Court’s CEQA Ruling Reaches Beyond Residential Development

On Monday March 2, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing a Berkeley home builder to use an exemption from detailed environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) in its...more

Quebec Environment Minister Aims to Modernize Environmental Approval Process

On February 25, 2015, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change David Heurtel, announced a proposal to modernize the current environmental authorization regime provided...more

Prospective Real Estate Purchasers Should Demand ASTM E 1527-13 Environmental Phase I Reports

Beginning on October 6, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require prospective purchasers of real estate to use the new ASTM E1527-13 Phase I Environmental Assessment (Phase I) standard (2013...more

How CEQA’s Administrative Record Preparation Process Could Be Reformed By Eliminating CEQA Petitioners’ Statutory Option To...

I recently analyzed proposed legislation (SB 122) seeking to create an alternative procedure for preparation of the CEQA administrative record concurrently with administrative proceedings on a project and prior to any...more

New York’s Green Bank Committing to Diverse Transactions

New York State’s one-billion-dollar Green Bank opened for business in 2014 and has begun committing to transactions. The Green Bank’s self-professed sweet spot is investments between $5 million and $50 million. Examples of...more

Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a...more

The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

Part 201 Revisions – Streamlining the Pathways to Closure

On January 10, 2015, Governor Snyder signed SB 891 into law, enacting revisions to Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act ("Part 201), Michigan’s environmental remediation law. The revisions cover...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Retroactive Application of Landfill Cleanup Statute

In 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to authorize mandatory injunctions to require cleanups of landfills. But could the courts use the statute to order cleanups of older...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Q&A: Why Land Redevelopment May Hit Big

Land redevelopment hasn’t always been a popular option, at least not with neighboring land owners. But that might be changing. Originally Published in Globest.com - November 20, 2014....more

Q&A: Land Remediation - What You Need to Know

Whether it’s for condos, office buildings or industrial properties, raw land is becoming more and more scarce in Miami. That means land remediation is becoming a bigger issue. It also means developers have to face new...more

How to Speak Storm Water in 2015: Terminology from the New Industrial General Storm Water Permit

As my colleague Missy Foster recently reported, the deadline for compliance with California’s new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit) is fast approaching. There is a lot to learn about the 2014 Permit before it takes...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus: Federal Appeals Court rejects challenge to new highway linking LA and Long Beach - Courthouse News Service - Oct 31: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling...more

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