Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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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

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

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

Environmental Due Diligence: A Practical Guide to Environmental Site Assessments Part 1

Environmental Site Assessments (“ESA”) assist potential purchasers acquiring an interest in commercial real estate with determining a baseline for certain environmental conditions of the property and potentially establishing...more

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno

Why it matters: The court refined its previous test for air quality impacts analysis under CEQA, and required recirculation of an EIR due to its failure to specifically analyze the impacts on human health resulting from the...more

EPA Proposes Clarification on CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

Step by step, inch by inch. Slowly but diligently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to clarify what standards and practices may be used for conducting “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) under the...more

EPA Proposes to Delete Reference to Superseded 2005 ASTM Standard from “All Appropriate Inquiry” Rule

On June 17, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency published a proposal to delete reference to the 2005 version of the ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment standard from the federal “all appropriate...more

What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California...more

EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Remove Reference to ASTM E1527-05 in All Appropriate Inquiries Rule

On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule to amend the standards and practices for complying with the “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

10 Development Due Diligence Considerations

New development projects are on the rise again. Here is a quick checklist of 10 issues to consider before getting started on any development project...more

“CEQA-in-Reverse” Case Headed for the California Supreme Court

“CEQA-in-Reverse” - Real estate developers, public agencies and private businesses involved in land development or redevelopment may soon have to contend with a new far-reaching interpretation of the California...more

Real Estate and Land Use - June 2014

Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The Court in Bowman held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second permit that included the same project, even if the first permit...more

Additional Environmental and Host Municipality Guidance on the New York RFA Process

Revised guidance on the SEQRA process - 24-month time limit to begin upon conclusion of SEQRA review. SEQRA, or the State Environmental Quality Review Act, is a New York law mandating that projects receiving...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

New Standard for Environmental Assessments Gaining Traction

The American Society for Testing and Materials ("ASTM") standard for Environmental Assessments was revised in 2013 for the first time since 2005. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has now adopted the updated...more

Is The “Functional Interdependence” Test Dead?

On May 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) attempt to preserve an expansive view of what constitutes a single source of air emissions under...more

Minnesota Brownfields Soil Reuse Study Identifies Significant Cost-Saving and Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Stoel Rives environmental analyst Steve Heurung was among the co-authors of a Minnesota Brownfields report commissioned by Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for cost savings associated with the off-site reuse of soil...more

California Judicial Council Approves New Court Rules To Implement Expedited Procedures For CEQA Lawsuits Attacking Large...

New court rules will significantly expedite the timeline for lawsuits brought under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to challenge the certification of the environmental impact report (EIR) or the granting of...more

'Urban Decay' Still Plagues Calif. Big-Box Retail Plans

The California Environmental Quality Act has long been a key weapon in the ongoing war over development in California. In the last few years, the front line of the war has shifted to big-box retail projects. Originally...more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

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