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News & Analysis as of

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

EPA Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Vapor Intrusion (“VI”) is the migration of vapors from contamination in the ground into overlying buildings and structures. It’s no secret that regulatory agencies have increased their focus on VI over the last decade. ...more

Spot Assessment Stricken

A divided panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a reassessment of property upon the expiration of a KOZ abatement was an unlawful spot assessment. Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of...more

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...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

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

N.C. State Senate Introduces Bill Granting Tax Credit for "Property" Serving Renewable Energy Efforts

Last week, the North Carolina State Senate introduced a bill that seeks to extend renewable-energy tax credits applicable to eligible property -- which is defined as specific "machinery and equipment or real property" -- that...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

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Shades of Sheppard?

In Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008), the Texas Supreme Court held that the termination of Sheppard’s lease (Sheppard was the Lessor) did not terminate her participation in a unit into which her...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

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Storage Activities Hold Production Rights Under "Dual Purpose" Lease

The explosion of natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin in recent years has led to litigation involving landowners trying to get out of existing oil and gas leases to take advantage of the fierce competition among...more

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy...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

Consider The Retained Acreage Clause

Have you ever wondered about the original purpose of the retained acreage clause? According to Professor Kramer, it was “to prevent the lessee from losing those portions of a lease that had productive wells thereon if the...more

Womble Client Wins Stormwater Case in Charlottesville

Another victory in Central Virginia for Womble Carlyle. Last week, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled in favor of the Shops at Stonefield (also known as Albemarle Place), finding the stormwater...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

Pa. Gas Utility May Use Eminent Domain to Supply Private Power Plant

A Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, judge recently authorized a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power in condemning easements for the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to supply gas to a private...more

California Update: New Laws Give Residential and Commercial Tenants Rights to Install EV Charging Stations and Streamline...

Last month Governor Brown signed AB 2565, which gives residential and commercial tenants new rights to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and AB 2188, which directs cities and counties to streamline permitting...more

Property Owners' Alert: Newly Effective Statutory Requirements for Installation of Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures

The real estate industry and the media recently have been focused on the updates to the Title 24 energy regulations (24 California Code of Regulations, Part 5) that became effective on July 1, 2014, and the increased costs in...more

BLM Issues Proposed Rule to Establish Competitive Leasing for Renewable Energy Projects on Public Lands

On September 30, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management issued a proposed rule that would establish competitive processes, terms, and conditions, including rental and bonding requirements, for solar and wind energy development...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Equitable Extension of Lease Terms

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has accepted a certified question in a case that may provide oil and gas operators some relief from the uncertainty surrounding landowner-initiated lease invalidation claims. In Harrison, et al....more

Supreme Court of Texas Clears the Path for Future Real Property Damage Calculations

In Wheeler v. Enbridge Pipelines, the Supreme Court of Texas provided guidance to midstream companies on the proper calculation of damages to real property stemming from the breach of a pipeline right-of-way agreement...more

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