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California Supreme Court Establishes the Standard of Review for the Unusual Circumstances Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions...

Breathing life into the use of CEQA categorical exemptions, on March 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court held that a reasonable possibility that a project may result in significant effects on the environment alone is not...more

Developer Catches a Break in California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2015) (slip op), the California Supreme Court overturned an appeals court ruling that banned developers from using an exemption under the...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

CA Supreme Court Provides Key CEQA Guidance Regarding Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling regarding categorical exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reversing a court of appeal decision that would have sharply curtailed the use...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Most Commonly Used CEQA Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (March 2, 2015). The Court’s decision clears up some of the ambiguity that surrounded the...more

Land Subsidence Damage Caused by Groundwater Withdrawals in Arizona: Who Pays?

Land subsidence is a problem that affects many areas of the world, with well-publicized case studies in Mexico City, Tokyo, and certain areas within California and Arizona. ...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - December 2014

In This Issue: - Protecting Your Brand: A Gift Not Reserved for the Holidays - Amendment to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act - Changes are Coming to ISD - Arlington’s New LEED...more

Arlington’s New LEED Standards

On November 15th, the County Board of Arlington County voted 4-1 to adopt a revised incentives policy for its green building standards. While technically a “voluntary” component of 4.1 Site Plan applications, the County has...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

ULI Releases Report on Risks of Urban Flooding

The Boston/New England chapter of the Urban Land Institute (“ULI”) has released a report exploring design, policy and risk management strategies to help Boston and nearby cities such as Cambridge and Revere prepare for...more

Renewable Energy Update -- October 2014 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Geothermal power industry lost steam but may be poised for comeback: Los Angeles Times - Oct 19: Geothermal power was once king of California's renewable energy. So many companies were...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 10

Wyoming Supreme Court Concludes Contractor to Pay For Damages In Excess of Original Project Cost - An opinion released in a mid-August from the Wyoming Supreme Court concluded that repair damages were appropriate in a...more

FHA Multifamily Rental Project Closing Document Revisions

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released revised closing documents that must be used for all transactions with a commitment issued after August 10, 2014. HUD has instituted a grace period in...more

Dealing With NIMBYs in Local Land Use and Environmental Approval

A developer or property owner may have a permit application for a project that meets the criteria for the applicable regulations, and might receive approval from local government or environmental staff. At that point, the...more

California Urban Housing Market Plagued by Higher Rents, Lower Wages, and CEQA

The economic and social impacts of the California Environmental Quality Act are significant enough that the worldwide publication, The Economist, recently reported that the law’s liberal standing requirements “allow[ing]...more

Miami’s Future Archipelago of Floating Houses

A team of Dutch developers would like to bring a little bit of Atlantis to Miami. Earlier this month, Dutch Docklands submitted a letter of intent and request for zoning variance to the City of North Miami Beach in order to...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

Does The EPA Have A Thing Against Building Energy Codes?

What if there was a technology that had a 20 year track record of saving 4.8 quads of energy and 41 million tons of carbon, while saving consumers more than $44 billion over the past 20 years, and was anticipated to save...more

Green Homes: A Hot Trend Among Homebuilders

Following the increase of green buildings in the commercial real estate sector, green homes have become a hot trend among homebuilders. According to the “Green Multifamily & Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market”...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

HUD adopts updated standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Construction SignHUD’s Office of Housing and the Federal Housing Administration’s adoption of a new technical standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I ESA”) took effect on May 16, 2014....more

Duped Subcontractor Can’t Recover From Landowner Payments Owed by General Contractor Under CERCLA

On March 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resolved a dispute of apparent first impression regarding the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The...more

Cities Alive: The Future of Green Infrastructure

If you follow the construction industry you know that green is the new gold. As well as LEED bronze, silver and platinum. Green building, which not long ago conjured images of hippie architects and wealthy eccentrics,...more

California’s New Building Energy Efficiency Standards to Go Into Effect July 1, 2014

California builders should be aware of a new set of energy efficiency standards set to go into effect on July 1, 2014. The California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) were promulgated in 1977 to...more

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