Environmental Residential Real Estate

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Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - A suburban experiment aims for free energy - New York Times - Jun 3 - At first glance, Anthony and Vanessa Genau’s home in a subdivision beneath the San Gabriel Mountains is like...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: June 2016 #1

California Governor Proposes "Build By Right" Approval Process for Affordable Housing - Recognizing the extreme need throughout California for construction of new affordable housing units, on May 13, 2016, Gov. Jerry...more

Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a...more

Have You Got the Right EPCs?

We were reading in the Property Week (27th May edition) just how unreliable an EPC rating can be. This matters because from 2018 when new minimum energy efficiency regulations (MEES) start to apply, investors won’t be able...more

Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Vapor Intrusion Litigation

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed class certification in a case involving residential vapor intrusion claims, in Ebert et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016

Sustainable Development Focus - Solar microgrid to ‘green’ Port of Los Angeles - Microgrid Knowledge - May 30 - The Port of Los Angeles, North America’s largest port, plans to install a $26.6 million solar...more

Corps Proposes Renewal of Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) has proposed new and revised Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) for certain activities that require authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and...more

Governor Ducey Vetoes Water and Development Bills

With the second regular legislative session of Governor Doug Ducey’s tenure complete, the Governor exercised his veto pen rejecting several laws impacting water and land development. On May 9th, Governor Ducey vetoed two...more

Clean Water Act Client Alert: US Supreme Court Concludes US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland "Jurisdictional Determinations"...

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court unanimously concluded that wetland determinations by the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) under the Clean Water Act constitute final agency action, meaning that landowners can...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Proceeds from cap-and-trade auction fall far short of targets - Los Angeles Times - May 25 - The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell...more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

U.S. Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on Corps’ Wetlands Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a (surprising) 8–0 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the full Supreme Court, issued a ruling that will have far-reaching effects on landowners, real estate developers, farmers, oil and gas...more

Clean Up Green Up—Supplemental Use Districts—more regulation for three LA City Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, the City of Los Angeles rolls out its much-discussed Clean Up Green Up (CUGU) pilot program for three communities: Boyle Heights, Wilmington and Pacoima. Ordinance 184246, approved by Mayor Garcetti on April...more

Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Energy efficiency is a must for California buildings moving forward - Los Angeles Daily News - May 14 - Energy efficient homes like those at Skylar at Playa Vista in Los...more

Update: New Legislation Creates Land Banks

Valuable Tool for Municipalities Seeking to Redevelop Brownfield Sites - On May 4, the General Assembly passed Public Act 16-115, An Act Concerning The Creation Of Connecticut Brownfield Land Banks, Certain Lender...more

Lead Paint and Drinking Water in Maine – Now Under Even More Scrutiny: Important news for owners of residential and child care...

Lead paint is a well-known problem for older homes, and lead in residential drinking water from historic plumbing is also a recognized issue in Maine. Lead can be a serious problem if children or pregnant women are exposed at...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Voter support for clean energy policies up since last presidential election - Solar Industry Magazine - May 18 - A new survey by Lazard Ltd., a financial advisory and asset management...more

Governor Seeks to Streamline Approval of Multifamily Housing Projects

In an effort to encourage housing production, Governor Jerry Brown has made a bold proposal to streamline the approval of certain multifamily housing projects that include a portion deed-restricted affordable units. The...more

Attention Home Improvement Contractors: CA Bill Singles Out Solar Contractors

California Assembly Bill 2699 (Gonzalez) is a bill to watch if you are a home improvement contractor that solarinstalls solar energy systems or, for that matter, a contractor in California. AB 2699 would, among other things,...more

Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and...more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

For Virginia Land Use, Local Governments Have To Follow The Rules

Starting July 1, 2016 Virginia local governments must, in reviewing a residential rezoning or concept plan amendment, determine whether a requested land use exaction addresses an impact that is “specifically attributable” to...more

MassDEP Proposes Revisions to Facilities of Public Accommodation Regulations

After a multi-year study process involving an advisory group of stakeholders, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is proposing revisions to regulations implementing the state waterways licensing program under...more

Two San Diego Projects Moving Forward

There are two interesting projects in San Diego County that are moving forward, both of which involve at least some use of eminent domain. The San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is proceeding in, not surprisingly, San...more

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