Environmental Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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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

Sustainable Retail – Eco-Friendly Shopping at the Mall

Sustainability experts claim that “a good building- efficiency rating is quickly becoming the real estate equivalent of a motor vehicle’s miles-per-gallon rating and helps bring capital to owners and investors.” The National...more

Colorado House Votes Down Bill Giving Local Authorities Power Over Fracking

Two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 4, 2016, to defeat a bill that sought to assert local government control over oil and gas drilling. Drilling operations in Colorado have...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

Does a Project’s Impact on the “Character of the Community” Need to Be Evaluated under CEQA?

Harry Rogers owned and operated a horse boarding facility called the Stock Farm, in the City of Poway, California – a city that proudly calls itself the “City in the Country.” Rogers wanted to shut down the Stock Farm and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2016

A Rare Win for Former Redevelopment Agencies—State Collection Procedures Ruled Unconstitutional - City of Bellflower v. Michael Cohen, Director of the Department of Finance (245 Cal. App. 4th 438) - Why It Matters:...more

NYDEC Proposes Revisions to Brownfield Cleanup Program

The New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) has published notice regarding the proposed revisions to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) regulations. The revisions provide a minor revision to the term...more

FWS Proposes Revisions to Development Mitigation Policy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published draft revisions on March 8, 2016 to its 1981 Mitigation Policy for mitigating the impacts of development projects to natural resources. See Proposed Revisions to the U.S....more

DEC Issues Revised Regulations to Enable More Properties to Qualify for BCP Tax Credits

On Wednesday, March 9, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposed to amend New York State's Brownfields law's implementing regulations to enable more properties to qualify for BCP tangible...more

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations...more

Horse Of A Different Color: CEQA Does Not Require EIR Due To Psychological And Social Impacts From Closure Of Beloved Equestrian...

In a March 4, 2016 published opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment requiring an EIR for a small 12-home rural subdivision project based on the “psychological and social” impacts of...more

In the Heart of the Rainy Season: The New (Stayed) Clean Water Rule Covers Vernal Pools in California

After years of drought, the El Niño storms have been bringing much-needed rain and snow to California–albeit in quantities significantly less than we hoped for thus far. In addition to the anticipated snow packs, flowing...more

Conservation Easements FTW! Or, Eagles 1; IRS 0

What’s a real estate developer to do when its pristine development site, with beautiful ocean views and room for between 164 and 410 upscale residential units that *NEED NOT BE BUILT, is clogged with wildlife, including bald...more

Corner Briefing: Grant and Loan Opportunities for Infill Projects

This is the first edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates will identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other...more

New Conservation Restrictions for the Northern Long-Eared Bat Will Have Limited Impact on Development in Massachusetts

A new Endangered Species Act rule protecting the northern long-eared bat will likely have only limited impact on development and land use activities in Massachusetts due to fairly specific restrictions imposed by the final...more

Maryland Court of Appeals Opens Door to New Class of Inverse Condemnation Claims

A property owner states a valid claim for inverse condemnation where the owner alleges that its property was taken by the government's failure to act in the face of an affirmative duty to act, the Maryland Court of Appeals...more

Feds Finalize Prohibitions Against Threatened Bat Species – Disputes Continue

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a final rule under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), taking effect February 16, 2016 and imposing measures intended to protect the northern long-eared bat (NLE...more

Developers Dodge Bullet with Northern Long-Eared Bat

Developers have to deal with a number of environmental issues. These include stormwater management and potential impacts to wetlands, historic resources, and threatened and endangered species. The northern long-eared bat is...more

EPA Simplifies SWPPPs for Small Residential Construction Projects

Developing a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for a construction project can take a lot of time and effort, and the requirements for a small project usually don’t differ from those for a large project. EPA wants...more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed...more

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