Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Commercial Real Estate

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CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Development Update: Maine DEP Proposes Site Development Rule Changes

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a hearing on October 15th to receive comments on three rulemaking changes to the state’s site location of development rules (“Site Laws”).  Additional public...more

First District Applies CEQA Exhaustion/Standing Rules, Upholds Judgment Rejecting Claim of Statutory Exemption for Controversial...

In a published decision filed September 17, 2015, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that a proposed land exchange agreement was not statutorily...more

State Lands Commission Land Exchanges Not Exempt from CEQA Review Absent a Title or Boundary Dispute; Actual Notice Doesn’t...

In Defend Our Waterfront v. California State Lands Commission (Sept. 17, 2015) __Cal.App.4th __, Case Nos. A141696 & A141697, the California Court of Appeal for the First District upheld the trial court’s grant of a petition...more

A Busy Summer for Environmental and Land Use Law

In the past three months, we have witnessed a breathtaking series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the California Supreme Court that have provided important rulings and...more

[Event] Nossaman's 2015 Environmental and Land Use Seminar - September 22nd, Newport Beach, CA

Nossaman will host a complimentary half-day seminar comprised of panel discussions on a spectrum of critical federal and state environment and land use issues, including new federal rules implementing the Clean Water Act and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015

Substance Over Form—A Refreshing Application of CEQA Analysis: City of Irvine v. County of Orange (2015) 283 Cal.App.4th 526 - Why It Matters: The Court of Appeal in City of Irvine v. County of Orange elaborated...more

Is that Wetland Jurisdictional? A Practical Guide to the New Clean Water Rule

The Clean Water Rule recently issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defines the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other “waters of the United States.”[1] It’s effective on August 28, 2015, so you need...more

Winn Everett's Environmental Virtues Are Yin to the Yang of Casino Profits

The site in Everett where Steve Winn wants to build a resort/destination casino at a cost of more than a billion dollars has got to be the most run-down, contaminated, crummy looking oceanfront properties in Greater Boston. ...more

Can First Nations Claim Aboriginal Rights and Title as well as Treaty Rights?

Yes, said the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Court) in its recent decision in Chartrand v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations). The Court found that the provincial Crown had not adequately...more

California Supreme Court Holds that State Agencies May Not Escape CEQA Mitigation Requirements Based on Failure of the Legislature...

In a decision that enhances the ability of local interests to obtain mitigation funds from state agencies, the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") requires the Board of...more

Waters of the United States Are Not What You’d Expect

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ new rule defining “waters of the United States” covered by the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) provides a good example of what can happen when a simple term gets...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

CT Brownfield Program Fine Tuned – Music to Ears of Project Patrons

On July 2nd, Governor Malloy signed into law new legislation that fine tunes the existing Brownfield Development Program to address the realities of environmental redevelopment projects. The legislation seeks to ensure the...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

Fourth District Holds Losing CEQA Plaintiff’s Mooted Appeal Was Not “Catalyst” To City’s Revocation Of Project Entitlements After...

In an opinion filed June 8, and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a CEQA plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees under CCP § 1021.5,...more

Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Development

Dealmakers sometimes overlook environmental issues when negotiating transactions, leaving important business and legal issues unaddressed until they inevitably pop up shortly before closing and send everyone scrambling. This...more

New Application Process Takes Effect for New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, Additional Regulations Pending

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced that as of July 1, 2015, the reformed New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) became effective. NYSDEC transitioned to a new...more

(US) Revised Phase I Environmental Standards Will Impact Property Acquisitions this Fall

The All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (the “AAI Rule”), set forth at 40 CFR Part 312, serves as a benchmark protocol for inspecting a property’s environmental condition. If the benchmark is met, a prospective purchaser can be...more

Governor Signs Legislation Ending the Development of Regional Impact Program for New Development

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Governor Scott signed into law CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, now Chapter 2015-30, Laws of Florida. This historic piece of legislation eliminates the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process...more

Appellate Court Reaffirms Broad Discretion of Trial Courts to Determine Appropriate Attorneys’ Fees

The Fourth Appellate District upheld the trial court’s award of less than 10% of the fees requested by the prevailing petitioner in a CEQA case, finding no abuse of the broad discretion accorded trial courts in awarding fees....more

The Stormwater Mess Continues in Massachusetts: CLF and CRWA Sue EPA

In February, we noted that the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association had threatened to sue EPA for failing to require that “commercial, industrial, institutional, and high density residential...more

EPA Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy Updated for First Time Since 1998

For the first time in 17 years, U.S. EPA has updated its policy governing projects that can be performed as part of settlements with EPA. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (“OECA”) recently issued this...more

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...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

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