Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Residential Real Estate

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New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The group, called...more

New Law Grants Two-Year Extension to Remedial Investigation Deadline for Qualifying Parties

This is an important legal development for any company that is cleaning up an old contaminated site in New Jersey and requires more time to complete the remedial investigation. ...more

CEQA Reform: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

The past legislative session held the prospect for significant reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). After the dust settled though, the only proposal able to survive the legislative gauntlet was one...more

The New Environmental Due Diligence Standard Saga Continues

To supplement our prior blog posts with respect to this issue, on December 30, 2013, the USEPA published a final rule (“Final Rule”) adopting the ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Phase I...more

“Spot Zoning” Found Permissible Where Small Parcel Given Greater Rights than Surrounding Properties and New Zoning Served the...

The Orange County Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approved a proposed senior citizen living community (“Project”) on a seven-acre parcel, creating a new zoning definition for senior residential housing and rezoning the parcel...more

LEED Silver Requirement To Be Introduced in Montgomery County

On January 21, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner will introduce 13 legislative initiatives to increase the County's commitment, in the public and private sector, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent...more

Contaminated but Remediated Soil and Cortese Listing Does Not Compel Preparation of EIR

As 2013 came to a close, the California court of appeal in Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council (1st Dist., Div. 4, 12/30/13, A136873) ___Cal.App.1st___, 2013, upheld the City of Berkeley’s decision not to...more

CEQA-In-Reverse Case Opening Brief Filed In California Supreme Court

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) laid out its case that CEQA contains no general directive requiring analysis of the existing environment’s impacts on a future project in a 50-page opening brief filed in...more

US EPA Approves New Standard for Conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued its final rule amending the standards and practices for conducting environmental "all appropriate inquiries" to include a new standard recently made...more

U.S. EPA Approves ASTM E1527-13 for Application to the All Appropriate Inquiry Rule

Effective December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule (AAI Rule) to reference the recently published American Society for Testing and Materials...more

Vapor Intrusion Risk Insufficient to Trigger EIR for Urban Infill Project

In Parker Shattuck Neighbors, et al. v. Berkeley City Council, et. al. (First Appellate District, December 30, 2013) (“Shattuck Neighbors”), the court upheld the City of Berkeley’s approval of a mitigated negative declaration...more

EPA Adds An Additional ASTM International Standard To “All Appropriate Inquiry” For Environmental Assessments

As stated in the Federal Register, effective December 30, 2013, the “All Appropriate Inquiry Rule,” found at 40 CFR Part 312.11 was amended to add as paragraph (c)- a reference to ASTM International’s E1527-13 “Standard...more

Revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard Issued

On November 6, 2013, ASTM International issued its revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard, E1527-13, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.” Perhaps...more

EPA Approves New Assessment Standards For CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule relating to the bona fide prospective purchaser defense to CERCLA. EPA has authorized prospective purchasers of real estate to...more

First District “Doubts” CEQA Operates In Reverse, Upholds Mitigated Negative Declaration For Urban Infill Project Despite Soil and...

In an opinion recently ordered published, the First District Court of Appeal extensively reviewed the relevant case law and expressed skepticism that CEQA would operate in reverse to require analysis of potential impacts on a...more

Substantial Evidence Test Applies to Decision Not to Require Additional EIR

In Latinos Unidos de Napa v. City of Napa (1st Dist., Div. 1, 10/10/13, A134959), ___ Cal.App.4th ___, 2013, the court of appeal found no abuse of discretion in the City of Napa’s approval of revisions to the housing element...more

Some Panhandle Development Permits Eligible for Six-Month Extension Due to Tropical Storm Karen Order

A permit and development order extension opportunity is available until January 6, 2014, for 18 Panhandle counties as a result of the threat posed to Florida by recent tropical storm activity. The extension offers an...more

Legislature Passes Arena Bill

Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 743 (“SB 743”) on September 27, 2013. The bill amends the Public Resources Code to streamline the environmental review for the new downtown arena in Sacramento and eliminate...more

AB 440: What does it all mean?

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 440 (Gatto), a bill authorizing local agencies to exercise the Polanco environmental remediation powers previously enjoyed by redevelopment agencies (RDAs) prior to...more

Court Holds Groundwater Augmentation Charge is Not Subject to Voter Approval Requirements of Proposition 218

Notice of a Public Hearing for a Property-related Fee or Charge Must Only be Mailed to the Record Owners of Each Affected Parcel - A California court of appeal recently held that a groundwater management agency’s...more

Texas Water Wars: Texas v. New Mexico

Learn more about a lawsuit between the states regarding the waters of the Rio Grande River that is creating serious controversy between the two states and may be decided by the United States Supreme Court. This article is...more

New FEMA Flood Zone Maps: Is Your Property About To Be Included In A High Risk Zone?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is set to finalize new flood zone maps for the coastal areas of New England in the next few weeks. On many of these new maps, coastal flood zones are likely to shift, putting...more

CEQA "Modernization"—Urgent End-of-Session Alert

We recently reported in our August 20, 2013, newsalert that Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s August 6 amendments to SB 731, The CEQA Modernization Act of 2013, continued to stray further from meaningful CEQA...more

Innovative Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan Seeks to Revitalize Neglected Los Angeles Neighborhood

After years of work and input from local community groups, environmentalists, affordable housing advocates, transportation advocates, and the business community, the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (the “CASP”) cleared...more

New Study Posits Correlation between Extraction/Injection Wells and Seismic Events in Eagle Ford Shale

A new study assesses potential correlations between small-magnitude seismic events with fluid extraction and injection in the area of the Eagle Ford Shale of south-central Texas....more

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