Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Mortgagees Face Increased Penalties for Failure to Remedy Municipal Violations on New Jersey Properties in Foreclosure

Action items: As a result of the recent changes in New Jersey law, mortgagees and servicers should review their practices and procedures to ensure timely response to notices of municipal code violations on abandoned or vacant...more

Fair Housing Group Issues Annual Report

On August 13, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) published its annual fair housing report titled “Expanding Opportunity: Systemic Approaches to Fair Housing.” The paper summarizes 2013 fair housing enforcement actions...more

California Legislature Moves One Step Closer to Authorizing Eminent Domain for Martins Beach

Just in case you lost track of the Martins Beach saga, here is a quick summary and update. According to reports, a couple of years after billionaire Vinod Khosla bought beachfront property in San Mateo County for over $30...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – A Field of Dreams: Imagining a Solar System in the Back Forty

In April 2014, the Maine legislature passed The Maine Solar Energy Act, finding that solar energy development in Maine would help protect and improve the well-being of its residents, as well as provide greenhouse gas...more

Fracking Hearings Set to Begin in North Carolina

This Wednesday in Raleigh will see the first of four upcoming public hearings in North Carolina over the state’s proposed fracking rules. The hearings are part of the final phase of rule making, coming after two years of...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...more

Keeping its Options Open: Lodi Passes Resolution of Necessity as Negotiations Continue

As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the...more

Implied Restrictive Covenant Prevents Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Lots

A federal court of appeals held that a golf course was encumbered by an implied restrictive covenant, preventing the foreclosing lender from selling the golf course for residential development. The U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

Tax credit increases what’s available for historic renovation

In May, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act (also known as House Bill 14-1311). By substantially increasing the amount of funds available for the...more

Proposed House Bill would Create Appeals Process for Qualified Census Tract and Difficult Development Areas

On July 24, 2014, Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would amend Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide for an appeals process for HUD Qualified Census Tract...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

Community right to buy to be extended to urban areas Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill introduced on 11 June 2014

In November 2013 the Scottish Government published a consultation paper to which was annexed a draft "Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill". The consultation included proposals to extend the existing "community right to buy"...more

Motions in Limine May be Used in Eminent Domain Proceedings to Determine Party's Interest in Property

"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used...more

Governmental Power and Property Lines

On May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condos. Home Owners Ass’n, 2014 CO 37. Overturning the rulings of both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, the...more

FPPC Revises Regulations Regarding Conflicts of Interest Involving Real Property

The Fair Political Practices Commission recently changed its conflict of interest regulation concerning real property owned or leased by public officials. The old rule was that if an official owned (or had a long-term lease...more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

2014 Legislative Changes Affecting Condominiums, Homeowners Associations, Cooperatives and Timeshares

The 2014 Florida Legislature passed new legislation related to the operation and development of condominiums, homeowners associations, cooperatives, and timeshares. ...more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...more

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno

Why it matters: The court refined its previous test for air quality impacts analysis under CEQA, and required recirculation of an EIR due to its failure to specifically analyze the impacts on human health resulting from the...more

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to Six Month High

Good news for the homebuilding industry came earlier this week when the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo released the housing market index. Its numbers showed that homebuilders’ confidence rose to 49 points...more

Land Banking Comes to Birmingham

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, the City of Birmingham joined a number of other municipalities in a vote to authorize a Land Bank Authority. The Birmingham City Council passed the resolution to establish a land bank in hopes of...more

Government to Remove Rules Preventing Short-Term Renting of Residential Properties in London

The rules were introduced by the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (and amended by the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1983). Under these Acts, use as temporary sleeping accommodation in exchange...more

What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California...more

BIA Proposes Rule Revisions for Rights-of-Way on Indian Lands

On June 17, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published proposed revisions to 25 CFR Part 169, whereby the new rule seeks to comprehensively update and streamline the process for obtaining BIA grants of Rights-of-Way...more

Iowa Court of Appeals Rejects Argument to Impose Implied Warranty upon Land Developers

On April 16, 2014, land developers and sellers breathed a sigh of relief after the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a purchaser of a residential building lot cannot sue the land developer for perceived deficiencies with the...more

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