Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 - Community Facilities Districts formed by a landowner vote may be used to finance increased demand on pre-existing services, a California...more

Court Upholds City’s Communities Facilities District and Related Special Tax

The question of who should pay the cost of municipal services for new residential development is a vexing question. The answer is critically important to the developers and homebuilders who must finance and market their...more

Amendments to real estate legislation for the third quarter of 2016

Amendments to federal laws - Changes to the RF Town-Planning Code - In the summer of 2016, roughly a dozen federal laws were adopted to amend the RF Town-Planning Code (RF TPC).1 The main changes of significance to...more

What's an 18 hour city?

Ely Portillo, of the Charlotte Observer, brings us all up to speed on defining commonly thrown about real estate development jargon. Low-rise? Mid-rise? Mixed-use? Your guide to jargon in a city of cranes....more

Supreme Court Allows Early Challenges to Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a property owner can go to court to challenge a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that part of the property is “waters of the U.S.” or connected wetlands and therefore...more

Recent Reports Highlight Negative Consequences of Local Barriers to New Housing Development, Call for State-Level Solutions

California’s housing crisis is well-understood and documented. A chief culprit is the fact that the state’s coastal urban areas, for various reasons, do not approve enough new housing to accommodate everyone who seeks to...more

California Coastal Act Takes Priority Over Housing Density Laws

Court Decision Provides Guidance for Affordable Housing Units within the Coastal Zone - The Second District Court of Appeal recently held that local agencies may be required to grant affordable housing density bonuses...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law: September 22, 2016

The Virginia Supreme Court issued one additional opinion in September affecting local government law, on September 22, 2016. This opinion addressed the priority to be given a local government special assessment lien over a...more

A Primer on Zoning Variances in North Carolina

What is a "variance" in the zoning context? Simply, it is relief from -- or a variation of -- the application of a zoning law to a particular piece of property....more

Seeing is Believing: ALTA’s New Survey Standards

For those of you who read our commentary regularly, you’ll see that we span the commentariat world from musings of perhaps little practical utility but great import (at least to us) to the more mundane. Today, mundane. Let’s...more

New Opinion Clarifies Takings Law Regarding Affordable Housing Programs

Last year, my partner Ben Rubin reported on the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, which analyzed an inclusionary housing ordinance and held that such...more

Less Is More?: New North Carolina Law Clarifies When Building Permits Are NOT Required

A new law took effect in North Carolina on October 1, 2016, and it affects the need for building permits. Session Law 2016-113, entitled An Act to Provide Further Relief to the Agricultural Community, clarifies in Section 13...more

Hurricane Matthew – Emergency Permits After North Carolina State of Emergency

Whether Hurricane Matthew tracks east or west, coastal North Carolina will get a visit.  If you own a house, bulkhead, dock, and/or pier in coastal North Carolina, take pictures of your property before you stock up on the...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, September 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

California Governor Signs Four Bills Affecting Density Bonus Projects

On September 28, 2016, Governor Brown signed new legislation relating to the construction of affordable and market-rate housing. Although AB 2501 has drawn the most attention from commentators and the media, AB 2442 and AB...more

New Developments, New Fees

Orlando Residential Developments Face Park Impact Fees Effective March 1, 2017, Park Impact Fees will be assessed on new residential developments throughout the City of Orlando. The fees are as follows...more

New California Law Amends Water Supply Planning Laws

Water Supply Sufficiency Analyses Must Consider Groundwater Sustainability - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1262 into law, representing an initial attempt to incorporate groundwater management requirements under...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: Amendments to 8th Edition adopted effective August 12th with Concurrency Period until...

The following is an update to the G&S advisory published in January 2016 regarding the proposed amendments to the Massachusetts State Building Code. On July 19, 2016, the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and...more

Illinois House Revenue Committee Holds Hearing on Vacancy Fraud Act

While overall there is little activity in the General Assembly, the House Revenue Committee is meeting today for a hearing on an interesting piece of property tax legislation. The hearing is on HB4363, which would create the...more

The North Carolina Landowner Protection Act: Encouraging Access for Hunters, Trappers, and Other Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you are a private landowner in North Carolina, you may not be aware that you owe a certain duty of care not only to people who have permission to be on your property, but also to those who do not, and that your duty to...more

Texas Supreme Court Affirms Property Owners' Rights Within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2016, in Town of Lakewood Village v. Bizios, the Texas Supreme Court held that general law municipalities do not have the authority to enforce building codes within their extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs). This...more

Developers Who Elect Not to Pay Comprehensive Permit Fees in Full Proceed at Their Peril

The Massachusetts Appeals Court issued an opinion on August 29, 2016, that has significant ramifications for developers seeking Comprehensive Permits for affordable housing projects under chapter 40B of the Massachusetts...more

Proposed Workforce Housing Ordinance Could Significantly Impact Residential Development in Miami-Dade County

County Commissioner Barbara Jordan has proposed a workforce housing ordinance (Ordinance) which would require developers to provide workforce housing in association with residential development projects within Miami-Dade...more

Final Regulations Clarify the Definition of “Real Property” Under the REIT Rules

On August 31, 2016, the Treasury Department published final regulations (the “Final Regulations”) clarifying the definition of “real property” under the real estate investment trust (“REIT”) rules. The Final Regulations...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Precondemnation Procedures

On July 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court in Property Reserve v. Superior Court upheld the state’s precondemnation entry and testing statutes provided they were reformed to allow impacted property owners the ability to...more

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