Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Injunctive Relief for Building Encroachment. Do I Have to Move the House?

When a land owner mistakenly builds a house or other building or structure that encroaches on a neighbor’s property, what is the remedy? Does the offending land owner have to physically remove the structure from the...more

Land Subsidence Damage Caused by Groundwater Withdrawals in Arizona: Who Pays?

Land subsidence is a problem that affects many areas of the world, with well-publicized case studies in Mexico City, Tokyo, and certain areas within California and Arizona. ...more

How Hard Does it Have to Rain Before the Government is Liable for a “Condemnation Cloud?”

Public projects take years of planning and environmental review usually involving outreach to neighboring property owners and other stakeholders. During this process, potential right of way impacts are identified and property...more

Major Verdict in Electric Utility Easement Case

More than five years after starting in state court before later restarting in federal court, a federal court jury in Missouri has issued a major verdict in litigation concerning the use of electric utility easements for...more

With Setback Regulation Looming, Wyoming Businesses Take Heed

Now that the Wyoming legislature in its general session, a pending regulatory issue bears noting as some believe it may soon end up on the legislature’s docket. The ongoing debate over oil and gas “setback” regulations has...more

Unlimited Thoughts About the "Limited Dividend" Requirement in Massachusetts - Definitive Interpretive Guidance Is Needed from the...

Ever since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's 2002 decision in Board of Appeals of Wellesley vs. Ardemore, the "limited dividend" requirement of the Comprehensive Permit Law (also known as Chapter 40B or the...more

Mortgage Foreclosure Ordinances Preempted by Existing State Law

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the “SJC”) recently decided that two mortgage foreclosure ordinances adopted by the City of Springfield were preempted by existing state law. In Easthampton Savings Bank v. City of...more

Valuing Rail Corridors

In the aftermath of last year’s Rails-to-Trails Decision, Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the valuation of rail corridors may become increasingly necessary.  Typically there are three...more

Fairfax Circuit Court Limits Homeowners’ Ability to Challenge Zoning Administrator

Contentious land use approvals often result in lawsuits, which, even when unsuccessful, can lead to costly delays for developers. In the recent case styled In Re: November 20, 2013 Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals of...more

The City of Fairfax and Affordable Housing

Legislation proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates would give the City of Fairfax specific authority to adopt an affordable housing ordinance offering bonus development density in projects that provide an affordable...more

No Tax on Subdivision

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that taxpayers could not be reassessed when they subdivided a parcel into two parcels but retained title. Raup v. Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 237 C.D. 2014 (Pa....more

Part 201 Revisions – Streamlining the Pathways to Closure

On January 10, 2015, Governor Snyder signed SB 891 into law, enacting revisions to Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act ("Part 201), Michigan’s environmental remediation law. The revisions cover...more

Residential Development in California: New Density Bonus Law Makes New Affordable Housing Difficult to Build

Governor Brown signed into law on September 27, 2014, AB2222, which amends the State's Density Bonus Law ("DBL"), Gov't Code §§ 65915, et seq. to establish significant constraints upon the use of the incentives provided by...more

High Court Reaffirms Local Government's Authority in Denials of Applications for Cell Towers

Decision Clarifies that Local Government’s Decision Need Not State Reasons if they are Contemporaneously Published Elsewhere - A local government need not state the reasons for its denial of a new cell-tower...more

HUD awards Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants in six cities

On Friday, January 16, 2015, HUD announced the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant awards. HUD is awarding $3.2 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to the following recipients...more

Positive Signs for New Home Construction

For homebuilders and those who invest in the homebuilding industry, both fundamental and technical indicators forecast strength in the construction sector going into 2015. With regard to fundamental indicators, rising...more

Real Estate Joint Venture Tips

A recent New York Times article described the increased presence of New York developers in the South Florida condominium market. The fact is that Miami real estate market has always been a seductive one for out of state...more

Fresh Bill In Newly-Convened N.C. State Legislature Aims At Condemnation Powers

Portending what is likely to be a significant legislative session for local government powers and real property rights in North Carolina, the first "substantial" bill introduced in the 2015-2016 session of the North Carolina...more

Rising Sea Levels and Prohibited "Takings" - A Different Sort of Climate Change Litigation

A little noted anniversary passed this past week. The odd 2009 storm, Nor’Ida (the progeny of a nor’easter and a hurricane), swept along the east coast pounding some areas with record storm surge five years ago in the second...more

New Laws of 2015: New Tax Infrastructure Financing Tools

The final article in the New Laws of 2015 series focuses on new legislation that makes it easier for municipalities and special districts to harness tax increment — the future incremental growth in property tax revenues — for...more

Federal Court Invalidates San Francisco Tenant Relocation Requirements

The Northern District of California has struck down part of San Francisco’s rent control ordinance as an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment in Levin v. City and County of San Francisco, Dist. Court, ND...more

Real Estate Index Possibly Obscuring Full Picture

Although recent index readings and reports proclaim that South Florida’s housing market is among the hottest in the nation, developers and investors might want to take a closer look at current inventory levels and comparisons...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Anti-SLAPP Motion to Defeat Claims Against Government Agencies

Ruling Allows Government Agencies to Use the Motion to Quickly End Meritless and Vexatious Lawsuits - A government agency can employ an anti-SLAPP motion to win early termination of meritless and vexatious lawsuits...more

Conservation Easements Are Not Required As Mitigation For Permanent Loss Of Farmland

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, the California Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Fresno’s adoption of an Environmental Impact Report for a mining operation that will result in a permanent...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Coastal Act Decision with Takings Implications

In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions “under protest” and expressly...more

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