Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read Residential Real Estate law updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:
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Right of Entry Statutes Are Back in Business – For Now

For decades, California public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with acquiring the...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs New Rights-of-Way Rules Provide Clarity and Certainty to Communications Providers

With both Congress and the Administration focused on streamlining federal permitting and promoting Dig Once policies, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published updated rules for access to...more

I Sued My Neighbor and Lost My Dock

Occasionally I get a call from someone that begins with "I need to sue my neighbor." What the caller really needs is advice to understand the options available, the risks, and how best to solve the problem which prompted the...more

Denver City Council Advances Construction Defect Ordinance

The Denver City Council on November 16, 2015 unanimously approved the first reading of a construction defect action reform ordinance designed to spur condominium development in Denver. Like Lakewood and other metro-area...more

MassDEP Agrees to Settlements with Financial Institutions to Resolve Alleged Violations of Massachusetts Environmental Laws at...

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) recently entered into consent orders with two financial institutions to resolve alleged Massachusetts environmental law violations occurring at two bank...more

Affordable Housing Permit Revoked by Massachusetts Appeals Court

In a recent ruling sure to embolden municipalities seeking to block affordable housing projects, the Massachusetts Appeals Court revoked the approval of a Comprehensive Permit issued under the Anti-Snob Zoning Act, G.L....more

Deadlines Approach to File 2015 Development Approval Extensions

In August, Governor Scott issued a statewide emergency declaration as well as a more localized emergency declaration, providing opportunities for extending certain development approvals within the state of Florida. ...more

Berkeley Hillside CEQA Cat Ex Case Redux: Kapors Get Their Mansion, First District’s Belatedly Published Opinion Upholds City’s...

On remand following a landmark California Supreme Court decision, the First District Court of Appeal filed its opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment on September 23 and later ordered it published on October 15, 2015....more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2015

CEQA Baseline Can Consider Historic Levels of Use - North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015)—Cal.App.4th—Case No. D066488: Why It Matters: This case addresses an important issue under CEQA relating to the...more

Water Rights Adjudication Process Serving Streamlined

AB 1390 expedites comprehensive groundwater adjudications to determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin. While AB 1390, a companion bill to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, streamlines several...more

Caltrans’ Highway 101 Overpass Condemnation Case Ends in Split Decision

For several years, we’ve been following an eminent domain lawsuit in Marin County involving Caltrans’ acquisition of 34 acres for a $29.7 million interchange project at the Redwood Sanitary Landfill, which would widen the...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Legal Ramifications of the Bedbug Renaissance

Recently, several states and municipalities have increased landlords’ responsibility pertaining to prevention, disclosure and treatment of bedbugs in their housing units. As many unfortunately know, controlling a bedbug...more

Lake County, Florida Impact Fees to Increase

Beginning January 11, 2016, Lake County educational impact fees will increase to $9,324.00 for single family units, $8,045.00 for multi-family units and $5,856.00 for mobile homes located within mobile homes parks....more

What Price Heritage?

English Heritage split into 2 organisations in April this year. English Heritage, now a self funding charity, assumed responsibility for the national collection of over 400 historic properties. The regulatory role of planning...more

Think Legal, Act Local: How One Attorney Gave Back to the Community In Which He Lives and Works

We spoke recently with attorney Jeffrey Lewis of Broedlow Lewis to learn more about his firm's pro bono work on a hot-button Southern California case focusing on land use restrictions and the preservation of open space. ...more

Texas Supreme Court to Decide Whether Groundwater Estate Should Be Granted Accommodation Status Similar to Mineral Estate

On October 14, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case styled Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. The City of Lubbock, which dealt with the question of whether the accommodation doctrine should apply when a groundwater...more

Oh My! Oklahoma Court Allows Earthquake Case to Proceed

What should we make of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s order sending a suit alleging injuries from an earthquake back to the trial court for further action?  Did the court unleash the lions, tigers and bears of the litigation...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: 9th Edition Anticipated to be Issued without Concurrency Period

The Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (the “State Board”) has announced that it expects to issue the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code in the first half of 2016, which will...more

Pennsylvania Court Holds Oil and Gas Reservations Do Not Terminate Upon Expiration of Lease

On Friday, October 9, 2015, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a reservation of oil, gas and mineral rights in a deed does not terminate merely because the lease under which those rights were...more

New Condominium Sponsor-Developers Guidelines Go Into Effect November 1: Certificates of Occupancy

Earlier this week, the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General (REF) provided significant guidance on several issues facing sponsor-developers of new construction and gut-renovation...more

Environmental Stigma Can Reduce Value of Property - Application of a 5 Percent “Standard” Stigma Devaluation for Contaminated...

In a case that will have an impact on the owners of property that has been devalued as a result of environmental conditions, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently agreed that contaminated real estate could be appraised at 5...more

Los Angeles City Council Approves Major Earthquake Retrofitting Ordinance

On October 9th, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to approve an ordinance requiring mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings in Los Angeles. The ordinance comes nearly a year after the publication of...more

Non-Conforming Uses

In its most basic form, a nonconforming use is the use of a property which is no longer a permitted use under current zoning regulations but was permitted under prior zoning (or, in some cases, before there was zoning). In...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality...

On October 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Supreme Court Case No. S213478), a case which calls into question...more

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