Residential Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Maine Supreme Court Upholds Conditional Rezoning: What it means for Real Estate

The Maine Supreme Court issued a decision last week that upheld the conditional rezoning of Williston-West Church in Portland. In Charles Remmel, et al. v. City of Portland, et al., the Court upheld the conditional rezoning...more

Property Owners' Alert: Newly Effective Statutory Requirements for Installation of Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures

The real estate industry and the media recently have been focused on the updates to the Title 24 energy regulations (24 California Code of Regulations, Part 5) that became effective on July 1, 2014, and the increased costs in...more

Downtown Los Angeles Real Estate is Taking Off

Once considered an area of Los Angeles that had virtually nothing to do after 5pm, downtown Los Angeles is experiencing a development boom. Sure, part of it is due to the fact that our regional economy is on an upswing. But...more

Legal and Political Controversy Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline that is projected to run through the heart of Central Virginia has generated much political controversy and is now the subject of a new federal lawsuit. ...more

Dr. Seuss Explains "Zoning Reform"

It's not every day that an adult discussion about zoning reform begins with a reference to children's poetry, but so be it. Most [Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts] REBA members have at least a passing...more

Texas Supreme Court Accepts a Concurrent Cause and Ordinance or Law Matter Involving Hurricane Ike

On October 3rd, the Texas Supreme Court granted a policyholder’s petition for review in a Hurricane Ike matter that potentially gives Texas’ highest court an opportunity to address several important insurance issues. They...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

Los Angeles is the New Magnet for Real Estate Investment

After so many years of being off everyone’s screen, Los Angeles has suddenly become one of the hottest markets for real estate investment. Roger Vincent’s article of October 4, 2014, in the Los Angeles Times provides some of...more

FHA Multifamily Rental Project Closing Document Revisions

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released revised closing documents that must be used for all transactions with a commitment issued after August 10, 2014. HUD has instituted a grace period in...more

EPA Announces Final Rule Eliminating ASTM Phase I ESA Standard E1527-05 from CERCLA “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule”

On October 6, 2014, the EPA announced a final rule amending the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” [40 CFR Part 312] (“AAI Rule”) for conducting environmental site investigations of potentially contaminated property....more

Dealing With NIMBYs in Local Land Use and Environmental Approval

A developer or property owner may have a permit application for a project that meets the criteria for the applicable regulations, and might receive approval from local government or environmental staff. At that point, the...more

Can I Paint My House Bright Pink?

Long before municipal zoning by-laws existed, restrictive covenants were used as an effective community planning tool. If Susan owned a large parcel of land and sold a piece to Jason, Susan may have required that Jason...more

Boyz In the Agrihood: Planned Communities Trade Golf Courses for Working Farms

I don't play golf. I like golf, I'll go out and hit around with friends or colleagues, but I don't "play golf". To me, playing golf means 18 holes on a weekend, maybe 36, and perhaps a round or two during the week. No, I...more

AB 2222 Restricts Use of State Density Bonus Law

On September 27, 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 2222, which amended sections of the State Density Bonus Law (Gov. Code §§ 65915, 65915.5 ["DBL"]). The main purpose of the bill is to require developers to replace all of a...more

Completed Condominium Units to be Exempted from ILSA Registration Requirements

A bill exempting completed residential condominium units from the burdensome registration provisions of the Interstate Land Sales Act (“ILSA”) was passed by the U.S. Senate on September 18, 2014, after earlier passage by the...more

Public Comment Period Closing As To Raleigh's Citywide Zoning District Remapping Project

The City of Raleigh's planning staff is in the final days -- literally, two days -- of the period in which it will accept public comments from citizens on the City's Zoning District Remapping Project, about which we've...more

California Cities and Counties Must Expedite Their Permitting Processes for Small Residential Rooftop Solar Systems by Sept. 30,...

Under AB 2188, recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, cities and counties must adopt ordinances, or amend their current ordinances, to create expedited, streamlined permitting processes for small rooftop solar energy systems....more

HUD announces competition for new Promise Zones

Today, HUD announced the process and criteria for selecting 6 urban communities and at least 1 rural and 1 tribal community to participate in the Promise Zone initiative. The 6 urban communities will be designated by HUD, and...more

CERCLA Preempts Local Cleanup Bylaws; PRPs Everywhere Breath a Sigh of Relief

In an important decision yesterday, Judge Douglas Woodlock of the District of Massachusetts confirmed that CERCLA preempts local cleanup bylaws. The case involved one aspect of the cleanup of the W.R. Grace Superfund Site in...more

New Law Requires Cities and Counties to Expedite Their Permitting Processes for Small Residential Rooftop Solar Systems

Cities and Counties Must Enact New Solar Permitting Ordinances by Sept. 30, 2015 - A new law imposes requirements on cities and counties regarding permitting for small residential rooftop solar energy systems. Under AB...more

California’s New Streamlined #Solar Permitting Law Goes into Effect

Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2188, which is designed to streamline the permitting process for small rooftop solar systems. The new law seeks to give California’s Million Solar Roofs target a...more

Congress Exempts Condominiums from ILSA Registration

Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved S. 2101, which would amend the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) to exempt condominium developments from its registration requirements. The Senate version is...more

City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

Homeowners “Bluffed” Out Of Challenge To Coastal Permit To Rebuild Private Access Stairs

Barbara Lynch et al. v. California Coastal Commission (9/9/14, D064120) - The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District (Division One) has held that homeowners who accepted the benefit of a coastal development...more

Editorial: Drowning in Place: Local Government Costs and Liabilities for Flooding Due to Sea-level Rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years. The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the...more

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