Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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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

Solar Project Financing [Video]

Darin Lowder discusses emerging financing and development trends in utility-scale solar projects. Mr. Lowder—a partner in Ballard Spahr's Energy and Project Finance Group—handles commercial and residential alternative energy...more

Recent Changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act and Smart Growth Zoning

Recently, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted and Gov. Baker signed into law several important changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act, General Laws chapter 40A, and the Smart Growth Zoning and Housing Production Act,...more

WORD OF THE DAY® – Farm Out [Video]

Latham & Watkins' partner Stephen Szalkowski explains the term Farm Out from the Book of Jargon® – Oil & Gas. The Book of Jargon® – Oil & Gas is one of a series of practice area-specific glossaries published by Latham &...more

US Fish and Wildlife Service Moves Forward With Proposed Eagle Rule Revision

On July 5, 2016, the public comment period closed for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) proposed revisions to the rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) 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

UPDATE: Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

Update: September 26, 2016 - On September 21, 2016, the Honorable George C. Hernandez, Jr. issued the final Statement of Decision, which affirmed the tentative decision denying all claims for relief. The court denied...more

California Supreme Court Rejects "New Project" Test In High Profile CEQA Suit

“Enough already!” Reading between the lines, this is what a seemingly exasperated California Supreme Court appears to be saying in its latest California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) decision?Friends of the College of...more

Court Rejects Takings Challenge to City’s Imposition of $600,000 in Fees for 11-Unit Infill Project

On September 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a petition for writ of mandate filed by a developer challenging various fees—totaling nearly $600,000—in...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service Revise Endangered Species Act Petition Process

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Agencies) published a final rule that revises the regulations governing the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) petition process. ...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, August 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

My Project Changed—Is My EIR Still Valid: A New California Supreme Court Case Provides Guidance

Change is inevitable. Many times between project approval and project construction fluctuations in market conditions, financing terms or other factors mandate project changes. Do the changes require a further or modified...more

Damages for Seller’s Breach of a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement: a Recent Case Example

When a seller breaches a purchase and sale agreement and fails to complete the sale to the buyer, the buyer’s usual remedy is to seek “specific performance” of the agreement — i.e., a court judgment ordering the seller to...more

California Supreme Court Rejects "New Project" Test for Modifications to Previously Approved Projects

On September 19, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District (Case No. S214061). The Supreme Court held that...more

“New and Improved” is Not Always a Good Slogan Under CEQA

Marketing departments in major corporations love to describe products as “new and improved” in order to convince you that the product is something you need. In many cases though, you already have the product; the new and...more

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies - A developer can recover the cost of preparing a California Environmental Quality Act administrative record, even when the lead agency, not the developer, actually...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

Federal Legislation Expected on Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes offer drug- and alcohol-free, cooperative living arrangements for people in the process of recovery from addiction. Rapid growth within the sector as well as increased media attention due to some recurring...more

Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Subsequent Review Rules in San Mateo Gardens Case

The California Supreme Court provided needed clarification to some aspects of the operation of CEQA’s “subsequent review” rules (Pub. Resources Code, § 21166; CEQA Guidelines, § 15162) in its highly anticipated opinion, filed...more

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management...more

Kentmere Nursing Home Pursues Safety and Parking Upgrades Over Objections

The Kentmere Nursing Home located at Lovering Avenue and Lincoln Street plans to alleviate the shortage of on-street parking in the neighborhood by adding an additional 11 off-street spaces as well as an ambulance bay. ...more

RLUIPA Case of the Year? Minnesota Municipality Uses RLUIPA’s Safe Harbor Provision to Avoid Liability

In an important decision for municipalities across the country, a federal court in Minnesota has recently ruled that actions taken under RLUIPA’s “safe harbor” provision absolved a local government of possible RLUIPA...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test

In an opinion by Justice Kruger, the Supreme Court of California unanimously reversed the Court of Appeal in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, Cal. Supreme Court, Case...more

California Supreme Court Invalidates "New Project" Test - Court Upholds Use of Addendum to Mitigated Negative Declaration Under...

In a major win for agencies and project sponsors, the Supreme Court of California affirmed that addenda can appropriately be used to consider modifications to a previously approved negative declaration or Environmental Impact...more

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