Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure Construction

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Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

Design Liability and Right of Way Risk Allocation for Design-Build Projects

Design liability and right-of-way risk allocation are topics addressed in a legal research digest recently published by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The report,...more

Moratoriums Do Not Prohibit Billboard Relocations

Because billboards are typically near public transit, they are routinely impacted by public projects such as street widenings, highway and freeway expansions, and grade separation projects. When impacted, billboard companies...more

California Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory "Reverse CEQA" Analysis

The California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion on December 17, 2015, in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA v. BAAQMD), commonly referred to as the "Reverse...more

California Supreme Court Holds “CEQA-In-Reverse” Is Not The Norm, Reverses And Remands First District’s Judgment In CBIA v. BAAQMD

In a unanimous 24-page opinion authored by newly seated Justice Cuellar and filed December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court resolved a fundamental issue regarding CEQA’s scope, holding that – with certain specific...more

Supreme Court to Resolve Split on Court Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act are final agency actions subject to judicial...more

Denver City Council Passes Construction Defect Litigation Reform Ordinance

After successive failures to pass similar legislation at the state level, the Denver City Council is following Lakewood and other municipalities to pass reforms to curb construction defect litigation. Designed to address...more

Differing Site Condition Defense Rejected

The Court of Appeals of Washington recently decided King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projects/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, JV, a dispute between a joint venture contractor (the Contractor) and King County, Washington...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, October 2015

At its October 27, 2015, meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a new dedicated Affordable Housing Program budget unit and approved setting aside $100 million for the creation and operation of both...more

No Damages for First Nations Blockade - Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave to Appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently denied leave to appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, confirming the BC Court of Appeal’s decision (2015 BCCA 89) overturning an award of $1.75 million in damages against...more

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Vacated by Federal Court - What It Means for Energy Development

Last week, in a decision that surprised many, a federal court in Texas overturned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision last year to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as “threatened” under the federal...more

Homebuilders Welcome Recent Court Decisions

Arizona homebuilders will welcome with open arms two recent legal rulings of substantial impact to their industry. In the first decision, on July 28, 2015, in Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corp., No. 1 CA-CV 14-0199, the Arizona...more

Flushing Out the Safe Harbor: “General Land Area Minimum” Offers Newton No 40B Shelter

Municipalities long unable to achieve ten percent affordable housing are now turning more frequently to a different Safe Harbor to block development of low and moderate income housing – compliance with the “General Land Area...more

Real World: An Update from Dechert's London Finance and Real Estate Group - July 2015: Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants Under...

Under a building scheme, where restrictive covenants are imposed on the original plot owners within a development for the mutual benefit of the plots, subsequent owners may enforce those covenants against each other. In...more

California Supreme Court Paves the Way for Ownership Inclusionary Housing - Many Developers Maintain That the Costs Associated...

In a highly anticipated case affecting residential development throughout California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected the California Building Industry Association’s (CBIA) challenge to the City of San Jose’s...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Inclusionary Housing Ordinances

On June 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, No. S212072, unanimously upholding the validity of inclusionary housing programs in...more

California Supreme Court Holds Inclusionary Zoning Subject to Rational Basis Review

2013 was a banner year for developers under the takings clause, as both the U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court issued decisions expanding the developers’ ability to challenge exactions as unconstitutional. In...more

California Supreme Court Holds Facial Challenge to Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance Subject to Deferential Standard of Review

In a decision with major repercussions for the building industry in California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected a constitutional challenge to San Jose's affordable housing ordinance. California Building...more

B.C. Court of Appeal Overturns Restrictive Public Disclosure Standards for Development Projects

The City of Vancouver and Brenhill Developments Ltd. successfully appealed the January 27, 2014, decision of the BC Supreme Court (BCSC) in Community Association of New Yaletown v Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117. The appeal...more

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill,...more

B.C. Court Allows Environmental Approvals Delay Claim to Proceed

In Carhoun & Sons Enterprises Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General), the British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed a lawsuit to proceed against the federal government by a private developer for losses caused by delays in the...more

Maine Supreme Court Looks Past City Planner's "Unprofessional" Plea to Zoning Board of Appeals

This March, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court considered a claim that an "unprofessional" email from a city planner to the city's zoning board of appeals, pleading for a specific outcome on a land use appeal, does not per se...more

Security of Payment Legislation and Set-Off Under Commonwealth Insolvency Laws

A recent Victorian Supreme Court case has clarified the impact of Commonwealth insolvency set-off provisions on State-based security of payments legislation. The case demonstrates that although a principal is generally...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Reminds of Factual Findings Required for Award of "Reasonable" Attorney Fees

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently reversed an award of attorney fees by the trial court on the basis that the trial court did not render the appropriate findings of fact. We're talking about Brown's Building...more

Texas small hydro project loses exemption

What happens to a proposed hydroelectric project takes longer than anticipated to be built, due to difficulties with project financing and severe flooding? As the developer of a proposed project in Texas recently found out,...more

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