Zoning, Planning & Land Use Commercial Real Estate

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Real Estate and Land Use: Party On...

Woody’s Group, Inc. v. City of Newport Beach (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1012 - Why It Matters: Woody’s Group establishes a very low threshold to prove a decision maker’s unacceptable probability of actual bias, thereby...more

The Stormwater Mess Continues in Massachusetts: CLF and CRWA Sue EPA

In February, we noted that the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association had threatened to sue EPA for failing to require that “commercial, industrial, institutional, and high density residential...more

Anti-Urban Renewal Bill Progresses; Pro-Urban Renewal Bill Amended

The General Assembly will adjourn in roughly two weeks. The fate of two important urban renewal bills—one with a positive impact on urban renewal and one with a negative impact—will be decided during this time. If urban...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Legal Descriptions — Texas Supreme Court Holds Specific Controls Over The General

On March 20, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court in Doris Virginia McGregor Stribling et al. v. Millican DPC Partners, LP et al., No. 14-0500 (Tex. 2015), held that a metes and bounds description will prevail over a more general...more

EPA Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy Updated for First Time Since 1998

For the first time in 17 years, U.S. EPA has updated its policy governing projects that can be performed as part of settlements with EPA. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (“OECA”) recently issued this...more

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...more

Is Your Business a “Nuisance”? If so, It Could Cost You Dearly

Many landlords and businesses are already aware that they may be sued in a civil court for criminal acts committed by others on their property. While this is a reactive process that occurs in response to a specific incident,...more

Real Estate: Foundation - April 2015

In this issue: - How NMTCs Benefit Real Estate Community Development Initiatives - Noteworthy Real Estate Deals - What’s Your Priority? An Open-Ended Examination of Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien...more

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Philadelphia Eliminates Tax-Exempt Recertification Requirement

Owners of tax-exempt property in the City of Philadelphia no longer need to worry about submitting recertification forms regarding the continued use of their property. On April 7, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Bill...more

Don’t Overlook the Potential Value Added By Green Buildings

It is increasingly important for buildings to be energy efficient. So-called “green buildings” can not only lead to more efficient energy use, but can also result in significant cost savings over time. Indeed, green...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The New York Legislature Ends The Guessing - Brownfield Tax Credits Extended And Modified

On April 1, 2015, the New York Legislature passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2015-2016, which included numerous amendments (the Amendments) to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a state program designed to incentivize...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

A Purchaser Who Doesn’t Inquire May Be Teeing Up For Failure

Picture this: While on the hunt for new development opportunities, you stumble across a golf course in the middle of a high-end community, and you think this would be the perfect spot for more houses, or a retail center, or...more

N.C. State Senate Introduces Bill Granting Tax Credit for "Property" Serving Renewable Energy Efforts

Last week, the North Carolina State Senate introduced a bill that seeks to extend renewable-energy tax credits applicable to eligible property -- which is defined as specific "machinery and equipment or real property" -- that...more

RALEIGH'S UDO AND THE CITYWIDE REZONING: What's New and How's it Working? [Video]

Raleigh's Unified Development Ordinance took effect September 1, 2013, and a massive rezoning is now underway to make its new zoning districts applicable to multifamily and commercial, including office, retail and industrial...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

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Common Affirmative Defenses In Commercial Foreclosure Context

A recent opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals addresses some common borrower defenses within the context of foreclosure and statute of frauds issues: compromise and settlement, accord and satisfaction, the...more

Stemming the Blight: New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Eminent Domain Powers

The New Jersey Constitution provides for taking of blighted property for the purposes of development, redevelopment or to clear such property of blight. ...more

Philadelphia Reduces Requirements for Certifications for Continued Real Estate Tax Exemptions

The Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment (OPA) recently mailed notices to each owner of property listed as tax exempt on the OPA’s records indicating that the owner must file a form to certify that the property...more

OPA Makes It Easier for Tax-Exempt Owners of Real Property To Recertify Tax Exemptions

The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) has simplified the process for owners of tax-exempt real estate in Philadelphia to recertify that their properties are, in fact, tax-exempt. The OPA's original notices to property...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Finding of Jurisdiction Over 4.8 Acres of Wetlands in Chesapeake, Virginia

On March 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. Corps of Engineers (Corps) had lawfully denied a permit to an applicant seeking to fill 4.8 acres of wetlands in order to build...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2015

Be Careful What You Agree To (City of San Marcos v. Loma San Marcos, LLC) - Why It matters: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision upholding an agreement between the City of San Marcos and a property owner...more

Federal Government Takes First Steps to Impose Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Public Lands

On March 20, 2015, the Interior Department announced the issuance of a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and American Indian lands. The rule was initially proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)...more

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