Zoning, Planning & Land Use Construction Environmental

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Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016

Sustainable Development Focus - Green Buildings are good for the environment, occupants, and the bottom line - CBRE - Apr 14 - Green buildings are good for the environment—that is well known. But what benefits...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

NYDEC Proposes Revisions to Brownfield Cleanup Program

The New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) has published notice regarding the proposed revisions to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) regulations. The revisions provide a minor revision to the term...more

Armada of Lobbyists, Lawyers and Consultants Has to Fear Curtatone in His Rowboat

If you’re in a construction trade, you’re probably not too happy with Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, the only person standing between Steve Wynn and his dream of a $2 billion casino in Everett. Yet I have to believe...more

FWS Proposes Revisions to Development Mitigation Policy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published draft revisions on March 8, 2016 to its 1981 Mitigation Policy for mitigating the impacts of development projects to natural resources. See Proposed Revisions to the U.S....more

FERC denies Oregon LNG project applications

U.S. energy regulators have denied applications to site, construct, and operate the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, an associated pipeline and related facilities slated for development in...more

2016 Minnesota Session Begins

Acrimony and Lengthy Debate - The 2016 Minnesota Legislative Session convened at noon on Tuesday, March 8. With a condensed ten week calendar, it will be a race against the clock to complete business. The House spent the...more

Inflatable flashboards meet historic dam

A hydropower project in Lowell, Massachusetts won the right to replace wooden flashboards with an inflatable pneumatic crest gate system -- and now seeks to modify provisions requiring specific actions to mitigate impacts on...more

Horse Of A Different Color: CEQA Does Not Require EIR Due To Psychological And Social Impacts From Closure Of Beloved Equestrian...

In a March 4, 2016 published opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment requiring an EIR for a small 12-home rural subdivision project based on the “psychological and social” impacts of...more

Conservation Easements FTW! Or, Eagles 1; IRS 0

What’s a real estate developer to do when its pristine development site, with beautiful ocean views and room for between 164 and 410 upscale residential units that *NEED NOT BE BUILT, is clogged with wildlife, including bald...more

Effects on project finance loans of the new incentive replacing Green Certificates

The entry into force of Articles 19 and 30 of the Ministerial Decree 6 July 2012 (so-called FER Decree) with effect as from January 1, 2016, which replace the green certificates scheme with a new incentive, has an impact on...more

How to avoid CEQA environmental review by ballot initiative

The World Logistics Center is a massive project – 41 million square feet of logistics facilities located on 2,300 acres in Moreno Valley, California. The project has undergone environmental review for years, culminating in an...more

EPA Simplifies SWPPPs for Small Residential Construction Projects

Developing a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for a construction project can take a lot of time and effort, and the requirements for a small project usually don’t differ from those for a large project. EPA wants...more

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

California Supreme Court Shifts Gears on “Reverse CEQA”

The California Supreme Court has shifted gears on so-called “reverse CEQA” under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)....more

New regulations will oblige owners of buildings in Scotland to improve or report on energy efficiency of buildings

Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for regulations to be made for: (1) the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings;...more

A Good Reminder: State and Federal Wildlife Laws Have Severe Penalties for Harm to Endangered Species

Welcome to the New Year! I have decided to declare 2016 to be the year of the endangered species. Why? We ended 2015 with a bang by seeing how serious the take prohibition in the California Fish and Game Code can be for fully...more

Practical Recommendations for Implementing California Supreme Court's Latest CEQA Decision - Court: CEQA Does Not Generally...

In California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require...more

FAST Act Expedites Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant...more

What Two Recent California Supreme Court Rulings Mean for Analysis of Environmental Impact at Project Sites and Greenhouse Gas...

The California Supreme Court recently issued two important decisions involving the interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The first finds that agencies generally are not required to evaluate the...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...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

Maine BEP Provisionally Adopts DEP's Proposed Revisions to Site Law Rules

On October 2, 2015, we reported on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) proposal to revise three chapters of its rules under the Site Location of Development Law (Site Law), the statute under which the...more

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