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Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

Purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) to be exempt from Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill

On 3 February the Scottish Government published their response to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s Stage 1 report on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill. The report contains the following...more

Purple Line Continues to Move Forward

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 22, 2016 holding in favor of Montgomery County, Maryland that the future Purple Line (the proposed light rail between Bethesda and New Carrollton that includes a stop...more

Five Things Multifamily Developers Should Know About Chicago's Revised Affordable Requirements Ordinance

The calculus has shifted for multifamily developers in Chicago who need zoning changes to accomplish development projects. Recent amendments to Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) — Chicago Municipal Code...more

Expropriation in Calgary: The Southeast LRT is Coming

The City of Calgary has identified portions or all of several dozen residential and commercial properties it may need to expropriate along the planned route of the Green Line Southeast LRT. Councillors debated the potential...more

Paper Conveyancing in Victoria – New Verification of Identity Process

For consistency between procedures for paper and electronic conveyancing, Land Victoria has introduced a new verification of identity process which must be complied with before lodging any paper instrument or dealing with...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

Oakland Proposed Developer Fees Summary

Unlike most large Bay Area cities, Oakland has not charged development impact fees to pay for affordable housing, but that is likely to change soon. The ramifications of a proposal to impose fees on new residential and...more

State Agency’s Intentional Flooding for Environmental Protection Results in Physical Taking of Private Property – Strict Liability...

Pacific Shores Property Owners Association v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (1/20/16, C070201) - On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California ruled that where a state agency...more

German real estate: Risks and opportunities in a shifting landscape

How does the prevalence of home offices influence the development of new office space? What does Internet use mean to real estate investors? Which sectors will see the highest demand for investment?...more

Are Groundwater Pumping Fees or Charges Subject to Proposition 218? California Supreme Court to Resolve Conflicting Precedent

In 2015 California’s Sixth and Second District Courts of Appeal issued conflicting opinions regarding whether groundwater extraction fees or charges are subject to Article 13D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218)....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

Fourth Circuit Affirms Tax Court Decision Holding Partnership Allocation of State Tax Credits Was a Taxable Disguised Sale.

In its recently issued opinion in the case of Route 231, LLC v. Commissioner, No. 14-1983, 2016 WL 97598 (4th Cir. 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (the “Court”) affirmed the U.S. Tax Court’s decision...more

The Thin Line Between Land Litigation and Land Use Controversies

Frequently, land litigation—land boundary and ownership claims - is a controversy concerning the use of land. The recent case of Hedgepeth v. Parker’s Landing Property Owners Association, Inc. ___ N.C. App. ___ ___ S.E.2d...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

New Flood Hazard Maps Released for Boston

After several years of study and an appeal by the City of Boston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, which become effective...more

Menlo Park Grade Separations – On Track

The City of Menlo Park is proceeding with two transportation projects. The first one, an undercrossing to separate bicycles and pedestrians from rail traffic at Middle Avenue, received the green light from the City Council...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

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

UK Planning Legal Update 2016: What’s the Plan?

There is a huge momentum behind planning and housing reform as the UK government tries to tackle a chronic shortage of housing across the country. The Housing and Planning Bill, the Government’s flagship delivery legislation,...more

Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2016

We all love new year’s predictions (at least I do). This past week, Construction Drive issued its 10 Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2016. Some are not terribly surprising, while others might surprise you:...more

Mayor Walsh Updates Boston's Affordable Housing Policy

We previously advised that the Walsh administration’s housing plan included an initiative to change Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP). In December of 2015, after nearly a year of study and outreach, Mayor Walsh...more

N.Y. Appeals Court Ruling on Short-Term Rental Lodging May Have Implications for Airbnb and Other “Sharing Economy” Companies

The New York Appellate Division’s recent decision that blocked a municipality’s attempt to regulate a homeowner’s renting out of his individual residence as short-term lodging demonstrates challenges that may face...more

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