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City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

Homeowners “Bluffed” Out Of Challenge To Coastal Permit To Rebuild Private Access Stairs

Barbara Lynch et al. v. California Coastal Commission (9/9/14, D064120) - The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District (Division One) has held that homeowners who accepted the benefit of a coastal development...more

Editorial: Drowning in Place: Local Government Costs and Liabilities for Flooding Due to Sea-level Rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years. The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the...more

A Few Zoning Notes: New Caselaw, Oakwood and Beer, Oh My!

We're going to touch on three separate topics today in this post. First, we'll discuss a recent case from the North Carolina Court of Appeals regarding legal nonconforming uses, burdens of proof and lost zoning maps. ...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - September 2014

In This Issue: - Water, Water, Everywhere - D.C. Office of Planning Takes a Stand Against Pop- Ups with New Zoning Text Amendment - Excerpt from Water, Water, Everywhere: Despite the lingering...more

Fifth District Reaffirms Its CEQA Historicity Rules in Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno

In a published opinion filed August 29, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that the City of Fresno erred in approving a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for...more

Is It Historical Under CEQA? Court Confirms Substantial Evidence Remains the Standard

Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, et al., No. F066498,(Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., August 28, 2014) - In a two-part opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment...more

California Urban Housing Market Plagued by Higher Rents, Lower Wages, and CEQA

The economic and social impacts of the California Environmental Quality Act are significant enough that the worldwide publication, The Economist, recently reported that the law’s liberal standing requirements “allow[ing]...more

Miami’s Future Archipelago of Floating Houses

A team of Dutch developers would like to bring a little bit of Atlantis to Miami. Earlier this month, Dutch Docklands submitted a letter of intent and request for zoning variance to the City of North Miami Beach in order to...more

Mortgagees Face Increased Penalties for Failure to Remedy Municipal Violations on New Jersey Properties in Foreclosure

Action items: As a result of the recent changes in New Jersey law, mortgagees and servicers should review their practices and procedures to ensure timely response to notices of municipal code violations on abandoned or vacant...more

Fair Housing Group Issues Annual Report

On August 13, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) published its annual fair housing report titled “Expanding Opportunity: Systemic Approaches to Fair Housing.” The paper summarizes 2013 fair housing enforcement actions...more

California Legislature Moves One Step Closer to Authorizing Eminent Domain for Martins Beach

Just in case you lost track of the Martins Beach saga, here is a quick summary and update. According to reports, a couple of years after billionaire Vinod Khosla bought beachfront property in San Mateo County for over $30...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – A Field of Dreams: Imagining a Solar System in the Back Forty

In April 2014, the Maine legislature passed The Maine Solar Energy Act, finding that solar energy development in Maine would help protect and improve the well-being of its residents, as well as provide greenhouse gas...more

Fracking Hearings Set to Begin in North Carolina

This Wednesday in Raleigh will see the first of four upcoming public hearings in North Carolina over the state’s proposed fracking rules. The hearings are part of the final phase of rule making, coming after two years of...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...more

Keeping its Options Open: Lodi Passes Resolution of Necessity as Negotiations Continue

As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the...more

Implied Restrictive Covenant Prevents Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Lots

A federal court of appeals held that a golf course was encumbered by an implied restrictive covenant, preventing the foreclosing lender from selling the golf course for residential development. The U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

Tax credit increases what’s available for historic renovation

In May, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act (also known as House Bill 14-1311). By substantially increasing the amount of funds available for the...more

Proposed House Bill would Create Appeals Process for Qualified Census Tract and Difficult Development Areas

On July 24, 2014, Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would amend Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide for an appeals process for HUD Qualified Census Tract...more

New Development Extension Opportunities Now Available

The Florida Legislature has provided numerous extensions for development permits and approvals over the past several years, which have typically required that the holder of the permit or approval provide notice to the issuing...more

Community right to buy to be extended to urban areas Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill introduced on 11 June 2014

In November 2013 the Scottish Government published a consultation paper to which was annexed a draft "Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill". The consultation included proposals to extend the existing "community right to buy"...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

Motions in Limine May be Used in Eminent Domain Proceedings to Determine Party's Interest in Property

"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used...more

Governmental Power and Property Lines

On May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condos. Home Owners Ass’n, 2014 CO 37. Overturning the rulings of both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, the...more

FPPC Revises Regulations Regarding Conflicts of Interest Involving Real Property

The Fair Political Practices Commission recently changed its conflict of interest regulation concerning real property owned or leased by public officials. The old rule was that if an official owned (or had a long-term lease...more

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