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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

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

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

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

Top Ten Stories in California Construction for 2015

Cranes, cement trucks, and street closures seem to be everywhere these days, especially in city centers such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. After the meltdown of 2006, real estate development went into hibernation for...more

How to Fix Your GHG Analysis After the California Supreme Court’s Newhall Ranch Decision

My colleague, Michael Sherman, posted yesterday about two issues decided in the California Supreme Court’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Today, I’ll address the...more

Caltrans’ Highway 101 Overpass Condemnation Case Ends in Split Decision

For several years, we’ve been following an eminent domain lawsuit in Marin County involving Caltrans’ acquisition of 34 acres for a $29.7 million interchange project at the Redwood Sanitary Landfill, which would widen the...more

Chicago Mayor Proposes Ordinance to Increase Transit-Oriented Development Near CTA, Metra Stops: 5 Key Changes, 2 Open Issues

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced an ordinance to the City Council that would put in place key changes to the zoning ordinance’s transit-oriented development (TOD) provisions. The following summarizes five of the...more

What is Done is Done – and Cannot be Undone

Lady Macbeth tells her troubled husband, “What is done is done” and later says to herself “and cannot be undone.” This is the outcome in Hillcrest Property, LLP v. Pasco County, 754 F. 3d 1279 (11th Cir 2014) and apparently...more

Caltrans and Temecula Join Forces to Relieve I-15 Congestion

The City of Temecula is moving forward with the French Valley Parkway. The project involves constructio of a new arterial, as well as improvements to the I-15 Winchester Road interchange. Phase I of the project included...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 27, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Marketable Record Title Act: right-of-way held by Florida Department of Transportation qualifies for right of way exception under MRTA and remainder of property held in fee by Florida Department...more

Take My Home, Please: In Wake of Court Decision, N.C. General Assembly Seeks to Repeal "Map Act"

The Map Act -- also known as Chapter 136, Article 2E of the General Statutes of North Carolina -- allows the N.C.D.O.T., local governments or other governing bodies to file with the local register of deeds an official...more

Valuing Rail Corridors

In the aftermath of last year’s Rails-to-Trails Decision, Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the valuation of rail corridors may become increasingly necessary.  Typically there are three...more

County Modifies Road Impact Fee Schedule With New Ordinance

The Miami-Dade County Commission adopted Ordinance 14-122, effective December 12, 2014, making several modifications to the County's Road Impact Fee schedule. A notable change is that the timing of the Road Impact Fee Present...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

The 'Rents: NCDOT Is Looking to Charge Rents, While Residential Tenants Are Denied Class Certification to Collect Rent Deposits

We've been quiet these past few weeks but the world has not been. We'd like to talk today about two entirely unrelated but fascinatingly fun topics: (1) the North Carolina Department of Transportation's ("NCDOT") idea to...more

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them...more

Supreme Court Ruling Represents Major Shift for Railroad Rights of Way

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States Forest Service could not construct a trail on an abandoned railroad right of way (ROW) that crosses through private property. Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173,...more

Is Your Property Next? California Authorizes Condemnation of Fresno County Property for High Speed Rail Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) first request to seize a parcel in Fresno County through eminent domain has been approved by the State Public Works Board (the “SPWB”), the state agency that...more

High Court Tackles CEQA Future Baselines In Neighbors For Smart Rail Decision

In a much-anticipated decision filed August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court held that CEQA requires a lead agency to assess a project’s environmental impacts against an “existing conditions” baseline – and consequently...more

Unusual Circumstances: California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Use of Future Conditions Baseline Under CEQA

On August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a split decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, et al. The court held that a lead agency may choose to avoid using an...more

CEQA Baseline Analysis: Future Conditions Baseline Should Be The Exception Not The Rule When Agency Reviews Environmental Impacts,...

In Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (filed August 5, 2013) (“Neighbors”), a majority of the California Supreme Court justices announced a new rule regarding the baseline agencies may...more

Supreme Court Allows Future Conditions to Be Used as the Baseline Under Limited Circumstances

Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (August 5, 2013, S202828) __ Cal.4th __(“Neighbors”). What is the baseline against which environmental impacts are measured? There has been...more

California Supreme Court Redefines “Baseline” Under California Environmental Quality Act

The California Supreme Court has both resolved a split in the appellate courts and forged new law on the baselines agencies may use to assess projects’ environmental effects under CEQA. ...more

Like Athena From the Head of Zeus: Neighbors for Smart Rail Authorizes Future Baselines in CEQA Review

A new California Supreme Court decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, authorizes reliance on anticipated future conditions as the “baseline” for evaluating impacts of long-term...more

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