When the Real Estate Downturn Persists – You Best Be Vested


Isn’t it ironic that when the red-hot residential development market cools off, the time-delayed local angst against rapid development – - reflected in local anti-development ballot measures – - quickly heats up! This action/reaction phenomenon has existed in California for at least the last three decades. So what do you do when the market cools while the regulatory landscape becomes potentially more hostile? Vest into laws that support your project until the market returns!

Imagine the approval of a 1,500-unit residential subdivision in the Fall of 2007. In the Spring of 2008, while the subdivider is satisfying conditions of approval and perhaps waiting to see if Summer will bring an improved market, local voters approve an anti-residential growth ballot measure that would prohibit or drastically impair the project. The only way the subdivider could avoid this death knell would be to have secured a “vested right” to those local land use regulations in place before the new prohibitory regulations became law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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