Category Archives: New Rules and Legislation

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California’s “Housing Crisis Act of 2019” May Boost Housing Production or Just Boost Housing-Related Litigation

On October 9, 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 330, or the “Housing Crisis Act of 2019” in an effort to combat California’s current housing shortage, which has resulted in the highest rents and lowest homeownership rates in the nation. In a nutshell, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 seeks to boost … Continue Reading

Proposed Rule Expands CFIUS Jurisdiction to Real Estate Investments That Pose a National Security Risk; Could Have Major Impacts on Dealmaking

Key Takeaways: What is CFIUS? The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, is an interagency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury which is authorized to review and approve transactions involving foreign investment in the United States that could impact U.S. national security. Expanded Jurisdiction. The Treasury Department has issued … Continue Reading

Statewide Residential Rent Control Passed In California

The California Legislature has passed AB1482 providing for comprehensive statewide residential rent control and eviction protections and sent it to the Governor for signature, which is expected. Commencing January 1, 2020, AB1482 prohibits a landlord of a residential property from increasing the gross rental rate more than five percent (5%) plus the percentage change in … Continue Reading

Endangered Species Act Rulemakings Face Immediate Challenge

On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) published final rules amending three important parts of the federal regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 1531 et seq.). The amended rules, which will take effect on September 26: Eliminate the automatic extension of … Continue Reading

Following Suit – City of Los Angeles Updates CEQA Guide to Include VMT Methodology Ahead of State-Imposed Deadline

On July 30, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an update to the “Transportation” section of the City’s California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) Threshold Guide.  City Council’s action has effectively updated the framework for evaluating traffic impact analysis to a vehicle miles traveled (“VMT”) metric in accordance with updated CEQA Guidelines section 15064.3 … Continue Reading

California State Budget Summary: Allocations for Housing and Homelessness

On June 26, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fiscal Year 2019-20 State Budget into law. The State’s fiscal year begins July 1st and funding will be available by end of July 2019. The approved budget allocates $2.4 billion to help address homelessness and affordable housing needs, and includes:[1] Short-term planning and infill infrastructure … Continue Reading

IRS Change in Application Requirements for Obtaining Employer Identification Number Could Affect Many International Investors in U.S. Real Estate

Effective May 13, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed the requirements for obtaining an employer identification number (EIN)[1]. The IRS no longer permits an entity to be named as the “responsible party” on IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number). Instead, only an individual can act as a responsible party. This is particularly … Continue Reading

IRS Change in Application Requirements for Obtaining Employer Identification Number Could Affect Many International Investors In U.S. Real Estate

Effective May 13, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed the requirements for obtaining an employer identification number (EIN). The IRS now requires that an individual with a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) be named as the “responsible party” on IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number), except in … Continue Reading

Opportunity Zones Update: NEW PROPOSED TREASURY REGULATIONS (PART I)

Background In December 2017, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), Congress established a new tax incentive program to promote investment in certain low-income communities designated by the IRS as qualified opportunity zones. Section 1400Z-2 of the Internal Revenue Code provides three compelling tax incentives to encourage investment in qualified opportunity funds … Continue Reading

FERC Rejects MISO’s Proposed Restrictions on Joining the Development Queue

Securing interconnection and transmission rights and completing related upgrades is often the longest lead-time item in an electric generator’s development timeline. At the same time, many potential new power plants are being developed and vying for access to the electric transmission grid. The policy of most grid operators is to address interconnection requests on a … Continue Reading

Five Years in the Making: California is One Step Closer to a Comprehensive Update to the CEQA Guidelines

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) has spent five years drafting a comprehensive update to 30 sections of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) Guidelines.[1] The updated text[2] (“Final Text”) ensures the Guidelines are consistent with recent court decisions, implements legislative changes, clarifies rules governing the CEQA process, and eliminates duplicative analysis. Several … Continue Reading

Battle for Rent Control May Not be Over

In the months leading to the election, cities and counties began to adopt resolutions and other measures to advance potential rent control measures. In Los Angeles, the City Council approved a Resolution in support of Proposition 10 by a vote of 13-1 last month. The Resolution highlighted the increasingly high rental rates in the area … Continue Reading

California Housing Legislation (2017-2018)

State lawmakers passed over 1,200 bills this year, the most in more than a decade according to sources. Governor Brown signed 1,016 into law as of September 30th. Below is a summary of the bills signed into law regulating the planning and development of housing. The majority will take effect on January 1, 2019.… Continue Reading

After 9th Circuit Ruling in Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, EPA Considers ‘Clarifying’ Clean Water Act Coverage for Discharges Via Groundwater

A recent Ninth Circuit ruling that pollutants reaching waters of the United States through groundwater may trigger Clean Water Act liability has prompted the U.S. EPA to consider clarifying its position on the subject. The Ninth Circuit held last month, in Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, that the Act applies to “indirect discharges” … Continue Reading

Corps and EPA Push Out Effective Date of Disputed Clean Water Rule

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency published a rule postponing the effective date of the Clean Water Rule for two years, until February 6, 2020. The Clean Water Rule defined the extent of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. It was supposed to have become effective on August 28, 2015, but … Continue Reading

Real Estate Aspects of Tax Reform

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the most extensive overhaul of the United States tax regime in over thirty years. The new tax laws will have a significant impact upon taxpayers in all income tax brackets, all businesses and every sector of the economy, including … Continue Reading

Corps and EPA Solicit Public Comment on Restoring Pre-Clean Water Rule Regulations

On July 27, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published their proposed rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule. This is the same rule that was released in pre-publication form in June, which we described in a previous entry.… Continue Reading

California Proposes New Permitting Procedures for Impacts to Wetlands and Waters of the State

On July 21, 2017, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) published its latest proposal for new permitting procedures that would apply to waters of the State, including wetlands. The proposal – which would define wetlands, create delineation procedures, and impose requirements for an alternatives analysis and mitigation – will be vetted through … Continue Reading

EPA, Corps Propose Rescinding Clean Water Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday announced a proposed rulemaking that would rescind the “Clean Water Rule” — which the agencies finalized in 2015 to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act — and recodify the prior regulatory definition … Continue Reading

City of Los Angeles Releases Draft Hollywood Community Plan Update

On June 13, 2017, the City of Los Angeles released its new Hollywood Community Plan (“Plan”) draft. The current plan dates back to 1988. In 2012, the City adopted an update to the community plan that was subsequently litigated and then rescinded by a Superior Court ruling. Thus, for the last several years, the City … Continue Reading

Update – City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Linkage Fee

The City of Los Angeles continues to move toward the adoption of an ordinance that establishes an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee (Ordinance). As currently proposed, the key provisions of the Ordinance are as follows: It applies to any new building permit or entitlement application submitted on or after 180 days after the Ordinance’s formal adoption … Continue Reading

Commercial Lease Alert: New Access Law Disclosure Requirements In Leases Effective January 1, 2017

Under current California law, commercial real property owners are required to state in every lease agreement whether the property leased has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (“CASp”) and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards. [California Civil Code Section 1938].  Effective immediately, … Continue Reading
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