New Rules and Legislation

The New York City Council voted to approve a modified version of the City of Yes for Economic Opportunity (“COYEO”) text amendment, the second in a trio of City of Yes initiatives which aim to: (1) promote sustainability (the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, which passed on December 6, 2023); (2) update the City’s zoning tools to support economic growth and resiliency (City of Yes for Economic Opportunity, which passed on June 6, 2024); and (3) spur the development of affordable housing (the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity, which entered public review on April 29, 2024).Continue Reading City Council Approves City of Yes for Economic Opportunity, with Modifications

The California State Legislature is considering Assembly Bill (AB) 2216, a measure introduced by Assemblymember Matt Haney, that would force landlords to permit pets in residential rental properties. Specifically, the proposed legislation restricts a landlord from barring a tenant from owning or keeping a common household pet without valid justification. The bill also prevents landlords from charging tenants extra rent or security deposits for owning or keeping a common household pet. However, these restrictions do not apply to rental agreements signed before January 1, 2025.Continue Reading Unleashing AB 2216: Will Fido Have a Leg Up on Landlords?

On February 7, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “Proposed Rule”) designed to combat and deter money laundering in the U.S. residential real estate sector, which has made it difficult for legitimate buyers to acquire real estate due in part to inflated prices resulting from an increase in buyers and the ability of those additional buyers to make “all cash” offers using ill-gained funds in lieu of financing. The public comment period for the Proposed Rule expires on April 8, 2024.[1]Continue Reading FinCEN Proposes New Rule to Deter Money Laundering in the Residential Real Estate Sector

Jodi Stein, Eva C. Schneider and Samuel Zarkower’s article “We Say ‘YES’ to the ‘City of Yes’ for Economic Opportunity” was recently featured in the New York Law Journal. The article discusses the City of Yes for Economic Opportunity (COYEO), the second in a trio of Mayor Eric Adams’s City of Yes initiatives to revamp New York City’s Zoning Resolution. This article describes the 18 proposals the comprise COYEO, which aim to support economic growth and resiliency by (1) making it easier for businesses to find space within the city and grow their operations; (2) supporting growing industries; (3) making business-friendly streetscapes that are safer and more walkable; and (4) creating new opportunities for businesses to open and expand.Continue Reading We Say ‘YES’ to the ‘City of Yes’ for Economic Opportunity

Whether you are a hotel owner, operator, or developer, or anyone who has an interest in an LLC, corporation, or limited partnership, you should be aware of your new compliance obligations under the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”). To put a finer point on this, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the bureau under the Treasury Department tasked with enforcing the CTA, believes that over 32 million businesses, both foreign and domestic, will be required to comply with new reporting requirements or be subject to civil fines or even criminal penalties. Continue Reading Hospitality Alert: Quick Facts on the Corporate Transparency Act

Last year, California became the first state to pass laws requiring companies to make disclosures about their greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions as well as the risks that climate change poses for their businesses and their plans for addressing those risks. These new laws now face funding and legal hurdles that are delaying their implementation.Continue Reading Recent Updates to State and Federal Climate Disclosure Laws

Has the final bell rung for PFAS in food packaging? On February 28, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that all grease-proofing agents containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)[1] “are no longer being sold for use in food packaging in the U.S.”[2] A complete elimination of chemical substances is an uncommon FDA measure, and academics studying PFAS have heralded this FDA announcement as a victory for the public.[3] However, because it is a voluntary phase-out, food companies should not rely on this statement or assume that the packaging they use going forward is PFAS-free. Although California has instituted a ban on PFAS in food packaging, the FDA has not.Continue Reading PFAS in Food Packaging: The Beginning of the End?

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, California is facing a jaw-dropping 3.5 million unit housing deficient for the current population. This despite several legislative sessions enacting a large number of bills aimed at boosting housing production. 2023 was no different. During its first year of the current 2-year legislative cycle, Governor Newsom signed an unprecedented 56 housing bills into law, reflecting the California Legislature’s continued effort to respond to the housing crisis, and the multi-dimensional approach to developing, retaining, and permitting housing options for Californians. In sum, the housing bills intend to incentivize and reduce barriers to housing production, especially “affordable” or below-market rate housing by addressing previously-identified hurdles in the market. To do so, some bills include further expansion of State Density Bonus Law, including Senate Bill (SB) 423’s extension of the sunset date in 2017’s SB 35. The package also includes bills aimed to keep tenants in their existing homes and reflects the state’s desire to limit local governments’ ability to deny housing projects.Continue Reading California Continues Trend of Pushing Housing Legislation to Address Ongoing Housing Shortage

On January 30, 2024, the San Diego City Council approved an ordinance implementing Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposal to establish an extensive project labor agreement (“PLA”), which is slated to impose various conditions and restrictions on most City-funded construction projects. Most notably, the PLA establishes conditions of employment and minimum wage requirements, additional safety protocols, and other regulations imposed on contractors and their subcontractors. The PLA also sets goals and introduces incentives for the hiring of certain “Targeted Workers,” which include homeless people, the undereducated, and those that have spent time in jail or prison.Continue Reading San Diego City Council Approves Union-Friendly Citywide Project Labor Agreement Restricting Most City Construction Projects

As we enter 2024, we once again review the most significant legislation, policy changes and regulatory actions with respect to climate change taken by California in the past year. In contrast to 2022, which brought a revamp of California’s timeline to complete its transition to zero-emission energy sources and the finalization of a $54 billion climate funding package, the headline grabber in 2023 was the passage of three bills related to corporate emissions and accountability.Continue Reading California Climate Change Legislation, Policy and Regulation – 2023 in Review