Category Archives: New Rules and Legislation

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EPA and Corps Issue Rule Defining “Waters of the U.S.”

On June 29, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule defining “waters of the United States.” The rule becomes effective on August 28, 2015.  Because the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) grants regulatory authority only to areas under federal jurisdiction, the new rule will play a central role … Continue Reading

Important Alert for Commercial Owners/Landlords and Brokers/Agents: Changes to California Dual Agency Disclosure Laws Effective January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, California law requires real estate brokers and agents to provide their clients and prospective clients with specific new disclosures, including (1) an initial disclosure form regarding the nature of agency relationships, which is typically provided at the time a listing agreement is entered into; and (2) an additional disclosure form to … Continue Reading

Corps Issues New Compensatory Mitigation Guidelines for California

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, has issued its “Final 2015 Regional Compensatory Mitigation and Monitoring Guidelines.” The Guidelines will apply in the Corps’ San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Albuquerque districts, which together cover California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Texas.… Continue Reading

New Legislative Requirements For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations At California Commercial Properties

Effective January 1, 2015, commercial landlords are prohibited from entering into leases or other occupancy agreements that include any unreasonable restriction or prohibition on the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station (“EV Station”) in a parking space associated with the commercial property.  AB 2265 was enacted in an effort to promote, encourage … Continue Reading

City of Los Angeles Outsources Defense of CEQA/Land Use Lawsuits To Private Law Firms – Developers To Foot The Bill

On December 16, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously authorized the City Attorney to establish a Land Use/CEQA Panel, which will consist of five municipal law firms, to defend the City in CEQA and land use lawsuits that challenge the entitlements for private development projects, and to require that the project applicant reimburse the City … Continue Reading

LA Mayor Proposes Mandatory Earthquake Retrofitting for Commercial and Residential Buildings

Capping a year-long partnership between the City of Los Angeles and Dr. Lucy Jones, a well-known seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, Mayor Eric Garcetti released  “Resilience by Design” last week, a plan that includes an ambitious set of proposed seismic regulations.  The plan proposes a series of ordinances to be reviewed by the … Continue Reading

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Set to Expire at Year End

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) now appears set to expire as of December 31, 2014, barring further action from Congress.  The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014[1] would have extended the existing terrorism insurance coverage under TRIA.  Although the House of Representatives previously passed a bill reauthorizing TRIA on December 10, 2014[2], … Continue Reading

City of Los Angeles Delays Issuance of Demolition Permits for Most Structures More Than 45 Years Old

Starting in January 2015, the City will not issue demolition permits for structures more than 45 years old until the applicant has conspicuously posted a demolition notice on the property, sent letters to abutting neighbors and notified the applicable City Council District Office at least 30 days in advance of demolition.  This 30-day delay gives … Continue Reading

Governor Signs Off on New Tax-Increment Financing Structure

On September 29, Governor Brown signed legislation that is seen as creating a robust new financing tool which will expand the existing mechanism of Infrastructure Financing Districts (“IFDs”) and replicate some of the functions of the state’s abolished local redevelopment agencies.  SB 628 (Beall; D-San Jose) authorizes local officials to create Enhanced IFDs and issue … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Comment Period for OPR Rethink of CEQA Guidelines on Transportation Impacts Extended Until November 21, 2014

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has extended the comment period for its draft of changes to the way that transportation impacts are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The new deadline for submission of comments is November 21, 2014.  OPR is proposing significant changes in the way transportation impacts should … Continue Reading

“Change in Ownership” Can Trigger Documentary Transfer Tax

926 North Ardmore Avenue, LLC v. County of Los Angeles, (9/22/14, B248536) The California Court of Appeals has recently held that, as a general rule, the Documentary Transfer Tax (“DTT”) applies whenever there is a “change in ownership” of real property under the California Revenue & Taxation Code. In the case, 926 North Ardmore Avenue, … Continue Reading

Mechanics Lien Subordination: Illinois Further Limits Construction Lenders’ Ability To Ensure Priority Against Mechanics Liens

On July 16, 2014, Illinois enacted Public Act 98-764 (Senate Bill 3023) (“SB 3023”), which amends the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/ et seq.) (the “Act”) to prohibit subordination of mechanics liens on Illinois construction projects, unless such subordination is to a construction mortgage lien made after 50% of the construction loan has … Continue Reading

California Documentary Transfer Tax: Separate Unrecorded Statement of Tax No Longer Allowed After December 31, 2014

The California Documentary Transfer Tax Act requires the amount of documentary transfer tax due to be shown on the face of the document.  However, if the party submitting the document for recordation requests, then the amount of tax due may be shown on a separate paper affixed to the recorded document.… Continue Reading

Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014

What You Need to Know: On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent energy-saving measures for plumbing, electrical, lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It is expected … Continue Reading

New California Statutes Potentially Increase Owners’ and Developers’ Exposure Under the Prevailing Wage Law

California has enacted several statutes, effective January 1, 2014, which will likely increase the exposure of contractors and subcontractors, and the developers and owners for whom they work, to claims for prevailing wage violations on public works projects.  Developers and owners would be well advised to review their construction contracts to ensure that the new requirements … Continue Reading

Maryland Legislature Fixes Problems Left Over From 2012 IDOT Legislation

Prior to 2012, the Indemnity Deed of Trust (“IDOT”) had long been the preferred structure for borrowers in Maryland looking to finance their property because it would allow deferment of recordation taxes that would otherwise be required at the time of the loan. In 2012, the Maryland Legislature passed a law that imposed the recordation … Continue Reading

California Passes Landmark Green Chemical Laws

On August 28, 2013 the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (“DTSC”) Safer Products Regulations. These regulations will go into effect on October 1, 2013. These important regulations, also referred to as “Green Chemical” regulations, establish a process to identify and prioritize consumer products containing chemicals of concern, … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs SB 4 Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing Well Stimulation Treatments

Hydraulic fracturing continues to increase, but regulations have lagged behind the practice. Hydraulic fracturing (sometimes called well stimulation treatment) is used as means to extract and explore underground oil and gas. SB 4 is an attempt by California legislature to regulate and oversee the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and other well stimulation treatments. … Continue Reading

California Energy Use Disclosure Rules Implementation Postponed Until January 1, 2014

The long-awaited energy use disclosure requirements, first enacted as AB 1103 (Saldana) in 2007 (codified as California Public Resources Code, §25402.10), will now be implemented starting on January 1, 2014 for all buildings in excess of 10,000 square feet. This means that owners of buildings in excess of 50,000 square feet will now have until … Continue Reading

Assembly Bill 116, Extending Life of Subdivision Maps, Signed by the Governor

On July 11, 2013, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 116 (Bocanegra) automatically extending by 24 months the expiration date of any tentative map, vesting tentative map, or a parcel map which was approved on or after January 1, 2000, and that has not yet expired. It further specifies a process for the extension of tentative … Continue Reading

California Commercial Building Owners Must Comply With New Energy Use Disclosure Rules Commencing July 1, 2013

[The requirements for AB 1103 have been modified. See updated information here.] What you need to know: The long-awaited energy use disclosure requirements, first enacted as AB 1103 (Saldana) in 2007 (codified as California Public Resources Code, §25402.10), are finally effective. Commencing July 1, 2013, owners of commercial, non-residential buildings in excess of 50,000 square … Continue Reading

New Disability Access Law Imposes Notification Requirements For Commercial Leases

What you need to know: On July 1, 2013, pursuant to newly enacted California Civil Code Section 1938, owners of commercial real property must state on every lease form or rental agreement whether the property leased has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (commonly referred to as a “CASp”) and, if so, whether the … Continue Reading

Bill Introduced to Restore Cities’ Ability to Require Affordable Housing

By Michael Hansen  On February 22, California State Assembly Member Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, introduced a bill, AB 1229, to restore the ability of California cities and counties to require affordable housing as part of market-rate housing developments. The bill would override a notable 2009 court decision, Palmer/Sixth Street Properties, L.P. v. City of Los … Continue Reading
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