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January 31, 2008

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Breakthroughs Newsletter
 
January 2008
 
The first Breakthroughs issue of 2008 has just been
posted on the Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC)
website, and if you need to rekindle your enthusiasm for
affordable housing during the cold days of winter, this
could be just the ticket. In this issue, you'll read
about cottage housing, new developments in affordable
housing legislation, and housing trust funds.
 
Check out the January issue of Breakthroughs to see...
 
o How communities in Washington State are promoting
diverse housing choices through cottage zoning;
 
o How the state of California is taking action to
support affordable housing development; and
 
o How affordable housing trust funds are making a
difference at the local, county, and state levels.
 
Again, you can read or download the current issue at
 www.huduser.org/rbc/newsletter/vol7iss1more.html. If you
have regulatory landscaping success stories of your own
that you'd like to share, call us at 1-800-245-2691,
option 4, or send us an email at rbcsubmit@huduser.org.
Who knows, we may even highlight your community's
efforts in a future issue of Breakthroughs
 
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January 27, 2008

Top Five Real Estate Search Engines

The Harris Company, Top Five Real Estate Search Engines

1. The Loop CSE: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=000747579154309164948%3Annakvu69iqy 

2. Ask: http://www.ask.com

3. MSN: http://www.msn.com

4. Yahoo: http://www.yahoo.com

5. Google: http://www.google.com

As of January 2008, Selection based upon the following datagories: Relivence, Ease of Use, Response Time.  Google and Yahoo have slipped as a result of there competition with the online Yellow Pages. 

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Land Use, Construction & Housing Comm. Mtg. with L.A. Council President Eric Garcetti

 
Calendar of Events

Land Use, Construction & Housing Comm. Mtg. with L.A. Council President Eric Garcetti

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Location:Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
350 S. Bixel Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
 
Register Now!

Phone:
Fax:
(213) 580-7565
(213) 580-7511
 Current Weather
Map/Directions

The Land Use, Construction and Housing committee seeks to generate sound policy decisions that will help the region accommodate dramatic population growth in the next decade, particularly as it relates to housing and urban planning to promote more livable and economically sustainable communities. This months special guest will be L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti.

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January 24, 2008

2008 Real Estate Capital Markets Industry Outlook

2008 Real Estate Capital Markets Industry Outlook
Top ten issues
While the credit crunch and economic uncertainty have caused investor anxiety and tighter lending standards, commercial real estate (CRE) remains comparatively attractive with solid underlying fundamentals, plentiful capital and sustained allocations. Deloitte recently released its 2008 capital markets Top Ten Issues report. The report provides insight about commercial real estate market trends, over the short and long term, through a review of critical issues, an examination of the industry’s core fundamentals and an analysis of underlying factors.

Top issues include:

1. CRE returns remain enticing, especially as stocks turn volatile
2. Recent credit crunch preoccupies markets, including regulators
3. Residential real estate continues to drag economy
4. Economy still confusing and contradictory
5. CRE capital still available, but pausing and shifting
6. CRE fundamentals solid; rent increases slow, caps rise
7. Domestic Real estate investment trusts (REITs) hit the wall, as global REITs gain acceptance
8. Global synchronized growth encourages global CRE investment
9. Regulatory concerns heighten as markets globalize
10. Accounting standards converging

Read the full report attached below.

Attachments
2008 Real Estate Capital Markets Industry Outlook (1377 KB)
http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/cda/doc/content/us_re_toptenissues_220108.pdf
Top ten issues report. PDF; 44 pages.
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January 22, 2008

Selling And Leasing With TICs And Partnerships:

 
 
Selling And Leasing With TICs And Partnerships: Do You Have All Of The Signatures You Need?
By Kathy K. Emanuel and Sandra I. Herrera

Are you contemplating entering into a real estate transaction with individuals who own the real property as tenants in common ("TICs") or with a partnership?  If so, a recent California case, Elias Real Estate, LLC v. Tseng, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 360, (Cal.App. 2 Dist., 2007) ("Tseng"), contains a relevant discussion of the effect of the interplay between the statute of frauds and the law of agency on your real estate transaction.  Below is a brief review of the Tseng case and some actions to consider taking in your real estate transaction.

A Review of the Tseng Case

Tseng
involved the listing and sale of commercial real property in San Pedro , California owned by four brothers as TICs.  One of the four brothers listed the property with a real estate broker pursuant to a written listing agreement and subsequently entered into a written purchase agreement for the property with the buyer.  Both the listing agent and the buyer knew that he was not the sole owner of the property but did not request or obtain documentation that he was authorized to act on behalf of the other brothers and relied solely on his assurances of his authority.  After calling his brothers to "verify" that they still wanted to sell the property, he informed the broker that they had decided not to sell the property.  The buyer sued the brothers for specific performance (the completion of the purchase of the property), and the brothers cross-complained against the buyer and the broker.  The trial court entered judgment for the buyer and the broker, and the brothers appealed.


[FULL STORY]
 
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January 21, 2008

Part III - Administrative, Procedural, and Miscellaneous

Part III - Administrative, Procedural, and Miscellaneous
Guidance Regarding Appraisal Requirements for Noncash Charitable Contributions
Notice 2006-96
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
This notice provides transitional guidance relating to the new definitions of
“qualified appraisal” and “qualified appraiser” in § 170(f)(11) of the Internal Revenue
Code, and new § 6695A of the Code regarding substantial or gross valuation
misstatements, as added by § 1219 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Pub. L. No.
109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (2006) (the “PPA”).
The Service and the Treasury Department expect to issue regulations under
§ 170(f)(11). Until those regulations are effective, taxpayers may rely on this notice to
comply with the new provisions added by § 1219 of the PPA.
SECTION 2. BACKGROUND
A deduction for charitable contributions is generally permitted under § 170(a),
subject to certain limitations depending on the type of taxpayer, the nature of the
property contributed, and the type of donee organization. Section 170(f)(11), as added
by § 883 of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-357, 118 Stat.
1418 (2004), contains reporting and substantiation requirements relating to the
allowance of deductions for noncash charitable contributions. In particular, under
§ 170(f)(11)(C), taxpayers are required to obtain a qualified appraisal for donatedproperty for which a deduction of more than $5,000 is claimed. Under § 170(f)(11)(D),
in certain cases the qualified appraisal must be attached to the tax return. For
appraisals prepared with respect to returns filed on or before August 17, 2006, existing
Treasury Regulations provide a definition of the terms “qualified appraisal” and “qualified
appraiser” for purposes of § 170(f)(11).
Section 1219 of the PPA amends § 170(f)(11)(E) and provides statutory
definitions of a qualified appraisal and qualified appraiser for appraisals prepared with
respect to returns filed after August 17, 2006.
Section 170(f)(11)(E)(i) provides that the term “qualified appraisal” means an
appraisal that is (1) treated as a qualified appraisal under regulations or other guidance
prescribed by the Secretary, and (2) conducted by a qualified appraiser in accordance
with generally accepted appraisal standards and any regulations or other guidance
prescribed by the Secretary.
Section 170(f)(11)(E)(ii) provides that the term “qualified appraiser” means an
individual who (1) has earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional
appraiser organization or has otherwise met minimum education and experience
requirements set forth in regulations prescribed by the Secretary, (2) regularly performs
appraisals for which the individual receives compensation, and (3) meets such other
requirements as may be prescribed by the Secretary in regulations or other guidance.
Section 170(f)(11)(E)(iii) further provides that an individual will not be treated as a
qualified appraiser unless that individual (1) demonstrates verifiable education and
experience in valuing the type of property subject to the appraisal, and (2) has not been

http://www.lta.org/publicpolicy/irs_guidance_appraisals.pdf

 

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January 18, 2008

PROBATE, TRUSTS & ESTATES, TAX LAW

PROBATE, TRUSTS & ESTATES, TAX LAW
Knight v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 06-1286
In the context of the Internal Revenue Code, under which individuals may subtract from their taxable income certain itemized deductions, but only to the extent the deductions exceed 2% of adjusted gross income, investment advisory fees are also subject to the 2% floor when incurred by a trust. Read more...
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January 14, 2008

Date Of Value Rule Not As Bright Line As Intended

Date Of Value Rule Not As Bright Line As Intended
by James C. Powers and Rick E. Rayl

Just in time for the holidays, the Court of Appeal offered landowners a present in the on-going date-of-value controversy in eminent domain, undercutting the seemingly bright-line rule established earlier last year by the California Supreme Court.  San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board v. RV Communities (December 21, 2007) ___ Cal.App.4th ____ 2007 DJDAR 18826 was one of the cases stayed by the California Supreme Court pending last year’s ruling in Mt. San Jacinto Community College District v. Superior Court (Azusa Pacific) (2007) 40 Cal.4th 648. 

 

The Mt. San Jacinto case sought to clarify the long-standing debate over the appropriate date of value, especially in cases where the value changed dramatically between the date of deposit and the date of trial.  In Mt. San Jacinto, the California Supreme Court held that the date of deposit controlled.  The Court also held that existing procedural safeguards that provide landowners a right to seek an increase in the amount of the deposit adequately protects their interests.  With this decision, it appeared that the date of value issue was resolved with a bright-line, easy to apply rule. 

 

Months later, the court in Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego v. Mesdaq (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 1111 confirmed this view, applying the rule established in Mt. San Jacinto to set the date of value as the date of deposit in the face of arguments that the trial court did not rule that the deposit reflected the probable amount of compensation, that property values increased dramatically, and that the case was not brought to trial within a year. 

 

A few weeks ago, however, the court in San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board v. RV Communities provided a new twist, holding that the date of deposit does not qualify as the date of value where the condemning agency subsequently concedes that the initial deposit amount was too low.  The court reasoned that since the agency voluntarily increased its deposit (thereby implicitly acknowledging that it was inadequate), the Mt. San Jacinto rule did not apply, and the appropriate date of value was the trial date.

In September 2001, the plaintiff filed a condemnation action to take property owned by RV Communities.  Plaintiff also sought to condemn a temporary construction easement on another portion to the RV Communities’ property.  Plaintiff made an initial deposit of probable compensation in the amount of $79,357 based on an appraisal with a date of value five months before the action was filed.  In 2003, RV Communities moved for an increase in the deposit to $300,300 and to have the date of value set as the date of trial.  Before the hearing on the motion, Plaintiff voluntarily made an additional deposit which increased to deposit to the $300,300 requested.  The trial court granted to motion to make the trial date the date of value.  At trial, the jury awarded $1,132,866 for the land taken in fee simple and $576,267 for the land held to have been taken by inverse condemnation, plus other amounts.  Plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.  Plaintiff then sought review by the California Supreme Court, which suspended proceedings while deciding the Mt. San Jacinto case. 

 

After the Court issued the Mt. San Jacinto opinion, it appeared likely that the RV Communities case would be reversed, and that, just as in Mesdaq, the court would apply Mt. San Jacinto and hold that the date of value was the date of deposit.  But this is not what happened.  Instead, the Court of Appeal again ruled in favor of RV Communities. 

 

The RV Communities court distinguished Mt. San Jacinto on the grounds that Plaintiff’s $79,357 deposit was based on an appraisal with a valuation date five months before the date of deposit and that the appraiser who provided the original appraisal later testified that the value of the property at the time of the deposit had increased to $300,300.  However, the court’s rationale is not necessarily limited to these facts.  Instead, the court appears to hold that if it is later found that the deposit did not constitute just compensation (as subsequently determined), the deposit is not sufficient to set the date of value. 

 

Unless narrowly construed, the decision may well run afoul of Mt. San Jacinto.  If construed as limited to the unusual circumstances of a deposit being based on an out of date appraisal and the later recanting by the appraiser to the effect that the value is significantly higher as of the deposit date; it may fall outside the Mt. San Jacinto rule.  However, if construed as meaning that a deposit does not freeze the date of value whenever it is later determined that the amount deposited did not equal just compensation on the date of deposit, it is difficult to see how the decision comports with Mt. San Jacinto. 

 

It seems likely Plaintiff will again petition for hearing by the California Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court may not want entertain another condemnation case so soon after its decision in Mr. San Jacinto, but it could simply order the case depublished.  Stay tuned.

 

Jim Powers specializes in representing public agencies in condemnation matters and is one of California's leading experts in condemnation. He has served as lead trial counsel at dozens of trials.  He can be reached at jpowers@nossaman.com or (213) 612-7835.

Rick Rayl has experience litigating a broad range of complex civil litigation issues and focuses on real estate development, complex business disputes, and condemnation matters.  He can be reached at rrayl@nossaman.com or (949) 833-7800.
  


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January 11, 2008

SB 223 (Machado) - As Amended: May 15, 2007

          Date of Hearing:   June 26, 2007

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS
                                   Mike Eng, Chair
                     SB 223 (Machado) - As Amended:  May 15, 2007

          SENATE VOTE :   39-0
         
          SUBJECT
:   Real estate appraisals.

          SUMMARY :  Prohibits any person with an interest in a real estate 
          transaction involving an appraisal from improperly influencing, 
          or attempting to improperly influence, an appraisal sought in 
          connection with a mortgage loan.  Specifically, this bill :

          1)Prohibits any person with an interest in a real estate 
            transaction involving an appraisal from improperly 
            influencing, or attempting to improperly influence, through 
            coercion, extortion, or bribery, the development, reporting, 
            result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in 
            connection with a mortgage loan.

          2)Allows a person with an interest in a real estate transaction 
            to ask an appraiser to:

             a)   Consider additional, appropriate property information.

             b)   Provide further detail for the appraiser's value 
               conclusion.

             c)   Correct errors in the appraisal report.

          3)Makes a violation of these provisions by any person licensed 
            under any state licensing law a violation of that state 
            licensing law if it occurred within the scope of the person's 
            license.

          4)Includes the development and financing of real property within 
            provisions of existing law that prohibit appraisers from 
            engaging in any appraisal activity in connection with the 
            purchase, sale, or transfer of real property if his or her 
            compensation is dependent on or affected by the value 
            conclusion generated by the appraisal.

          EXISTING LAW :








                                                                 SB 223
                                                                
Page  2

         
         
1)Existing state law establishes the Office of Real Estate 
            Appraisers (OREA) for the purposes of licensing and regulating 
            real estate appraisers pursuant to the Real Estate Appraisers' 
            Licensing and Certification Law (REALCL).

          2)Existing federal law, the Financial Institutions Reform, 
            Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) of 1989, designates the 
            Appraisal Foundation as the entity with the authority and 
            responsibility to establish qualification criteria for state 
            licensing, certification and recertification of appraisers, 
            and the authority to establish and enforce rules for 
            developing an appraisal and reporting its results in 
            conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional 
            Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

          3)Existing state law incorporates by reference, the USPAP, as 
            promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation, as the minimum 
            standard of conduct and performance for a real estate 
            appraiser in California performing any work or service that is 
            addressed by the USPAP.

          4)Existing state law prohibits a real estate appraiser from 
            engaging in any appraisal activity in connection with the 
            purchase, sale, or transfer of real property if his or her 
            compensation is affected by the sales commission generated by 
            the transaction for which the appraisal was made.

          FISCAL EFFECT :   Unknown

          COMMENTS

          Purpose of this bill .  According to the author's office:  
          "Senator Machado has been involved in efforts to curtail 
          predatory and abusive real estate lending practices for nearly a 
          decade.  In his extensive conversations with real estate 
          professionals, lenders, borrowers, and regulators during that 
          time, he has heard numerous assertions about the problem of 
          inflated appraisals.  Although no organization about which we 
          are aware has systematically documented the frequency or 
          severity of appraisal inflation, virtually any individual who 
          has been involved in the area of real estate for more than a 
          short time is aware of the problem.  Inflated appraisals have 
          been identified as a contributing factor in the massive rise in 
          loan defaults and foreclosures.








                                                                 SB 223
                                                                
Page  3


          "Although there are many other factors at work in the 
          default/foreclosure increases, including huge increases in the 
          so-called "nontraditional mortgage products," SB 223 seeks to 
          address the appraisal component by providing a clear basis for 
          license suspension or revocation and for potential civil action 
          against those that inappropriately pressure appraisers to "hit" 
          a certain value.  As noted above, no state or federal law 
          explicitly prohibits the acts that would be prohibited by this 
          bill.  Senator Machado hopes that SB 223 acts as both a 
          deterrent and a mechanism for punishing those who violate the 
          law."

          Background .  In the early 1980s, the crisis in the savings and 
          loan industry provided a compelling reason to improve appraisal 
          practices throughout the United States.  The difficulties and 
          losses experienced by many lending institutions illustrated the 
          importance of ensuring that appraisals are based upon 
          established, recognized standards, free from outside pressures.

          In 1986, nine leading professional appraisal organizations in 
          the United States and Canada formed the Ad Hoc Committee on the 
          Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. After 
          agreeing upon a generally accepted set of standards, the eight 
          United States committee members adopted those standards and 
          established the Appraisal Foundation in 1987 to implement the 
          Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.  The 
          Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice was adopted 
          by the Appraisal Foundation on January 30, 1989 and became 
          recognized throughout the United States as the generally 
          accepted standards of professional appraisal practice.

          In 1989, Congress enacted the Financial Institutions Reform, 
          Recovery, and Enforcement Act, and gave the Appraisal Foundation 
          considerable responsibilities - the authority to establish 
          qualification criteria for state licensing, certification and 
          recertification of appraisers, and the authority to set rules 
          for developing an appraisal and reporting its results in 
          conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal 
          Practice.

          In 1990, the California Legislature enacted the Real Estate 
          Appraisers Licensing and Certification Law creating the OREA for 
          purposes of developing and implementing a real estate appraiser 
          licensing and enforcement program consistent with federal law.  








                                                                 SB 223
                                                                
Page  4

          This law incorporates by reference, the USPAP, as promulgated by 
          the Appraisal Foundation, as the minimum standard of conduct and 
          performance for a real estate appraiser in California performing 
          any work or service that is addressed by the USPAP.  This law 
          also specifically prohibits a real estate appraiser from 
          engaging in any appraisal activity in connection with the 
          purchase, sale, or transfer of real property if his or her 
          compensation is affected by the sales commission generated by 
          the transaction for which the appraisal was made.

          Support .  The sponsor of this bill, the Appraisal Institute, 
          writes: "SB 223 is designed to protect the integrity of the real 
          estate lending process by prohibiting coercion, intimidation or 
          bribery of real estate appraisers.  Inappropriate pressure on 
          appraisers to "hit" a specific value in real estate transactions 
          has been cited as a factor in inflated appraisals, which in turn 
          has played a role in mortgage fraud.

          "Recent experiences with subprime mortgages demonstrate the 
          impact that real estate lending can have on consumers.  It is 
          critical that appraisers determine fair market value through an 
          impartial process."

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

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Commercial Real Estate Sound But Investment Slowing


Commercial Real Estate Sound But Investment Slowing
The fundamentals in commercial real estate remain healthy with only slight increases in vacancy rates expected for the office and industrial sectors during 2008, although credit restrictions have recently slowed overall investment activity, according to the latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook from the National Association of Realtors®. According to Patricia Nooney, chair of the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance, "Even with the credit crunch there's been no significant impact on institutional investors, and ? commercial property in the U.S. has become very attractive to foreign investors." Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/commercial_real_estate_fundamentals_sound.html?&WT.mc_t=LS010908&WT.mc_n=Comm

Industrial Real Estate Activity Shifting to Secondary Markets
The w! eaker do llar is fueling an increase in exports, but leasing activity has declined in port distribution hubs, and vacancy rates in those markets are edging up, according to the latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook of the National Association of Realtors®. Some industrial property users are building or renting in secondary markets, which are experiencing a surge in interest.  Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/commercial_real_estate_fundamentals_sound.html?&WT.mc_t=LS010908&WT.mc_n=Comm

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How to Get Involved With the RCA Through Committees and Work Groups

WebEx Presentation:
- How to Get Involved With the RCA Through Committees and Work Groups

If you want to learn how to become more involved with the RCA then please join us for an informative and free WebEx that will explain the committee self-nomination process, how to use the committee recommendation database, and learn about the 2008 RCA committee and informal workgroups and how to get involved. This WebEx conference will feature several experts:

 

  • Adorna Carroll, who has been on dozens of committees in various positions at the local, state, and national level;
  • Mary Swaykus, Senior Coordinator, Committee & Governance Programs, NAR;
  • Numerous RCA staff and leaders will also participate in the WebEx and will be on hand to describe RCA committees and opportunities.

 

This interactive WebEx conference will provide you with useful information that give you the tools you need to get your name in for the 2009 self-nomination process. Whether you are looking to get involved with NAR, RCA, or just simply want to know how the "system" works, then attend this session. You will leave this session with the answers. Don’t delay, sign up today!

When: Thursday, January 17, 2008

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CST

Location: From home, your office or anywhere you have a computer, phone and internet connection.

How to Participate: Call Rita Baldwin at 888-648-8321 or send an email to rbaldwin@realtors.org and let us know you want to participate. You will receive an email confirmation from WebEx with a link to register for the presentation and call and be provided with participation instructions.

Cost: Free

For Additional Information:
Rebecca A. Vesconte
Manager, Member Development, REALTORS® Commercial Alliance
Email: rvesconte@realtors.org
Phone: 888-648-8321


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January 06, 2008

In Reply to: MAI Appraisal Institute Designation Discrimination is Illega posted by Cochise on August 28, 2007 at 09:11:09:

In Reply to MAI Appraisal Institute Designation Discrimination is Illegal posted by Cochise on August 28, 2007 at 09:11:09:

Statement 7: Prohibition Against DiscriminationState agencies should be aware that Title XI and the Agencies' regulations prohibit federally regulated financial institutions from excluding appraisers from consideration for an assignment solely by virtue of their membership, or lack of membership, in any appraisal organization. Federally regulated financial institutions should review the qualifications of appraisers to ensure that they are qualified for the assignment for which they are being considered. It is unacceptable to assume that an appraiser is qualified solely due to membership in, or designation from, an appraisal organization, or the lack thereof. The Agencies have determined that financial institutions' appraisal policies should not favor appraisers from one or more organizations or exclude individuals based on their lack of such membership. If a State agency learns that a certified or licensed appraiser allegedly has been a victim of such discrimination, the State agency should inform the Agency which has regulatory authority over the involved financial institution.

The ASC has determined that such discrimination also is inappropriate in the establishment and administration of a State's certification and licensing system. The ASC urges States to adopt legislation, regulations or other procedures to prohibit such discriminatory practices.

In addition, State agencies should avoid discriminatory practices regarding appraiser educational course providers. Some State agencies inappropriately: (1) have charged a course review fee to private course providers while not charging such a fee to certain professional appraiser organizations; (2) have delayed approval of private school appraisal courses while rapidly approving those of professional appraiser organizations; and (3) have forced non-affiliated proprietary schools to maintain and use fixed school room locat1ons, while certain professional appraisal organizations have been allowed to teach courses at non-fixed commercial sites, such as hotels, motels and office locat1ons. State agencies should review their internal procedures and take steps to ensure that all educational providers are afforded equal treatment in all respects, including course review fees, timeliness of review and course locat1on requirements.

http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7

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January 03, 2008

The Congress for the New Urbanism

The Congress for the New Urbanism was founded in 1993 by a group of enthusiastic architects. They had each worked for years to create buildings, neighborhoods, and regions that provide a high quality of life for all residents, while protecting the natural environment. They were brought together by Peter Katz, who soon became the first Executive Director of CNU.

 

Later that year, CNU held its first annual Congress. A satisfying 100 people showed up, demonstrating that the issues of urbanism were important, if not widely discussed.

Today, CNU has over 3,100 members in 20 countries and 49 states. Federal cabinet secretaries (such as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo) and state governors (such as former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening) are proud to call themselves New Urbanists, and are promoting policies to make cities and towns more livable than ever. Over 1100 people attended CNU IX in New York City in June of 2001. Though the movement has drawn criticism from much of the architectural academy, the ideas behind CNU's Charter have been gradually integrated into the curriculum at the top planning and architecture schools.

More importantly, there are now over 210 New Urbanist developments under construction or complete in the United States. Real estate in these developments often sells at a premium compared to conventional sprawl.

The name CNU comes from the Congresses we sponsor, annual gatherings which bring together members of every field related to development. At Congresses, architects, landscape architects, planners, economists, real estate agents and developers, lawyers, government officials, educators, citizen activists, and students discuss issues related to the health and vitality of regions, towns, and neighborhoods.

Our Mission

As outlined in the preamble to our Charter, CNU advocates the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions. We stand for the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.

Rebuilding neighborhoods, cities, and regions is profoundly interdisciplinary. We believe that community, economics, environment, and design need to be addressed simultaneously through urban design and planning.

The Organization
CNU is a membership organization. CNU members undertake much of the organization's work through task forces. CNU's projects, whether organized by task forces or by staff, are called initiatives.

http://www.cnu.org/history

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