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May 31, 2009

Video Of Kelo's New London Neighborhood With Author Jeff Benedict

Posted: 30 May 2009 11:30 PM PDT

 

A short video with Jeff Benedict, author of Little Pink House - A True Story of Defiance and Courage (Grand Central Publishing 2009), which tells the backstory to the infamous Supreme Court eminent domain decision Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) (available from Amazon here).

More on the book here.

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May 30, 2009

Appraisal Intern, Commercial Appraiser

Appraisal Intern: Bachelors in Real Estate Required.  Please send resume to: harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net

The Harris Company

Commercial Appraiser

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U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 29, 2009, Commercial Appraiser

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 29, 2009
Friedland v. TIC - The Indus. Co., No. 08-1042
In a CERCLA action against entities who were jointly liable with Plaintiff for an environmental cleanup, summary judgment for Defendants is affirmed, where Plaintiff had already recouped all of the costs he sought from other parties and the collateral-source rule did not apply in CERCLA actions.     Read more...

Also See: Commercial Appraiser

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May 29, 2009

NAR's Commercial Division a Realcomm 2009 Sponsor (commercial appraiser)


NAR's Commercial Division a Realcomm 2009 Sponsor
NAR members will enjoy over 50% savings on the upcoming Realcomm 2009 Conference in Chicago on June 23rd & 24th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This is the 10th year for this premier technology conference that showcases automation and innovation for the commercial real estate industry. This year's conference "Reboot 09: Turning Challenges into Opportunities" features numerous industry speakers including: Dan Clute, Cisco Systems; Steven Messaros, Liberty Property Trust ; Bob Horn, Cushman Wakefield and Yardi's Bradley Setser. Day passes are $295 -- for June 23rd it covers Opening Session, Brokerage 2.0 Forum, Exhibit Hall/Green Pavilion access - use Promo Code RC09RCA1T; for June 24th the pass covers Energy Efficient Building Summit, Exhibit Hall/Green Pavilion -- use Promo Code RC09RCA1W. For $495, get a full conference pass which includes all education sessions, Exhibit Hall/Green Pavilion -- use Promo Code RC09RCA2. To register¸ go to...
http://w! ww.realt or.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT0000130E?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS052709&CAT=Comm

 

commercial appraiser

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Fed to Add Older CMBS to TALF (commercial appraiser)

Fed to Add Older CMBS to TALF
The Federal Reserve announced last week that it will include legacy assets for the first time in a $1 trillion program to revive credit markets, expanding the effort to commercial real estate securities issued before the start of this year. Adding older CMBS to the TALF is aimed at improving liquidity for the securities, which in turn "should facilitate the issuance of newly issued CMBS, thereby helping borrowers! finance new purchases of commercial properties or refinance existing commercial mortgages on better terms," the Fed said in a statement. Click to read the full Bloomberg column. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT0000130A?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS052709&CAT=Comm

 

commercial appraiser

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Inverse condemnation

More On McMansions

Posted: 28 May 2009 12:15 PM PDT

Our thanks to Dwight Merriam for responding to yesterday's post on "Maui Mansionism" and noting the more common terms "McMansion," "starter palace," and (my favorite) "garage Mahal."  He's also kindly forwarded two powerpoint presentations on regulation of big and tall homes: Monster Mash: Putting a Stop to Too-Big Houses (3mb pdf) and Teardown and Mansionization (4mb pdf).  Read his land use posts at IMLA's Local Government blog, and his book The Complete Guide to Zoning which we reviewed here.

Inverse condemnation

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

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May 28, 2009

Arizona Subsidized Housing Valuation

 Arizona Subsidized Housing Valuation
Highlights
                  
Tax PoliciesXArizona requires assessors to value subsidized and rent controlled property based on unsubsidized market rate comparables.
   
DescriptionA guideline from the Arizona Department of Revenue, issued in December 1998, discusses how to appraise subsidized housing. The purpose of the guideline is to provide a uniform appraisal methodology for the estimating the value of non-exempt, low-income subsidized housing. The guideline lists five scenarios that appraisers sometimes encounter. Specifically, they are subsidized housing built in areas where none would be built without subsidy, current use of the property, subsidized income of the property, actual construction costs, and USPAP Advisory Opinion A0-14. According to the guideline, case law requires that property be valued as unencumbered. Therefore, market rates should be used to estimate value for purposes of the tax code. The guideline does give some discretion to the assessor by allowing the assessor to consider feasibility issues when reviewing the value of a property.
Publication Date1998
OrganizationArizona Department of Revenue
Web Locationhttp://www.azdor.gov/Forms/Property/subhouse.pdf

Feedback: Please contact us if you have a similar experience.

Notice: The contents of this record reflect the views of the author and/or promulgating municipality, and should not be construed as representing the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or U.S. HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research. No attempt has been made by U.S. HUD or its contractors to verify the accuracy, currency, or validity of the record contents presented herein.

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Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Breakthroughs Newsletter
 
May 2009
 
This year's third edition of Breakthroughs has
just been posted on the Regulatory Barriers
Clearinghouse (RBC) website. In this issue,
you'll read about scaling back to gain
affordability, Virginia's efforts to promote
affordable housing, and affordable housing tax
increment financing districts.
 
Check out the May issue of Breakthroughs to see
how...
 
o Developers are building smaller homes to
increase affordability;
 
o Virginia is promoting affordable housing
development in the state; and
 
o Communities are utilizing tax increment
financing to fund affordable housing
development.
 
Again, you can read or download the current issue
at www.huduser.org/rbc/newsletter/vol8iss3_1.html.
If you have similar stories that you think would
help others, we'd like to know about them. 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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CEQA Update 
06/17/2009
Presented by: Real Property Section
Subsection/Committee: Land Use & Environmental
Co-Sponsored by: Environmental Section
Recent developments under the California Environmental Quality Act. Come here what is new, what has changed, and what the future may likely hold. New legislation and new case law and potential future developments, this program has it all. You don't want to miss this!
<CLICK HERE>

Demystifying the Escrow Process: Looking at the Ins and Outs of the Opening and Closing
06/09/2009
Presented by: Real Property Section
This presentation will provide an overview of escrows and the rules that govern them, the use of escrow instructions, closing statements, and general closing do’s and don’ts, with an emphasis on issues that regularly come up in real property practice.
<CLICK HERE>

There’s Something in the Air: Hot Issues at the SCAQMD
06/04/2009
Presented by: Environmental Law Section
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has long been in the forefront of air pollution control. This program will provide a forum for key members of SCAQMD’s legal team to discuss current issues of concern within the District, and to answer questions from practitioners and stakeholders regarding hot issues and practice before the District. This program will be valuable to all who interact with the District.
<CLICK HERE>

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May 26, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO SAN DIEGO: Multifamily Conference Offers Advice on Circumventing Credit Crunch

COUNTDOWN TO SAN DIEGO: Multifamily Conference Offers Advice on Circumventing Credit Crunch

Construction financing is still attainable, if you know where to look. Learn about obtaining and nenegotia ting for debt financing—including construction, acquisition and refinancing—in today’s difficult environment at the upcoming Multi-Housing World Leadership Summit 2009

KeatFoongThe conference, which is produced in conjunction with Multi-Housing News  magazine by Nielsen Business Media as part of the Nielsen Co., will be held from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in San Diego.

One panel in the Finance and Investment Track is called “Show Me the Money: How to Find, Negotiate and Secure Construction, Acquisition, Rehab and Permanent Financing.”

The panel will be led by David Hendrickson, managing director of Real Estate Investment Banking at Jones Lang LaSalle, a global financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. In the multifamily arena, the company has been active providing both investment sales brokerage and multifamily financing advisory services.

In particular, the panel will provide guidance on identifying the active debt financing sources today; the pros and cons of the different sources of financing; and how to approach capital sources, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA-insured financiers, for the best deals.

Also, have your questions answered. Panelists will include an executive from Freddie Mac, Mitchell Kiffe, vice president of production and sales, Multifamily Division at Freddie Mac. Also on the panel are Andrew MacIver, senior vice president at JP Morgan Chase and Jack Bauer, vice president at Prudential.

Other sessions in Multi-Housing World Leadership Summit’s Finance/Investment Track, which is also chaired by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hendrickson, includes: “When Will It Be Time to Buy Multifamily—and Is it Too Late to Sell?”; “Taking the ‘Stress’ Out of Distressed—Distressed Multifamily 101 for Buyers and Sellers”; and “Thriving Despite the Capital Shortages: Forecast and Advice for Multifamily Debt and Equity Financing.”

Multi-Housing World Leadership Summit also includes general sessions about the economy and multifamily markets, and other educational tracks specializing in the multifamily sector, on Operations, Architecture and Design, Technology and Marketing.

Hope to see you in San Diego in September.

(Keat Foong is the executive editor at Multi-Housing News. She can reached at Keat.Foong@nielsen.com)

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California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee


2009 9% Competitive Tax Credit Application (Updated 5/26/09)

Memo Regarding Updated Application (PLEASE READ)


For more information, visit our website at: www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac

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The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation

Upcoming AQB Meeting - July 10, 2009 - Sacramento, CA

The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation

will be holding their next public meeting in Sacramento. This is an

opportunity for California Appraisers to attend an AQB meeting.

For details: http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/s_appraisal/doc.asp?CID=4&DID=1205

OREA_Notices mailing list

If you wish to remove your email address from this

mailing list please send a blank email to this address:

orea_notices-leave@orea.ca.gov

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May 23, 2009

                                                 
 Nossaman Logo 

 

In Lieu Affordable Housing Fee Was Not Reasonably Justified Based On Existing Law

By David L. Colgan and Robert C. Horton  
April 21, 2009

In a significant new decision, the California Court of Appeal held that an increase in the City's in lieu affordable housing fee from $734 to $20,946 was not "reasonably justified."  (Building Industry Association of Central California v. City of Patterson (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 886.)  While the case concerns the interpretation of a specific provision in a statutory development agreement, the case is noteworthy because the Court concluded that the fee increase violated established statutory and constitutional legal requirements.  

The Court's Opinion  

The City and the developer entered into a statutory development agreement.  The agreement provided that the developer would pay an in lieu affordable housing fee of no less than $734 per residential dwelling unit, and that the developer would be subject to revisions to the fee that were "reasonably justified."  After the execution of the agreement, the City increased the affordable housing fee to $20,946 per single-family residential dwelling unit.  The City based the fee increase on a study that calculated the amount of revenue needed to bridge the "affordability gap" between the cost of a new market-rate unit and the cost of units affordable to very low, low, and moderate income households.  

The developer challenged the increase in the fee on the grounds, among others, that the increased in lieu affordable housing fees violated statutory and constitutional requirements that impact fees bear a "reasonable relationship" to the "deleterious public impact of the development."  In interpreting the "reasonably justified" provision of the development agreement, the Court of Appeal concluded that an objectively reasonable person would expect that phrase to mean that an increase in the in lieu affordable housing fee would conform to existing law and would not violate established legal principles. 

The Court then analyzed the takings caselaw applicable to impact fees and concluded that the increase in the affordable housing fee could not be "reasonably justified" as required by the development agreement "unless there is a reasonable relationship between the amount of the fee, as increased, and 'the deleterious public impact of the development.'"  (Id. at pp. 898-899 [quoting San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco (2002) 27 Cal.4th 643, 671].)  Applying this test, the Court found that neither the City's fee study nor anything else in the record indicated that the increased fee met the reasonable relationship requirement.  CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE.

 
 
 
        

ALSO ON INTEREST

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California Legislation Expands Design Build Authority for Public Facilities

 

 

 

California Legislation Expands Design Build Authority for Public Facilities

 

By Stanley S. Taylor, Patrick D. Harder, and Ashley C. Jacobson

April 23, 2009 

 

By signing Senate Bill 4 ("SBX2 4") into law on February 20, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger took a significant step towards bringing public agency procurements in California into the 21st Century.  SBX2 4, which was vigorously supported by the Governor's office, includes broad authority for state and local agencies to use the design-build delivery method for courts, correction and state office facilities and redevelopment agency projects.  The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of General Services, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and the Judicial Council to use design-build procurement methods for up to five state office, prison and court facilities and gives redevelopment agencies authority to use design-build procurements for up to ten projects.  While the Department of General Services has had limited design-build authority in the past, SBX2 4 is otherwise the first use of the design-build procurement method for these types of facilities in California.  Due to the limited number of authorized projects, however, selection of projects will be a key component to the proper utilization of SBX2 4 in California.

 

SBX2 4 also permits design-build and allows the use of public-private partnerships for certain transportation projects.

 

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

 
 
 
 

ALSO OF INTEREST

 

  • Nossaman's website now provides updated information on the Design-Build authority for transportation agencies in all 50 states, including affected agencies, relevant statutes and regulations, and required processes for DOT procurements.  To access Nossaman's comprehensive survey of Design-Build authority, please click here.
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May 18-22, 2009
       

Table of Contents

 
   

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

                 

• Tucson Herpetological Soc. v. Salazar
• Farr v. California Coastal Comm'n

   
FindLaw's case summaries are copyrighted material and are not intended for republication without prior approval. You may, however, freely redistribute this e-mail in its entirety.
To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.
   
             
             
             

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 18, 2009
Tucson Herpetological Soc. v. Salazar, No. 07-16641
In an Endangered Species Act challenge to the Secretary of the Interior's removal of an animal from the endangered species list, summary judgment for Defendant is affirmed in part, where Defendant reasonably determined that one of the habitats at issue was not significant, but reversed in part, where Defendant failed to determine whether the animal was extinct throughout a "significant portion of its range."   Read more...

California Appellate Districts, May 19, 2009
Farr v. California Coastal Comm'n, No. B204874
Trial court order denying petition for writ of mandate ordering defendant to vacate its decision and nullify a coastal development permit is affirmed where: 1) the Commission did not add words to Pub. Resources Code sec. 30251, and considered and protected scenic and visual qualities pursuant to the statute when it approved the permit; 2) plaintiff did not establish that there was a lack of substantial evidence for the Commission's decision, and the Commission did not err in its interpretation of the Local Coastal Program; and 3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion to supplement the record and finding the proposed additional photographs would be cumulative.     Read more...

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HAWSCT: Property Owners Entitled To Attorneys Fees & Costs For Failed Taking

HAWSCT: Property Owners Entitled To Attorneys Fees & Costs For Failed Taking, Even If Gov't Prevails In Intermediate Steps

Posted: 22 May 2009 08:06 PM PDT

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 101-27, when a condemnation action is "abandoned or discontinued before reaching a final judgment, or if, for any cause, the property concerned is not finally taken for public use," the condemnor is liable for: 

all such damage as may have been sustained by the defendant by reason of the bringing of the proceedings and the possession by the plaintiff of the property concerned if the possession has been awarded including the defendant's costs of court, a reasonable amount to cover attorney's fees paid by the defendant in connection therewith, and other reasonable expenses

In County of Hawaii v. C&J Coupe Family Ltd. P’ship, 119 Haw. 352, 198 P.3d 615 (Dec. 24, 2008) (posted here), the Hawaii Supreme Court held that property is not "finally taken" in a condemnation action when a single condemnation fails or is dismissed, even if the condemnor succeeds in a subsequent -- or concurrent -- attempt to take the property. [Disclosure: we represent the property owner in these cases.]  The court remanded the issue of damages sustained at the trial court level, and in a May 14, 2009 order (posted here), the trial court awarded the property owners 100% of the attorneys fees incurred at trial, including over $1.5 million in attorneys fees and $111,000 in costs.

Additionally, in County of Hawaii v. C&J Coupe Family Ltd. P'ship, No. 28822 (Apr. 21, 2009) (opinion posted here), the Supreme Court held that a condemnee is also entitled to damages it sustains on appeal.  As noted in this post, however, we asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its conclusion that the property owner was not entitled to damages associated with the County's motion to transfer the consolidated appeals from the Intermediate Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court because "the County prevailed" on that motion.  See slip op. at 29-30.  Today, in an order, the court agreed and amended its earlier opinion to read:

Although the County prevailed on that motion, it appears that Appellant has properly included attorneys' fees incurred in defending the motion to transfer in its Request, inasmuch as fees are encompassed under HRS § 101-27 as part of "all such damage as may have been sustained by the defendant by reason of the bringing of the proceedings" in Condemnation 1.  Therefore, those entries will be included in the fee award.

Order at. 5. In other words, what matters for the determination of governmental liability under section 101-27 is whether the property is "finally taken," not whether the government may win intermediate steps along the way. If the taking fails, the government is liable for all of the property owner's fees and costs, even those related to motions the government may have won.

The court did not amend any other portion of the opinion, noting that "costs of court" claimed under section 101-27 must be reasonable, and that copying costs are not included within the meaning of the term "costs of court" as used in that statute.  The amended opinion is available here.

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May 22, 2009

It Is Good To Be The King: Councilmembers Personally Immune From Charges Of Retaliatory Eminent Domain Abuse

Posted: 21 May 2009 10:16 AM PDT

 You may remember Mel Brooks' History of the World: Part I, where Brooks, as King Louis XIV, turns to the camera and exclaims "it's good to be the King!" each time he takes advantage of one of his subjects.

Well, it turns out that it really is good.

In Sable v. Myers, No. 07-6286 (10th Cir. Apr. 24, 2009), the U.S. Court of Appeals held that city councilpersons are absolutely immune from claims they used the domain power to take the property of an owner as retaliation for his having successfully brought a quiet title action against the city. 

Mr. Sable's property was immediately north of the city's public works facility.  His predecessor in title had adversely possessed from the city a portion of a former city street on the southern boundary of the property, and this "strip" was fenced in along with Sable's main parcel.  The city wanted to expand the public works facility and entered into negotiations with Sable to purchase the strip, but he eventually refused to sell.  After Sable's state-court quiet title suit began gaining traction, however, the city council voted to condemn both the strip and Sable's main property.  The Tenth Circuit highlighted the council's deliberations which formed the basis for Sable's belief:

 

Before the vote the Council discussed its power to acquire Mr. Sable’s property even if he did not want to sell it:

VICE-MAYOR FELTON: But in any case, could we acquire [Mr. Sable’s land], though? I mean, if [Mr. Sable] didn’t want to sell it?

JOHN WILLIAMS [a private attorney apparently retained by the City]: Yes, we can.

VICE-MAYOR FELTON: Just because of where it’s sitting, and why we want it?

CITY ATTORNEY MOLER: That’s right. If it’s for a public purpose—

Id. Vol. III at 872. At that point, as we understand the transcript of the meeting, various conversations began simultaneously.  But one exchange (on which Mr. Sable relies to show Defendants’ improper motive) was recorded:

COUNCILMAN RAWLS: . . . There’s none.

VICE-MAYOR FELTON: It’s good to be King.

 

Slip op. at 4.  When the city instituted condemnation proceedings Sable objected, but the state courts upheld the taking as having a public purpose. Sable then filed suit in state court against the councilpersons and the city, seeking damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for a retaliatory taking. The city removed the suit to federal court, which declined to grant the councilpersons absolute legislative immunity, and the appeal to the Tenth Circuit followed.   The Tenth Circuit held that decisions to condemn property are legislative judgments, and the councilmembers were thus completely immune from suit, regardless of their motivations:

The decision to expand the public-works facility was neither an administrative matter (such as the conduct of a meeting) nor an essentially ministerial task (as when applying the law and predetermined criteria to select a bid). Oklahoma law authorizes municipalities to exercise the power of eminent domain to obtain land for public works. The City's decision to take Mr. Sable's land was undoubtedly an exercise of discretion regarding a matter of public policy that would impact the functioning of public services for years to come. That the councilors may have exercised that discretion on the basis of motives that were irrelevant to public purposes does not affect the councilors' legislative immunity.

 

Slip op. at 12-13 (citations omitted). This case isn't all that groundbreaking on the legal issue -- legislators are generally completely personally immune from suits involving their legislative decisions -- but does give a peek behind the curtain at how and why decisions to take property are often made. The opinion ended with a recognition that while the legislators are immune, the city itself is not:

We appreciate the discomfort that may arise from the recognition of legislative immunity in this case. Mr. Sable's allegations (whose truth has not been adjudicated) create an ugly picture of the abuse of public power to achieve improper ends. Perhaps such pettiness is more likely to arise in municipal legislative bodies than in legislatures with more members and broader jurisdiction. It is also true, however, that charges of improper motive are likely easier to bring at the local-government level. And the honor and fortune that come from service in local government are slight enough that many capable candidates for municipal office would surely forgo the rewards of such service if faced with the possibility of being sued for every decision taken without public consensus. Moreover, those mistreated by municipal legislators are not without remedy. Not only are political remedies available, but a municipality, as opposed to its officials, is subject to suit under § 1983. History has shown that the greater good comes from protecting legislators from suit based on their legislative acts. This conclusion may be little solace to one who perceives himself to be the victim of abuse of power. But perhaps it emphasizes each citizen’s duty, for the public interest as well as one’s own, to seek the election of honest, capable leaders, or even run for office oneself.

Slip op. at 15. Thanks to Dean Patty Salkin's Law of the Land blog for bringing this decision to our attention.  Her summary of the case is here.

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May 21, 2009

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

Supplemental Information

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Before You Call Us, Do Your Homework

Information on Decline-in-Value Reassessments
 
Is My Property Being Reviewed for a Decline-in-Value?

It has been widely reported that the property values of single-family homes and condominiums throughout most of the State have been declining. While the declines in Los Angeles County have not been as dramatic as those in other parts of the State, property values have dropped in most areas of Los Angeles County.

How does this impact your property taxes? In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when a property suffers a "decline-in-value." A decline-in-value occurs when the current market value of your property is less than the assessed value as of January 1. The assessed value is the value shown on your most recent property tax bill.

Typically, an application is required to initiate a review of your property’s value by the Assessor. However, in 2008 the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office did a proactive review of those single-family homes and condominiums that were purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007. 318,000 properties were reviewed, resulting in lower assessments on 128,000 homes and condos. The average reduction in assessed value was about $73,000, amounting to an average property tax savings of $750. With the market still declining, we will again initiate a review in 2009. The number of properties in this review may approach 500,000 as we look at homes that sold between July 2003 and June 2008. In some areas, earlier purchases will be looked at. After April 1st, owners will be able to check this website to see if their home is part of the review.

We will complete this review by June, 2009 and notify in writing all those property owners whose property was included in the review. While Decline-In-Value applications are accepted from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009; if you purchased a house or condo in 2003 or later, we urge you to wait to submit your application until July when results of the proactive review are known.

If you own property other than a single family residence or condo, a Decline-In-Value application will be required for a review by the Assessor’s Office. An application is recommended if you believe the assessed value of the property shown on the 2008-09 tax bill is more than the fair market value as of January 1, 2009.

If you have received a solicitation from a private company seeking to lower the assessed value of your property, click here for more information.

Please click here to see if your property is being reviewed for a Decline-In-Value

Click here for a link to the Decline-in-Value Reassessment Application (Prop. 8).

Please click here to read the press release.

 
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L.A. Parking Lot Selling for More Than $100M

L.A. Parking Lot Selling for More Than $100M
AMB Properties Corp. is offering for sale a 21-acre parking lot in Los Angeles near the city's international airport. Cushman & Wakefield has the listing, which is expected to fetch more than $100 million. The airport's owner, Los Angeles World Airports, is among those negotiating to buy the property at Sepulveda and Century boulevards. Read Full Story

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PERSON OF THE WEEK: Edward Elanjian Talks Brownfield Lending
in From The Orb
By Jessica Lillian on Monday 18 May 2009
email the content item print the content item Follow MortgageOrb On Twitter
comments: 1
This week, MortgageOrb interviewed Edward Elanjian, executive vice president and chief financial officer at EnviroFinance Group LLC, a commercial mortgage lender specializing in financing the acquisition, remediation and redevelopment of contaminated land. Elanjian discusses the risks of brownfield lending, ways to mitigate those risks and why the public sector is getting involved with land remediation projects.

Q: Brownfield redevelopment is most closely associated with mixed-use projects, especially in recent years, but are these often very expensive projects still doable now? What other types of development are you seeing now with brownfield projects?
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inversecondemnation

Minn Court Of Appeals: Redevelopment Agency Exceeded Delegation Of Eminent Domain Authority

Posted: 20 May 2009 03:05 PM PDT

In Eagan Economic Development Authority v. U-Haul Company of Minnesota, No. A08-0767 (May 19, 2009), the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that when a delegation of eminent domain power from a municipality requires a redevelopment agency to enter into a development agreement before acquiring property, the agency is without power to take property until it enters such an agreement.

Most property owners within the redevelopment district did not object to the taking of their land but three did.  They argued that the city's resolution delegating condemnation power to the redevelopment agency incorporated a redevelopment plan into its requirements by reference.  As noted by the court, section 1-8 of the resolution provided:

The Redevelopment Plan contemplates that the City may acquire property and reconvey the same to another entity. Prior to formal consideration of the acquisition of any property, the City will require the execution of a binding development agreement with respect thereto and evidence of Tax Increments or other funds will be available to repay the Public Costs associated with the proposed acquisition.

Slip op. at 9 (emphasis original). The agency, however, argued that the redevelopment plan granted it broader authority and did not require it to enter into a development agreement first:

The second provision is section 1–12, which is a broader statement of acquisition of land: "The City may acquire such property, or appropriate interest therein, within the Redevelopment Project Area as the City may deem necessary or desirable to assist in the implementation of the Redevelopment Plan."

Id.  The agency did not enter into a development agreement, and the district court accepted its argument that the "broad language ... swallow[ed] the limiting language." Slip op. at 10. The court of appeals held the opposite, that the broad delegation in 1-12, which provided the "full extent" of the city's condemnation power, was "unequivocally qualif[ied]" by section 1-8 which made the entry into a development agreement the condition precedent to the exercise of the condemnation power. The court held:

The immediately apparent problem with the district court’s interpretation, which the EDA asks us to adopt, is that it disregards two well-worn maxims of statutory interpretation: First, a statute should be interpreted to give effect to all of its provisions, and, second, to the extent two provisions cannot be reconciled, the more specific provision should prevail over the general. Contrary to the EDA’s invitation to disregard section 1–8, we can reasonably give effect to both provisions by applying these principles so that neither part of the resolution is superfluous or insignificant.

Slip op. at 11 (citations omitted). The court also rejected the argument that the language limited the city's condemnation power but did not limit the agency's. The court noted that the city could delegate "no more power than the city possessed," and the delegation was limited by the city's self-imposed development agreement precondition. Slip op. at 12.  

More background on the case in Court rules against Eagan in eminent domain case.

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May 20, 2009

Justice Department Resolves Lawsuit Alleging Disability-Based Housing Discrimination at Four Multifamily Housing Complexes in Spokane County, Washington

Justice Department Resolves Lawsuit Alleging Disability-Based Housing Discrimination at Four Multifamily Housing Complexes in Spokane County, Washington

The Department announced today a settlement of a lawsuit alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the design and construction of four multifamily housing complexes in the Spokane, Wash., area in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

Under the settlement, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the defendants will pay all costs related to making the apartment complexes accessible to persons with disabilities and will pay $120,000 to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing. The developer will pay a $10,000 civil penalty to vindicate the public interest and most of the defendants will undergo training on the requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The defendants include developer Lanzce G. Douglass and companies owned and controlled by him; Beverly Neraas, as representative of the estate of the late Spokane architect Donald E. Neraas; architect Ralph W. Hoover; Independent Home Designs Inc.; the engineering firm J. R. Bonnett Engineering Inc.; and engineer Gary S. Nelson.

"This settlement agreement makes clear that the federal government takes seriously accessibility requirements for multifamily housing," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

"Accessible multifamily housing substantially improves the quality of life for many persons with disabilities in the Spokane area," said James A. McDevitt, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. "This settlement assures that these multifamily housing complexes will be modified to comply with the Fair Housing Act."

 

The following four complexes in Spokane will be retrofitted as a result of the settlement:

  • The Rock Creek Apartments, East Sitka Avenue and North Nevada Street
  • The Prairie Hills Apartments, Lincoln Road
  • The Granite Court Apartments, East 4th Avenue
  • The Hilby Station Apartments, South Palouse Highway #4

The retrofitting includes modifying walkways to eliminate excess slopes and level changes, providing accessible curb ramps, and parking and routes to site amenities, such as clubhouses, pools, mailboxes and trash facilities. The settlement also provides for the replacement of inaccessible knob door hardware with levers, the widening of inaccessible doorways, and the reconfiguration of bathrooms and kitchens to accommodate persons who use wheelchairs.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. Among other things, the Act requires that new multifamily housing development be designed and constructed with basic accessibility features, including accessible common and public use areas, accessible routes to and through apartments, doors wide enough for wheelchair users, kitchens and bathrooms with sufficient maneuvering space for wheelchair users, outlets and environmental controls in accessible locations and bathrooms with reinforcements for grab bars.

Persons who believe they may have been harmed by the lack of accessible housing at one of the apartment complexes involved in this matter should contact the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743. Please visit www.usdoj.gov/crt for more information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

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May 19, 2009

a new market indicator

IRVINE, CA-John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. has introduced a new market indicator called the Housing Cycle GPA that Burns has designed to identify the bottom of the current housing cycle. "In our quest to be the first to properly call a bottom in this housing cycle, we have developed a tool called the Housing Cycle GPA," the Irvine-based firm states.

An analysis by Burns has shown that the health of the market fundamentals such as demand, supply and affordability has proven to be a very good one- to two-year leading indicator for home price appreciation and decline. "By monitoring the early signs of recovery or decline in market fundamentals, our clients will be better able to prepare for the future," Burns says.

http://www.globest.com/news/1413_1413/orangecounty/178735-1.html

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May 18, 2009

14.121 Microeconomic Theory I, and III, Time Series Analysis

14.121 Microeconomic Theory I

Fall 2008 

Microeconomics focuses on patterns of supply and demand and the determination of price and output in individual markets. (Photograph courtesy of Darren Hester on Flickr.)

Course Description

This half-semester course provides an introduction to microeconomic theory designed to meet the needs of students in the economics Ph.D. program. Some parts of the course are designed to teach material that all graduate students should know. Others are used to introduce methodologies. Topics include consumer and producer theory, markets and competition, general equilibrium, and tools of comparative statics and their application to price theory. Some topics of recent interest may also be covered.

14.123 Microeconomic Theory III

Spring 2009

An example of a Cournot duopoly. After several rounds of elimination, the rationalizable outcome is approximated. (Image by Prof. Peter Eso.)

Course Description

This half-semester course discusses decision theory and topics in game theory. We present models of individual decision-making under certainty and uncertainty. Topics include preference orderings, expected utility, risk, stochastic dominance, supermodularity, monotone comparative statics, background risk, game theory, rationalizability, iterated strict dominance multi-stage games, sequential equilibrium, trembling-hand perfection, stability, signaling games, theory of auctions, global games, repeated games, and correlation.

14.384 Time Series Analysis

Fall 2008

Graph of time series equation. (Image courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)

Course Highlights

This course contains both lecture notes and supplemental recitation notes.

Course Description

The course provides a survey of the theory and application of time series methods in econometrics. Topics covered will include univariate stationary and non-stationary models, vector autoregressions, frequency domain methods, models for estimation and inference in persistent time series, and structural breaks. We will cover different methods of estimation and inferences of modern dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models (DSGE): simulated method of moments, maximum likelihood and Bayesian approach. The empirical applications in the course will be drawn primarily from macroeconomics.
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11.433J / 15.021J Real Estate Economics

11.433J / 15.021J Real Estate Economics: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Urban-Studies-and-Planning/11-433JFall-2008/CourseHome/index.htm

Fall 2008

Suburban community filled with new houses.
New homes are quickly replacing farmland in this suburb west of Des Moines, Iowa. (Image courtesy of Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.)

Course Description

This course, offered by the MIT Center for Real Estate, focuses on developing an understanding of the macroeconomic factors that shape and influence markets for real property. We will develop the theory of land markets and locational choice. The material covered includes studies of changing economic activities, demographic trends, transportation and local government behavior as they affect real estate.

Help support MIT OpenCourseWare

If these materials are helpful to you, please consider making a donation to MIT OpenCourseWare. Your contribution of $25, $50, $100 - or whatever amount is right for you - directly supports the production and distribution of high quality MIT course materials.

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Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Price Index

Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI): April Update

 http://web.mit.edu/cre/

April 24 , 2009

Update: The latest results of the Moody's/REAL CPPI (published by Moody's on April 20) show a price-change return of negative 0.6% in February for all properties in the national index. This reflects the same-property price change in realized round-trip investment for transaction closings in February compared to the previous month. This puts the Moody's Index 21.5% below its 2007 peak. Index methodology developed at MIT/CRE. Click here for Press Release on MIT-RCA index launch

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Frank Lopez

appraisal requestMonday, May 18, 2009 2:58 PM

From: "Frank Lopez" <franklopez@charter.net>Add sender to Contacts

To: "curtis_harris@harriscompanyrec.com" <curtis_harris@harriscompanyrec.com>

I need a FHA appraisal done on a duplex for 3818 E 58th St in Maywood.  Just sold at 391,000.  Front unit 2 bedroom and den.  Rear unit 1 bed one bath. Front vacant.  Rear is tenant occupied. How soon can you do it and can you reach the value?
--
Frank Lopez
Broker
(323) 633-8999
(626) 289-1111 fax

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Energy Industries Index

PROJECT NEW AMERICA


Energy Industries Index



 

 

A. The Energy Industry Global Elite
Companies that almost certainly will be involved in major development projects in the months just ahead

 


 

B. Geographic Index to Energy Projects and Companies Around the World
Hundreds of companies that may be involved in key projects

 

 

About these listings:

We cannot assure that these entries are complete or precise. They are based on reports received from many sources. We may have extensive information about some and only very rough notes about others. We have relied on many web sites. Changes are constant. There are many mergers, acquisitions, name changes, and start ups. Among the thousands of firms we have identified we feel sure that there are many firms that will be highly successful. However, we are also confident that there are some that will fail. Please email revisions and updates to karen.medernach@conway.com


 

A. The Energy Industry Global Elite

Some two dozen firms with extensive activities and holdings


Abengoa. HQ: Paseo de la Castellana, 31 - 3 Plat. 28046, Madrid, Spain. A large diversified energy company. Its affiliate Solucar is its active solar business unit. Firm is now developing "Solana," the world’s largest solar plant, at Gila Bend, AZ, in cooperation with Arizona Public Service. Abengoa Bioenergy is a subsidiary that is a world leader in ethanol production. U.S. office: 16150 Main Circle Drive, Suite 300, Chesterfield, MO 63017-4689. Phone: +1 636 728 0508.

Acciona Energy, HQ: Avenida Europa, 18, Parque Empresarial, La Moraleja, 8108 Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain. One of Spain’s largest corporations, develops and manages renewable energy projects, including small hydro, biomass, solar energy and thermal energy. It also has assets in the field of co-generation and wind turbine manufacture. Acciona is the owner and operator of 164 wind farms in nine countries. The firm is also the developer, owner and operator of Nevada Solar One,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acciona_Energy - cite_note-1#cite_note-1 the third largest facility of its kind. GE Energy Financial Services is investing in Acciona wind farms.

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The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program


From: HUD USER News
 
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the
federal government's primary vehicle for facilitating
production of rental housing targeted to low-income
households. Created by HUD and available to the public
since 1997, the LIHTC database has been updated to
include information on more than 29,225 projects and over
1.67 million housing units placed in service between 1987
and 2006.
 
Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program
gives states the equivalent of nearly $5 billion in
annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the
acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of
rental housing targeted to lower-income households. The
LIHTC database includes project addresses, number of
units and low-income units, number of bedrooms, year the
credit was allocated, year the project was placed in
service, whether the project was new construction or
rehab, type of credit provided, and other information on
project financing. The database has been geocoded,
enabling researchers to look at the geographical
distribution and neighborhood characteristics of tax
credit projects. It may also help show how incentives to
locate units in low-income areas and other underserved
markets are working.
 
Data are available through the LIHTC Database Access
website at www.huduser.org/datasets/lihtc.html. In
addition to downloading the entire database, users may
extract limited sets of data by selecting only variables
of interest, filtering for variable values, or
restricting the geographic extent of their query
at lihtc.huduser.org. Updating the Low-Income Housing Tax
Credit Database: Projects Placed in Service through 2006,
a report presenting the results of the most recent update
can be downloaded, free of charge,
at www.huduser.org/Datasets/lihtc/report9506.pdf.
 
--------------------------------------
Please contact us at:
HUD USER
P.O. Box 23268
Washington, DC 20026-3268
1-800-245-2691
1-800-927-7589 (TDD)
202-708-9981 (fax)
--------------------------------------
The HUD USER News eList keeps busy professionals in the
fields of housing and community development informed of
new research and resources available from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of
Policy Development and Research (PD&R). Periodically,
publication announcements and other useful information
will be sent via the eList. The HUD USER and Regulatory
Barriers Clearinghouses value your privacy; we do not
share our mailing lists with other groups, and you can
unsubscribe at any time.
 
You can search the eList archives
at http://listserv.huduser.org/
 
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MODELLING THE IMPACT OF WIND FARMS ON HOUSE PRICES IN THE UK

Sally Sims 1, Peter Dent 2 and G. Reza Oskrochi 3. MODELLING THE IMPACT OF WIND FARMS ON HOUSE PRICES IN THE UK // International journal of strategic property management. Vilnius: Technika, 2008, Vol. 12, No. 4 , p. 251-269. www.harriscompanyrec.com/windstudyuk.pdf : 10.3846/1648-715X.2008.12.251-269
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Government Must Pay 100% Of Owner's Defense Fees In Illegal Condemnation

Government Must Pay 100% Of Owner's Defense Fees In Illegal Condemnation

Posted: 18 May 2009 12:55 AM PDT

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 101-27, when a condemnation action is "abandoned or discontinued before reaching a final judgment, or if, for any cause, the property concerned is not finally taken for public use," the condemnor is liable for: 

all such damage as may have been sustained by the defendant by reason of the bringing of the proceedings and the possession by the plaintiff of the property concerned if the possession has been awarded including the defendant's costs of court, a reasonable amount to cover attorney's fees paid by the defendant in connection therewith, and other reasonable expenses

The County of Hawaii filed a condemnation lawsuit, and when it looked like that action was in legal jeopardy, filed a second lawsuit seeking to take virtually the same property. The trial court eventually held the first condemnation was an unconstitutional private taking, but upheld the second.  The County denied it was liable for 101-27 damages even though the property was not taken in the first condemnation, because it was successful in the second. 

In County of Hawaii v. C&J Coupe Family Ltd. P’ship, 119 Haw. 352, 198 P.3d 615 (Dec. 24, 2008) (posted here), the Hawaii Supreme Court held that property is not "finally taken" in a condemnation action when a single condemnation fails or is dismissed, even if the condemnor succeeds in a subsequent -- or concurrent -- attempt to take the property. The Supreme Court ordered the trial court the issue of the amount of damages incurred in the trial court, and in a May 14, 2009 order (posted here), the trial court awarded the property owners all of the attorneys fees incurred at trial, including over $1.5 million in attorneys fees and $111,000 in costs.  The court held the rates charged for professional services were reasonable "given the complexity, breadth, and amount of issues presented in this case and the extensive experience of counsel in this area of law." Disclosure: we represent the property owner in these cases.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

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May 17, 2009

                       
Nossaman Logo 

 

California Legislation Expands Design Build Authority for Public Facilities

 

By Stanley S. Taylor, Patrick D. Harder, and Ashley C. Jacobson

April 23, 2009 

 

By signing Senate Bill 4 ("SBX2 4") into law on February 20, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger took a significant step towards bringing public agency procurements in California into the 21st Century.  SBX2 4, which was vigorously supported by the Governor's office, includes broad authority for state and local agencies to use the design-build delivery method for courts, correction and state office facilities and redevelopment agency projects.  The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of General Services, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and the Judicial Council to use design-build procurement methods for up to five state office, prison and court facilities and gives redevelopment agencies authority to use design-build procurements for up to ten projects.  While the Department of General Services has had limited design-build authority in the past, SBX2 4 is otherwise the first use of the design-build procurement method for these types of facilities in California.  Due to the limited number of authorized projects, however, selection of projects will be a key component to the proper utilization of SBX2 4 in California.

 

SBX2 4 also permits design-build and allows the use of public-private partnerships for certain transportation projects.

 

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

 
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GAMING LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

 GAMING LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
   Murphy v. Burch , No. S159489
   In a quiet title action between owners of adjoining properties,    court of appeal's judgment is affirmed where plaintiff did not    establish an easement by necessity, as the need for access by itself    does not entitle a landlocked property owner to burden a neighbor's    land when the easement claim is traced back to a federal patent that    did not reserve a right of access over the defendant's property when    it conveyed that property and retained plaintiff's landlocked    property. Read more in HTML...   Read more in PDF...

 

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 20, 2009
U.S. Bank, N.A. v. EPA, No. 08-3083
In a bankruptcy proceeding, the Bankruptcy Court's order granting the EPA's claim against the Debtor for groundwater cleanup compensation under CERCLA is affirmed, where: 1) the Bankruptcy Court did not err in determining that the Debtor assumed its predecessor's liabilities; and 2) the Bankruptcy Court had no notice of the Trustee's intent to rely on a late-filed expert report.   Read more...

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Land Use
 
Obama Administration Revokes Rule Changes to Endangered Species Consultation Regulations

By Paul Weiland , George Mannina, and Robert Thornton
May 5, 2009

On April 28, 2009, the Obama Administration announced that it is revoking the controversial Endangered Species Act ("ESA") rule promulgated by the Bush Administration to streamline the ESA section 7 inter-agency consultation process and to limit the scope of ESA consultations on agency actions with greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions.  The revocation of the rule will likely result in an increase in ESA litigation against federal agency approvals of highways, power plants, urban development and other projects with GHG emissions.

Notice of the Administration's decision is available here

Discussion

The Bush Administration drafted the rule at issue to limit consultation requirements for the effects of individual sources of GHG emissions and their contribution to global climate change.  It also codified several aspects of informal consultation that - according to the preamble to the rule and the rule itself - were intended to streamline and provide increased predictability to the process.  Finally, it clarified the definition of direct, indirect, and cumulative effects.  The environmental community criticized the Bush Administration for promulgating the rule, which was finalized on December 16, 2008, without adequate opportunity for public notice and comment.  The environmental community also claimed that the rule violated the ESA by delegating authority to make certain ESA determinations by the federal action agency instead of by the federal wildlife agencies.  CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
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GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
   Ste. Marie v. Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space Dist. ,    No. S159319
   Court of Appeals judgment is reversed where the "actual dedication"    referred to in Public Resources Code sec. 5540 differs from the    "dedication" referred to in sec. 5565, and legislative intent    supports a finding that property is not deemed automatically    dedicated for park or open space purposes upon acquisition by    operation of sec. 5565. Instead, an interest in real property is    actually dedicated under sec. 5540 when a resolution of dedication    is formally adopted by the district's board of directors.    Defendant's board of directors had not adopted a resolution actually    dedicating the property in dispute for park or open space purposes,    so the land was not subject to the restrictions on conveyance set    forth in sec. 5540. Read more in HTML...   Read more in PDF...

U.S. Supreme Court, May 04, 2009
Burlington No. & Santa Fe R.R. Co. v. US, No. 07-1601
In a CERCLA action by the U.S. seeking recovery of the costs of cleaning up hazardous waste at a railroad facility, court of appeals' order reversing judgment for defendant is reversed, where 1) defendant was not liable as an arranger for contamination at the facility; and 2) the district court reasonably apportioned defendants' share of the remediation costs.    Read more...

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 28, 2009
New Mex. v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 06-2352
In a challenge to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) order opening certain land in New Mexico to mining, judgment for Defendants is reversed in part, where the BLM failed to conduct sufficient environmental analysis, and vacated in part, where the reintroduction of the endangered species allegedly threatened by the order rendered certain claims moot.   Read more...

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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES 

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 14, 2009
Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Marina Pt. Dev. Co., No. 06-56193
In a Clean Water Act (CWA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) action against a developer, judgment for Plaintiffs is vacated and the District Court is instructed to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction where: 1) Plaintiffs failed to notify Defendants of their intent to sue as required by the CWA; and 2) Plaintiffs' claims under the ESA were moot.   Read more...

U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 11, 2009
Abdur-Rahman v. Walker, No. 08-12345
In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action based on Plaintiffs' discharge by the state Department of Public Works for reporting violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), judgment on the pleadings for Defendants is affirmed, where there is no private right of action for violating the CWA and Plaintiffs' reports were not citizen speech under the First Amendment.   Read more...

 

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May 16, 2009

More Lies From the Appraisal Institute, Jim Amorin, Appraisal Institute, MAI

More Lies From the Appraisal Institute

 “Yesterday, Thursday, appraisers may have had 50 or 60 clients that they could deal with, so if they were getting undue pressure from somebody they could just tell that client no, I'm not doing any more work for you,” says Jim Amorin, of the Appraisal Institute (MAI.) “Today the number of players in the field have been drastically reduced to generally these appraisal management companies, so the pressure that's going to be brought to bear on appraisers we fear is going to be as strong if not stronger than it was before, the whole thing the code of conduct was trying to address.”

Frankly, Mr. Amorin  and the Appraisal Institute (AI) are full of it!  They are and have been in bed with the major lending institutions for at least 25 years, since their defection from the National Association of Realtors (i.e. the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers,AIREA) and their (MAI) appraisers are primarily responsible for “DEBOCLE-I.”  Ere go licencing!  If you don't believe me, call the head's of the Commercial Appraisal Departments of Wells Fargo and Bank of America and ask them how many of their appraisers are not Members of the Appraisal Institute. 

They are also an integral part of the Appraisal Foundation, who is responsible for appraiser governance.  Many MAI's are employed by the Foundation and State Agencies, including the Office of Real Estate Appraisers, in California and yet, for years, they did nothing to interfere with, or retard infalted home prices, corruption, or the fraud which caused “DEBOCLE-II.”   The Appraisal Institute's only concern has been to corner the market with it's low quality, high priced, made as instructed appraisal product(s.)

Mr. Amorin's suggestion that an appraiser would have 50 to 60 clients at any one time is totally ridiculous, I have been in the Real Estate Business for over 30 years and have never met an appraiser who has had more than a handful of clients at one time.  His second statement is base, specious, and borders on FRAUD.   The number of “players” (as if this were a game) has not changed as a result of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC.)  Fee appraisers  are still free to work for whomever they choose.  If good appraisers chose not to work for 'Appraiser' Management Companies then they, the AMC's,  will subsequently be forced out of business, due to a low quality (i.e. MAI) product. Isn’t this how business is supposed to work?

The one thing that you will never hear from these opponents to the HVCC is that the affected financial institutions will be required to fund a private organization  to monitor complaints from appraisers, about lender and AMC preasure.  Something that the Appraisal Foundation and State Regulatiors were unable to do, something this industry has never had, and something this industry desperately needs.  I can recall a number of occassions that I felt pressure and had no one to report it to.  If they, the new regulatory body, do their job properly, AMC’s who attempt to apply pressure on appraisers will again, I believe, be forced out of business.

For the Record: I am not involved with an 'appraiser' management company and personally think that they should be banded, to protect the consumer from unnecessary increased costs/appraisal fees. But, one thing is absolutely certain, our industry despriately needs to be free of the Appraisal Institute, their Monopely, LIES, and Misrepresentations!

PS: I have been accused, on many occassions, of wearing Rose Colored Glasses, but you can be sure of one thing, for all the Tea in China, I would not trade them for a pair of Money Green Goggles available, for purchase, at the Appraisal Institute (AI/MAI.)

We are online every Monday, 5:00-6:00pm-pst to discuss your real estate and appraisal issues.  Just go to our website and click on the "oline now" button
Thanks!
Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
State Certified General Appraiser
Real Estate Broker
ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
HUD 203k Consultant
HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
FannieMae REO Consultant

The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Consultants
*PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

5780 West Centinela Avenue, Bldg 1, Suite 408
Los Angeles, CA. 90045
310-337-1973 Office
310.251.3959 Cell
WebSite:
http://www.harriscompanyrec.com
Ranked Number One on Google:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&newwindow=1&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&q=commercial+appraiser+los+angeles
Get In The "LOoP," a Real Estate Services Directory and Custom Search Engine: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=000747579154309164948%3Annakvu69iqy or: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/Custom_Search_Results_CSE Curriculum Vitae Posted on The Expert Witness Network website: Password (2008) http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2008.pdf
Mobile email:
3102513959@mobile.mycingular.com
Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/blog

Residential Appraiser Blog: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/blog1

Apprsiaers Talk Back: http://www.hwforums.com/2191/

For Fax Transmissions Please Use MongoNet (Password: ifax)
http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/files/IFax_MLS_Curtis_HArris_cover.pdf

West Legal Directory Profile: http://expert4law.org/CurtisHarris

The RESN (Real Estate Social Network): http://commercial-appraiser-appriasal.ning.com/

IT’S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]:  Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization:  A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

 

P.S.

Q: How do you know when an MAI is lying?

A: Opens his MOUTH!


P.P.S

Q. How do you know when an MAI has Committed Fraud?

A. He Signs his Signature.

 

President-elect, Appraisal Institute



As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2008.

Jim Amorin, Appraisal InstituteThis is perhaps the most-transformative time for real estate appraisers in two decades, according to Appraisal Institute President-Elect Jim Amorin, who says that some of the changes -- actual or planned -- will also affect mortgage brokers. With rumors of appraisal changes having circulated for months now, Amorin addresses the ideal relationship between appraisers and mortgage brokers.

Recent proposals call for prohibiting brokers from ordering appraisals. What's the institute's stance on that? Many appraisers have spent years developing good business relationships with honest and ethical mortgage brokers. To remove those folks from the process would take away a potentially large source of appraisers' business. If you're talking about professional and ethical mortgage brokers, then there would be no reason to exclude those folks from the ordering process.

How do you suggest making sure that brokers are honest and ethical? We think one way to do that would be to make sure that there are either civil or criminal penalties against people who put undue pressure on appraisers.

I'm not talking about a mortgage broker ordering an appraisal and having questions about the appraisal. That's a typical, everyday part of what happens, and that's not really pressure.

What I'm talking about is making sure that once we submit that appraisal to mortgage brokers, they don't say, "If you don't raise that value, you're not going to get any more work from us."

What suggestions do you have for brokers working with appraisers? The best thing mortgage brokers can do is provide all the necessary information -- including the current property address and contact information for the borrower -- and be clear about what type of appraisal they're looking for: a full appraisal or a drive-by appraisal. After that, they should stand back and let appraisers do their jobs without any undue influence.

If brokers are barred from the appraisal-ordering process, what other effects will there be? Lenders will either do the appraisal-ordering themselves, or they'll hire appraisal-management companies to do it for them. In our experience, appraisal-management companies focus on two things, neither of which is necessarily good for the consumer. They focus on who can do the appraisal fastest and [who can do it] cheapest. Ultimately, the outcome will be lower-quality appraisals.

Noting the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act reform and other alterations to mortgage policy, what's the Appraisal Institute's primary concern? Making sure our members can develop credible appraisals. If we can develop a meaningful process where mortgage brokers can be involved, then many of our members are going to be very happy. They have great relationships with mortgage brokers who help ensure unbiased, neutral and pressure-free appraisals.

Darrick Meneken is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or darrick@scotsmanguide.com.

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May 15, 2009

Last updated: May 14, 2009  06:17pm
Apartment Rents Slide With Economy

Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES-Rents are projected to slide and vacancies to inch upward in the Los Angeles apartment market, but the L.A. multifamily market remains one of the healthiest sectors of commercial real estate despite weakened fundamentals, according to a new report. The survey of conditions in the second quarter thus far by Marcus & Millichap shows that renters are doubling up--in other words, taking in roommates to ease expenses as job losses reduce incomes. The report notes that the estimated year-over-year elimination of more than 30,000 manufacturing jobs marketwide "has weighed on vacancy in the South Bay/Long Beach market, which will likely result in the area’s first annual rent reduction since 1993."

commercial appraiser/commercial appraisal

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Materials And Links From Today's Water Law Seminar

Posted: 14 May 2009 04:22 PM PDT

To those who attended today's seminar "Integrating Water Law and Land Use Planning," thank you.  The materials from my session on "Water Rights, Property Rights and the Law of Settled Expectations" are below. 

  • Kaiser Aetna v. United States, 444 U.S. 164 (1979) - the Hawaii Kai Marina case - physical invasions, regulatory takings, and interference with settled expectations.
  • Maui Tomorrow v. State of Hawaii, 110 Haw. 234, 131 P.3d 517 (2006) - Hawaii water law is not a federal case.  Summary of the decision here.
  • Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926), the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court first upheld the segregation of land uses in an Ohio suburban town into districts against a substantive due process challenge. Law students study the case, land use lawyers and planners know it intimately, and "Euclidean" zoning has become the shorthand for district-based single use zoning.
  • Hadachek v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394 (1915) - the government's police powers can be used to protect against nuisances.
  • Joseph L. Sax, The Public Trust Doctrine in Natural Resource Law: Effective Judicial Intervention, 68 Mich. L. Rev. 471 (1970).  Copy available here.  
  • A counterpoint to Waihole: David L. Callies & Calvert G. Chipchase, Water Regulation, Land Use and the Environment, 30 U. Haw. L. Rev. 49 (2007).  Copy posted here.
  • Upsetting settled expectations in shoreline law - accretion and erosion: Maunalua Bay Beach Ohana 28 v. State of Hawaii, No. 28175 (Haw. ICA) - here's the brief we filed which illustrates the principle that the legislature (or a court) cannot simply change the settled law without raising takings concerns. The issue in that case is whether the state or littoral landowners are entitled to ownership of accreted land. In "Act 73," the legislature declared that shoreline land naturally accreted belongs to the State of Hawaii and is public property.  The act overturned the age-old rule of shoreline accretion and erosion, which held that beachfront owners lose ownership of land when it erodes, but gain it when it accretes.  Instead of these balanced rules, Act 73 made the erosion/accretion equation one-sided: the State wins every time. 

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

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Court Okays Eviction of FCRC, Boymelgreen

NEW YORK CITY-Lawyers representing developer Henry Weinstein won two legal actions in the New York State Appeals Court that will give Weinstein the right to go ahead with eviction proceedings of another Brooklyn developer, Jeshayahu Boymelgreen, and Forest City Ratner Cos.

The unanimous decision reverses a March 2007 ruling from Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ira Harkavy that allowed Boymelgreen to remain as an occupant, despite the termination of his lease. The decision also gives Weinstein the right to sue Boymelgreen and FCRC for monetary judgments. The decision says FCRC was given an illegal assignment to two properties by the lessee Boymelgreen in violation of the lease terms, which required the landlord’s legal approval to assign.

http://www.globest.com/news/1410_1410/newyork/178679-1.html

 

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May 14, 2009

FannieMae FORMS

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  1. Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (Form 1004)
    This report form is designed to report an appraisal of a one-unit property or a one-unit property with an accessory unit; including a unit in a planned unit development (PUD), based on an interior and exterior &
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1004.jsp
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  2. Market Conditions Addendum (Form 1004MC)
    The Market Conditions Addendum (Form 1004MC) is designed to enhance the transparency of the market trends and conditions conclusions made by the appraiser. The Market Conditions Addendum will be required with all one- &
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1004mc.jsp
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  3. Small Residential Income Property Appraisal (Form 1025)
    This report form is designed to report an appraisal of a two- to four-unit property, including a two- to four-unit property in a planned unit development (PUD).
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1025.jsp
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  4. Two- to Four-Unit Residential Appraisal Field Review Report (Form 2000A)
    Lender use this form for the spot-check appraisal component of the quality control process
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 2000a.jsp
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  5. Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report (Form 1073)
    This report form is designed to report an appraisal of a unit in a condominium project or a condominium unit in a planned unit development (PUD) based on an interior and exterior inspection of the subject property.
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1073.jsp
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  6. Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (Form 1004D)
    This report form is intended to provide the lender/client with an accurate update of a prior appraisal and/or to report a certification of completion. The appraiser must identify the service(s) provided by selecting the&
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1004d.jsp
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  7. Master Residential Appraisal Report (Form 2045)
    The Master Residential Appraisal Report (Form 2045) enables approved master appraisal lenders to take advantage of Master Residential Appraisal Process (MRAP). Master appraisal lenders are lenders that are prior &
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 2045.jsp
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  8. Individual Cooperative Interest Appraisal Report (Form 2090)
    This report form is designed to report an appraisal of the cooperative interest (the cooperative shares or other evidence of an ownership interest in the cooperative corporation and the accompanying occupancy rights) in&
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 2090.jsp
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  9. Single-Family Comparable Rent Schedule (Form 1007)
    Form to obtain the market rent for a conventional single-family investment property from the appraiser
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 1007.jsp
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  10. One-Unit Residential Appraisal Field Review Report (Form 2000)
    A lender uses this form for the spot-check appraisal component of its quality control process. This appraisal field review report is intended to provide the lender/client with an opinion on the accuracy of the appraisal&
    https://www.efanniemae.com / sf / formsdocs / forms / 2000.jsp
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What the Bank 'Stress Tests' Tell Us About Commercial Real Estate
By Mark Heschmeyer
If the current economic malaise brings down any of the largest banks in the country, commercial real estate likely WON'T be the culprit. Office, industrial and retail properties specifically are even less likely to bring down the nation's top banks. The 19 largest U.S. banks, which account for 70% of the bank holdings of this country, were the focus of the U.S. Federal Reserve 'stress tests' results released this past week. Under the worst case scenarios envisioned for the...  
» Click here for full story
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May 13, 2009

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee


2009 9% Competitive Tax Credit Application (Updated 5/13/09)

Memo Regarding Updated Application


For more information, visit our website at: www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac

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2009 NH&RA Spring Developers Forum May 11-12, 2009

 

***Early Registration Extended***

NH&RA will be convening its 2009 Spring Developers Forum at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California. Online conference registration and hotel reservations is now open.

Click here for Registration Information
Click here for Hotel Information

Click here for Conference Brochure

About the NH&RA Spring Developers Forum

NH&RA is a professional association of like-minded, successful and driven individuals who are involved in affordable housing, tax credit development and historic rehabilitation.

We meet quarterly in attractive seasonal settings for serious discussions of cutting-edge issues affecting our business. Our meetings are renowned for their combination of cutting-edge information and opportunities to network and socialize at recreational activities designed to foster and build relationships.

Our Spring Forum is one of the major events each year at which our members come together to discuss industry trends, assess policy initiatives and exchange ideas.

Real estate development, particularly affordable housing, historic rehabilitation and New Markets Tax Credit transactions, is a challenging, knowledge-intensive, and relationship-driven enterprise. It requires up-to-the-minute knowledge and collaboration with top-notch professionals. That’s where NH&RA comes in. Whether it’s issues of financing techniques, equity investment, deal structuring, asset management, subsidy allocations, project design, management operations or new development opportunities, you’ll get the information here. Our organization provides state-of-the-art information shared openly by leading developers, investors and professionals, and extraordinary opportunities for developing new contacts.

Our members work with low income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, new market tax credits, tax-exempt bond financing, and state housing finance agency, FHA, HUD and USDA rural development programs and include developers, equity investors, lenders, state and local officials, bond underwriters, attorneys, accountants and other professionals. Our members recognize the value of sharing information. They appreciate the setting offered by NH&RA. They now that they can count on meeting the most dynamic individuals in the business. NH&RA members will attest to the growth they have experienced in their business as a result of the relationships gained through participating in NH&RA.

NH&RA members receive tremendous value from the trend spotting, information sharing, relationship building and business development opportunities at the Association's conferences. NH&RA has provided a forum for developers since 1971 and, with 37 years experience, attracts the most sophisticated participants

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California Tax Credit Allocation Committee


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funding Applications


For more information, visit our website at: www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac

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Apartment Market Conditions Worsen Further, But at Slower Pace

Apartment Market Conditions Worsen Further, But at Slower Pace
Published: May 04, 2009

By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor

Washington, D.C.--Apartment market conditions continue to worsen, though the pace is decelerating, according to the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) latest Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions.

While all four market indexes remained below 50 (index numbers below 50 indicate conditions are worsening; numbers above 50 indicate conditions are improving), they all rose from three months ago. In particular, about half of respondents thought conditions were unchanged in the sales volume, equity finance, and debt finance markets.

“It still does not look like the apartments sector has reached its bottom,” Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's Chief Economist, tells MHN. “With the economy still shedding jobs, one cannot predict when the bottom will be reached. Even if the recession is declared over some time during this year, based on previous downturns, we know that unemployment will keep rising for a period of time after that, [which is a negative for the apartment sector.]”

“This global downturn has led to the most challenging economic conditions in at least five decades, and the apartment industry is suffering like other industries,” he says. "Capital remains difficult to obtain, and the sharp and continuing drop in employment, in particular, is sapping demand for apartments in markets throughout the country."

Findings from the survey:

  • The Market Tightness Index, which measures changes in occupancy rates and/or rents, rose to 16 from 11 last quarter. Nevertheless, 73 percent of respondents said markets were looser (meaning higher vacancy and/or lower rents). While this was the seventh straight quarter in which the index has been below 50, the low reading may partially represent normal seasonal weakness.
  • The Sales Volume Index rose from 12 to 30, the highest level in seven quarters. Over half of all respondents (52 percent) noted that sales volume was unchanged from three months earlier, while 43 percent indicated sales were lower. Though this was a far smaller figure than in the six previous quarters, this was the 14th consecutive quarter the index has been under 50 (an indication of declining sales).
  • The Equity Financing Index increased from 12 to 29. Forty-seven percent of respondents thought equity financing conditions were unchanged, the highest such response in seven quarters. Roughly the same share (46 percent) considered equity financing conditions worse than three months earlier—also the best reading in almost two years. This was the eighth consecutive quarter with an index reading below 50.
  • The Debt Financing Index rose from 26 to 41, with 14 percent of respondents reporting that now is a better time to borrow than three months earlier. That compares with 33 percent who think debt financing conditions have worsened. More than half (53 percent) said debt finance was unchanged. This was the eighth straight quarter with an index reading under 50.
  • One-third (33 percent) said competition was unchanged. Another four percent thought there was less competition, and 11 percent don’t consider condos and single-family rentals to be significant competition for apartments in their markets. A slight majority, 52 percent, did report more competition from condos and single-family rentals than in previous years.
“Interestingly,” he continued, “despite considerable media focus on the “shadow rental” market, only a slim majority of respondents noted greater competition from condos and single-family rentals than in previous years.”
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May 12, 2009

PolicyMap 30-Day Free Trials

30-Day Free Trials

Posted under: Update — Tags: Boxwood Means, Claritas, County, Demographics, Education, PolicyMap, Subscription Features by Phil V. @ 1:42 pm

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Free 30-day Standard Subscription Trial!

Your trial gives you unprecedented access to over 4,000 indicators related to housing, education, mortgage originations, energy, demographics, jobs and more. PolicyMap is fast, efficient and captures data in visually powerful ways through custom maps, tables and reports.

Here are some datasets you’ll be able to access and key tools you’ll gain as a subscriber:

  • Boxwood Means home sale data from 2008 with historic data back to 2001.
  • Demographic estimates and projections from Claritas for 2007 and 2012.
  • Primary and secondary school performance data for schools and school districts from GreatSchools for 2004 through 2008.
  • Data rich reports for any city, zip code, district, custom region or radius.
  • Custom regions or boundaries you draw for maps or reporting.
  • Custom cut points for data ranges on the maps.

To receive a free trial, just attend one of our online demos so can you learn how to use all of the functionality available to you in PolicyMap. The demos are quick and will allow you to put your trial to use now! Please send an email to phil.vu@policymap.com with a date and time from the calendar below. We will confirm your attendance and send you instructions on how to access the demo through a GoToMeeting.

This offer is only for users without prior or existing subscriptions. If you are a previous or existing subscriber and would like more information about your PolicyMap subscription, please contact Phil Vu at phil.vu@policymap.com or 215-574-5896.

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From: HUD USER News

From: HUD USER News
 
HUD is now soliciting grant applications under the
Department's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP),
which makes available nearly $2 billion in Recovery Act
funding to combat the effects of home foreclosures.
Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
 of 2009, this round of NSP funding will award grants
competitively.
 
The $2 billion will assist state and local governments,
as well as nonprofit developers, in acquiring land and
property, demolishing or rehabilitating abandoned
properties, and/or offering downpayment and closing cost
assistance to low- and middle-income homebuyers. Grantees
can also use the funds to stabilize neighborhoods by
creating "land banks" with which to assemble, temporarily
manage, and dispose of foreclosed homes. NSP also seeks
to prevent future foreclosures by requiring housing
counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance
and by requiring grantees to ensure that new homebuyers
under this program use a mortgage lender who agrees to
comply with sound lending practices. Applications for NSP
funds will be due July 17, 2009.
 
HUD will also provide up to $50 million in technical
assistance grants to help grantees in managing the
inventory of foreclosed homes purchased under the
Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Applications for NSP
technical assistance will be due June 8, 2009.
 
The Department is committed to providing the highest
level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are
spent quickly and efficiently. Every dollar of Recovery
Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's
 Recovery Act website, where the full text of HUD's
funding notices and the ability to track future grant
performance is also available. More information and the
NSP Notice soliciting grant applications is available
at www.hud.gov/nsp
 
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Upcoming Water Law Seminar - Integrating Water Law and Land Use Planning

Upcoming Water Law Seminar - Integrating Water Law and Land Use Planning

Posted: 11 May 2009 12:14 PM PDT

There's still time to register for the upcoming seminar "Integrating Water Law and Land Use Planning," being held in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Hotel on Thursday, May 14, 2009 from 9am - 4:30pm.  I'll be leading the session on "Water Rights, Property Rights and the Law of Settled Expectations," and my Damon Key colleage Christi-Anne Kudo Chock is handling "Hawaiian Water Rights - Where Culture and the Law Merge."

Also on the faculty are Lenore Nakama Ohye, a hydrologic planning program manager for the State of Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management; Lawrence E. Beck, P.E., from the County of Hawaii Department of Water Supply; and Lawrence Miike, M.D., a Commissioner on the Water Commission.  Seminar details, including a complete agenda and registration information, are posted here.

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May 08, 2009

Appraisal Foundation - February Q&A

Appraisal Foundation - February Q&A

QUESTIONS REGARDING 2010-11 REVISIONS TO THE ETHICS RULE
The Appraisal Standards Board recently adopted changes to the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE that will become effective January 1, 2010 for the 2010-11 edition of USPAP. The specific language that has been adopted, and which has initiated questions and concerns is:

If known prior to accepting an assignment, and/or if discovered at any time during the assignment, an appraiser must disclose to the client, and in the subsequent report certification: 1) any current or prospective interest in the subject property or parties involved; and 2) any services regarding the subject property performed by the appraiser within the three year period immediately preceding acceptance of the assignment, as an appraiser or in any other capacity.

Comment: Disclosing the fact that the appraiser has previously appraised the property is permitted except in the case when an appraiser has agreed with the client to keep the mere occurrence of a prior assignment confidential. If an appraiser has agreed with a client not to disclose thathe or she has appraised a property, the appraiser must decline all subsequent assignments that fall within the three year period.

The goal of maintaining public trust makes it important that the client have knowledge regarding an appraiser’s prior services associated with the subject property in advance of engaging that appraiser. The ASB has compiled the following list of questions and answers:

Question 1: I heard about the changes to the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE and I am concerned. Is it true that I will not be able to reappraise a property for three years after a prior appraisal?

Response 1: No. The revised ETHICS RULE that goes into effect on January 1, 2010, will require appraisers to disclose any services regarding the subject property provided as an appraiser or in any other capacity during the three years prior to the new assignment. It does not include any prohibition against reappraising a property.

Question 2: I occasionally receive requests to appraise a property that I have appraised in the past. With the changes to the ETHICS RULE, I will be required to disclose any assignments that I performed within the three years prior to the date of acceptance of the assignment. Is such a disclosure not a violation of an appraiser’s responsibility under the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE?

Response 2: Generally, no. The Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE prohibits, with some exceptions, the disclosure of “confidential information or assignment results prepared for a client.” The mere fact that an appraiser appraised a property is not confidential information as defined in USPAP. However, the appraiser must be careful not to disclose confidential information from a previous assignment in the new assignment.

Question 3: I am concerned that when I tell a prospective client that I have previously provided a service related to a property, it will lead to questions that I cannot answer without violating the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE. I am sure the new client will want to know when I appraised it, and what my value conclusion had been. How can I address these questions and comply with USPAP?

Response 3: It is likely that many potential clients will ask such questions. However, without authorization from the original client, the appraiser cannot disclose the results of the previous appraisal or any other confidential information. One way to address this problem would be to explain that as an appraiser, you are subject to confidentiality requirements and cannot disclose that information. You could go on to explain that the confidentiality requirements are in place to protect clients, including the one who is engaging you for the new assignment.

Those parties who regularly order appraisals will become accustomed to the new disclosure requirements, and will likely stop asking after a relatively short time.Question 4: Some of my best clients require me to keep all information regarding any assignments that I perform for them confidential. The Comment states in part, “If an appraiser has agreed with a client not to disclose that he or she has appraised a property, the appraiser must decline all subsequent assignments that fall within the three year period.” Will this prevent me from appraising a property for a different client during that three year period?

Response 4: Perhaps, but USPAP does not require that the disclosure provide any specific details. For example, the disclosure, both prior to accepting the assignment and in the report’s certification, could include a statement similar to one of the following:

I have provided a previous service regarding the subject property within the three years prior to this assignment; or I have previously appraised this property in the three years prior to this assignment.

If an appraiser cannot make such a statement without violating an agreement with a previous client, then the appraiser must not accept the new assignment. Appraisers should review their client agreements to specifically determine what information they have agreed to keep confidential.

Question 5: Most of my assignments are completed using common residential appraisal report forms. I am concerned that my clients will not allow changes to the certification on the report forms. The Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE requires that I disclose prior services regarding the subject property in the certification. Does this mean that I will not be allowed to appraise a property for these clients if I had performed a service regarding that property in the previous three years?

Response 5: USPAP compliance is the appraiser’s responsibility and adding this information to the certification will be a requirement beginning January 1, 2010. While deletion or modification of client-imposed certifications are generally not allowed, most clients will likely allow additional certifications that do not constitute material alterations to the appraisal report. It is not uncommon for appraisers to add supplemental certifications and this may be necessary in some cases until commonly-used appraisal forms are revised to reflect the changes to USPAP.

Question 6: The Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE requires that I disclose prior services regarding the subject property provided within the three years prior to acceptance of an assignment. I am appraising a residential property on which I acted as the general contractor when it was built four years ago. Since this service was more than three years ago, am I correct in not disclosing that to a new client?

Response 6: USPAP establishes a minimum standard of three years, and that is what you are required to disclose. However, the overriding goal of USPAP is to promote and maintain public trust in appraisal practice. Therefore, when an appraiser believes that having provided a previous service that occurred prior to the three years may be relevant to the client, it would be important that the appraiser disclose the information.

Question 7: If the firm that employs me as an appraiser has provided leasing or property management services in the past three years for the subject property, must this be disclosed?

Response 7: Not necessarily. The ETHICS RULE requires disclosure of services “provided by the appraiser.” However, if an appraiser believes that the provision of a service by the appraiser’s firm or other related entity may be relevant, he or she should disclose that information to a potential client.

Question 8: If I will be conducting an auction of the subject property after the appraisal, does this have to be disclosed?

Response 8: Yes. This is an example of a “current or prospective interest in the subject property.” USPAP currently requires that such an interest be disclosed in the certification, but not necessarily prior to accepting the assignment. Under the 2010 requirements, the appraiser must also disclose this prior to acceptance of an assignment or upon discovery during the assignment.

Question 9: May the disclosure that must be made at the time of acceptance be oral? May it be made in an email to the client?

Response 9: USPAP does not specify how the disclosure upon acceptance or discovery must be made. It may be appropriate in some cases to provide an initial oral disclosure. If the client decides to proceed, it may be appropriate that the appraiser’s disclosure be restated in writing. One way to accomplish this is by including it in a letter of engagement. In other cases an email would be appropriate.

The Record Keeping section of the ETHICS RULE requires that the appraiser’s workfile include “all data, information, and documentation necessary to…show compliance with this Rule...” So, the disclosure prior to acceptance or upon discovery must be documented in the appraiser’s workfile.

For more information, visit www.appraisalfoundation.org.

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From Real Estate Southern California:
Work in real estate law may be plentiful, though painful for some attorneys' more economically fragile clientele.
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Cap rates for multifamily transactions across the country are ticking up

LOS ANGELES-Cap rates for multifamily transactions across the country are ticking up at a decent pace. That’s what CB Richard Ellis found in its third informal survey of capitalization rates among apartment transactions in 35 major US markets. Senior professionals who participated in the survey provided their best estimates for stabilized and value-add deals on class A, class B and class C multifamily properties.

The locally based firm found that in 33 of the 35 markets examined, cap rates rose by an average of 150 basis points between March 2008 and March 2009, due in large part to the turmoil in the capital markets as well as poor real estate fundamentals. The increases were higher for class A properties compared with class B or C, whereas in the past, the latter classes would see cap rates move up sooner and further than class A assets.

Likewise, value-add opportunities saw greater upticks than stabilized deals. Among metros, for class A stabilized communities, Atlanta saw the biggest increase over the year, 225 basis points, to range from 7% to 8% in March 2009. Houston came in second, with a 213-basis-point increase to 7.5% to 8%. Rising 200 basis points a piece were New York City and Portland, which had cap rates ranging from 6.5% to 7% and 5.25% to 6.75%, respectively.

For value-add opportunities in the class A space, Atlanta again saw the largest basis point increase (250) between March 2008 and March 2009, for cap rates ranging from 7% to 7.75%. Cap rates for San Diego value-add properties rose 238 basis points to fall between 6.25% and 7.25%. And rounding out the top three was Phoenix, where rates went up 225 basis points to between 7% and 7.5%.

Seeing no movement at all were cap rates for deals involving value-add properties in Cincinnati and Detroit, where they ranged from 6.75% to 7.25% and 8% to 8.5%, respectively.

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May 07, 2009

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Disability-based Housing Discrimination at Six Complexes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
CRT
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Disability-based Housing Discrimination at Six Complexes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against Equity Homes Inc, PBR LLC, BBR LLC and Shane Hartung in U.S. District Court in South Dakota for failing to provide accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act at multi-family housing developments in Sioux Falls.

The lawsuit, which originated from a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), concerns six Sioux Falls complexes - East Briar Apartments, West Briar Apartments, Kensington Apartments, Beverly Gardens Apartments, Sertoma Hills Apartments and Sertoma Hills Villas.

"When builders and designers construct homes without regard for accessible features, they are effectively shutting the door to persons with disabilities," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "Designing and constructing multi-family housing without basic features of accessibility violates the law."

"The Fair Housing Act’s design and construction standards for accessible housing in multifamily dwellings are clear and have been law for 18 years. Most architects, builders and developers get it right. We commend Fair Housing of the Dakotas for bringing this case to our attention for enforcement of the law," stated HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. Among other things, the act requires that new multifamily housing developments be designed and constructed with basic accessibility features, including accessible common and public use areas, accessible routes to and through apartments, doors wide enough for wheelchair users, kitchens and bathrooms with sufficient maneuvering space for wheelchair users, outlets and environmental controls in accessible locations, and bathrooms with reinforcements for grab bars. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to include certain of these required accessibility features at each of the six complexes.

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to modify the complexes to bring them into compliance with federal laws and prohibiting future discrimination by the defendants, as well as monetary damages to compensate victims.

Fighting illegal housing discrimination is a top priority of the Justice Department. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.usdoj.gov/crt. Additional information about the Fair Housing Act is also available at www.usdoj.gov/fairhousing and www.HUD.gov. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

The complaint is an allegation of unlawful conduct. The allegations must still be proven in federal court.

###

09-444

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May 05, 2009

Apartment Vacancy Rates Jump to Over 7% in 1Q 2009

Washington, D.C.--National vacancy rates for rental housing in the first quarter of 2009 were 10.1 (+ 0.4) percent, according to the latest figures released by the Census Bureau.  Meanwhile, apartment vacancy rates for the same time period stood at 7.2 percent, Grub and Ellis found.
Top Stories
Q&A with Kenneth Olson: Keeping Property Occupancy and Collection Rates High is Critical

Kenneth Olson is the president and CEO of POKO Partners LLC, a Port Chester, New York-based development and management company whose projects are focused mostly in the tri-state area. Olson talks to MHN about projects that POKO currently has under development, the company’s management strategy during the economic downturn, and hidden opportunities to be uncovered during the recession.
 
Multi-Housing Communities Use Mystery Shoppers to Evaluate Customer Service

Findlay, Ohio--Kelly Carmichael’s job is to walk into an apartment leasing office pretending to be someone looking to rent. It is also her job to ask a few questions about the apartments, wait for a member of the leasing office to take her around the community, and finally go back and wait for a follow-up call from the leasing office.

Demand for Apartments Expected to Bottom Out This Year

Boston--Demand for commercial real estate is expected to hit rock bottom this year with the apartment sector enduring the lightest demand loss in 2009 of all the commercial property types. However, that's not saying much, as this will still be the heaviest loss in apartment demand in 25 years (Graph 1), according to the first quarter 2009 forecast report from Property and Portfolio Research Inc. (PPR).

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This document is available in three formats: this web page (for browsing content), PDF (comparable to original document formatting), and WordPerfect. To view the PDF you will need Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded from the Adobe site. For an official signed copy, please contact the Antitrust Documents Group.

 

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MAY 4, 2009
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
AT
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH
CONSOLIDATED MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE INC.

Settlement Will Result in More Choices, Better Services, and
Lower Commission Rates for South Carolina Consumers

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a proposed settlement with Consolidated Multiple Listing Service Inc. (CMLS) that requires CMLS to change its rules to allow low-priced and innovative brokers to compete with traditional brokers in the Columbia, S.C., area. The Department said the rules caused consumers to pay more for residential real estate brokerage services in the Columbia area.

The Department's Antitrust Division filed its proposed settlement in U.S. District Court in South Carolina. If approved by the court, the proposed settlement would resolve the Department's antitrust concerns.

"Today's settlement will remove unlawful impediments to competition for real estate brokerage services in the Columbia area and will lead to more choices and lower brokerage fees for South Carolina consumers," said Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "For most Americans, purchasing a home is the most significant purchase of their life. This settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice's continuing commitment to preserve competition in the real estate brokerage industry."

A multiple listing service (MLS), like the one operated by CMLS, is a joint venture of real estate brokers that combines its members' home listings information into an electronic database that is made available to all member real estate brokers. This database serves as a clearinghouse for the members to communicate important information among themselves, such as descriptions of the listed properties for sale and offers to compensate other members if they locate purchasers for those listings. In addition, the database allows member brokers who represent buyers to search for nearly all the listed properties in the area that match the buyer's needs.

Because the MLS's database is the primary source of home listings information on virtually every home listed for sale in a given area, access to the database - and therefore MLS membership - is critical for any real estate broker seeking to serve clients successfully in the MLS's service area. Consequently, the rules adopted by the MLS governing who can be a member and how members must behave can have a significant impact on competition among real estate brokers in the area served by the MLS.

In May 2008, the Department's Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against CMLS in U.S. District Court in South Carolina, challenging policies and rules that restrained competition among brokers in Columbia in several ways. CMLS imposed burdensome prerequisites to membership that prevented some real estate brokers, such as those who would likely compete aggressively on price, from listing homes for sale in the MLS's database, ensuring that those brokers could not compete in the Columbia area. CMLS required applicants for membership to discuss the nature of their businesses with a committee of incumbent members and reserved the power to deny membership to brokers who they feared would compete too aggressively. CMLS also stabilized the price of brokerage services by forcing its broker members to provide a full set of brokerage services regardless of whether a client wanted the required services. The Department said that those rules prevented consumers from receiving the full benefits of competition, discouraged discounting, and threatened to lock in outmoded business models.

The proposed settlement with CMLS requires it to change those rules and prohibits it from adopting new rules that exclude real estate brokers from membership based on their business models or price structures. CMLS must allow any broker holding the appropriate license under South Carolina law to become a member and cannot continue to exclude brokers based on their business models. It will repeal rules that denied Columbia-area home sellers the ability to hire a real estate broker to perform only the specific services the seller desired, at a lower cost than the seller would pay a traditional, full-service broker. CMLS also will repeal its requirement that its member brokers use only the single contract approved by CMLS, which blocked home sellers from alternative arrangements that allowed them to avoid paying any commission to their broker if the sellers found buyers for their homes.

The proposed settlement, along with the Department's competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register, as required by the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act. Any person may submit written comments regarding the proposed final judgment within 60 days of its publication to John R. Read, Chief, Litigation III Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 5th Street, N.W., Suite 4000, Washington, D.C. 20530 (Tel: 202-307-0468). At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the court may enter the proposed final judgment upon a finding that it serves the public interest.

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09-429

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Announcement 09-12, Updates to Credit Score Requirements and Nontraditional Credit Report Requirements

Announcement 09-12, Updates to Credit Score Requirements and Nontraditional Credit Report Requirements


Fannie Mae has issued the following Announcement:

  • 09-12, Updates to Credit Score Requirements and Nontraditional Credit Report Requirements

This Announcement has been issued to:

  • Clarify how to determine a representative credit score and applicable pricing when one borrower has traditional credit and a credit score and other borrowers are relying solely on nontraditional credit;
  • Clarify representative credit score requirements when two of three scores are the same or when a foreign credit report is used;
  • Clearly state the requirements for mandatory delivery of credit score data fields for all loans, including government loans and Refi Plus™ loans (and including a data field ID in the case of nontraditional credit);
  • Clarify the lender's options when a representative credit score is less than the minimum required for MyCommunityMortgage® (MCM®) loans; and
  • Update our nontraditional credit requirements for MCM loans and for purposes of the Comprehensive Risk Assessment Worksheet for Manual Underwriting.

These changes are effective for all whole loans purchased or loans delivered into MBS with issue dates on or after August 1, 2009. Please see Announcement 09-12 for details.

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Monday Eminent Domain Round-Up

Monday Eminent Domain Round-Up

Posted: 04 May 2009 01:43 PM PDT

Here's what we've been reading today:

  • Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network's Where We Live show has posted a mp3 of an interview with Jeff Benedict, author of "Little Pink House," the book about Kelo v. City of New London. More about the book here.
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Court Rules in Favor of Redevelopment Agencies

Last updated: May 4, 2009  08:40pm
Court Rules in Favor of Redevelopment Agencies

State Capitol Building
SACRAMENTO-A Superior Court Judge here last week ruled unconstitutional a provision in the Legislature’s September 2008 budget package that would have required redevelopment agencies statewide to give back $350 million to help fund state obligations in the current budget cycle. Officials at the state Department of Finance are reportedly reviewing the decision and evaluating their legal options.

The lawsuit argued that diverting redevelopment funds to balance the state's budget violating Article XVI, Section 16 of the California Constitution. The section states that redevelopment funds can only be used to finance redevelopment project activities.

Judge Connelly concurred, writing in his ruling that the ERAF transfer policy, " ... in its general and ordinary operation, inevitably conflicts with and violates the terms and intent of section 16, to allocate tax increment revenues to the financing of redevelopment projects."

 

California Redevelopment Association executive director John Shirey says that in addition to being unconstitutional taking redevelopment dollars from communities is “poor policy” during a recession, when communities desperately need the funds can “to generate jobs and economic activity that we desperately need."

The funds were to be diverted to the state’s Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund. The California Redevelopment Association did not mention that fact in announcing its victory.

Such RDA money transfers to ERAF have been completed several times since 1992. The transfers have been based on legislative findings and declarations regarding the relationship between redevelopment purposes and adequately funded school operations: “[T]he effectuation of the primary purposes of the Community Redevelopment Law, including job creation, attracting new private commercial investments, the physical and social improvement of residential neighborhoods, and the provision and maintenance of low- and moderate-income housing, is dependent upon the existence of an adequate and financially solvent school system.”

A new finding was added for the this year’s would-have-been transfer: “Because of reduced funds available to the state to assist schools that benefit and serve redevelopment project areas…it is necessary for redevelopment agencies to make additional payments to assist the programs and operations of these schools… .”

In addition to arguing that the transfers are unconstitutional, the CRA argued that the procedures surrounding the ERAF transfers provide no assurance that the funds will be distributed to schools within the redevelopment project area. It also argued that it could be a slippery slope leading to more transfers to fund police and other public agencies that could be seen as benefiting redevelopment areas.

While ruling in favor of the CRA, Judge Connelly stated that “the Court cannot dispute the existence of some relationship between the achievement of economic and residential development purposes and the adequate funding of school operations to educate students living within redevelopment project areas and housing assisted by RDAs.”

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May 01, 2009

QUIZZES

QUIZZES

We've created more than a dozen interactive quizzes on hot topics that affect your business, from fair housing laws to office organization.

FEATURED QUIZ: 2009 First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit

In February 2009, the government approved an $8,000 tax credit to qualified first-time buyers purchasing a residence that year. Take this quiz to make sure you can talk intelligently about the tax credit to your customers.


MOST POPULAR

RESPA
Office Organization
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ALL QUIZZES

1031 Exchanges
2009 First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit
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Buyers' Favorite Features
Buyer, Seller Profiles
CAN-SPAM Act
Code of Ethics
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Federal Fax Laws
Federal Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Foreclosures
From Contract to Closing
Image and Etiquette
Keeping Customers for Life
Listings: The Basics
Listing Presentations
National Do-Not-Call Registry
Negotiation
Office Organization
Personal Assistants
Personal Marketing
Property Marketing
Prospecting
Real Estate Investment
REALTOR® History
REALTOR® Trademark Usage
RESPA
Safety on the Job
Sexual Harassment Awareness
Staging Savvy
Understanding Gut Instincts
Working With Buyers
Year in Review: 2006 Trivia
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Demand for Apartments Expected to Bottom Out This Year

Demand for Apartments Expected to Bottom Out This Year

Boston--Demand for commercial real estate is expected to hit rock bottom this year with the apartment sector enduring the lightest demand loss in 2009 of all the commercial property types. However, that's not saying much, as this will still be the heaviest loss in apartment demand in 25 years (Graph 1), according to the first quarter 2009  forecast report from Property and Portfolio Research Inc. (PPR).

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Justice Department Sues Fitchburg, Mass., Housing Authority for Disability Discrimination

Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 1, 2009
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
AG
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Justice Department Sues Fitchburg, Mass., Housing Authority for Disability Discrimination

 

 

The Department today filed suit against the Fitchburg Housing Authority in Fitchburg, Mass., and its Executive Director Robert W. Hill alleging that they violated the Fair Housing Act when they refused to allow a tenant to transfer to a different apartment as a reasonable accommodation for her disabilities.

The suit seeks monetary damages for the victims, a court order barring future discrimination, and a civil penalty. The complaint is an allegation of unlawful conduct. The allegations must still be proven in federal court.

Fighting illegal housing discrimination is a top priority of the Justice Department. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.usdoj.gov/crt . Additional information about the Fair Housing Act is also available at www.HUD.gov .

 

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, also alleges that the defendants have engaged in a denial of rights to a group of persons or a pattern or practice of discrimination because they implemented reasonable accommodation and transfer policies that discriminated against persons with disabilities other than mobility impairments.

The lawsuit originated from a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by the complainant. After an investigation, HUD found reasonable cause to believe that unlawful discrimination had occurred and referred the matter to the Justice Department.

"Public housing authorities must operate under the full scope of the Fair Housing Act and not engage in any pattern or practice of discrimination. Reasonable accommodations must be made available to those who need them," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King for the Civil Rights Division.

"Landlords need to exercise flexibility and open-mindedness when people with disabilities seek an exception to policies, practices or procedures that may be necessary to afford that person the same enjoyment of an apartment that is enjoyed by others," said Bryan Greene, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Rigid policies that make only limited exceptions for people with disabilities do not take into consideration the variety of challenges that people face and the need to tailor accommodations to the needs of a specific individual."

 

 

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09-423

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