In September 2017, the California legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted Senate Bill 35 (SB 35) to streamline housing development in cities that are not meeting their housing needs. SB 35 is aimed at easing California’s severe housing shortage and affordability crisis but was highly controversial due to concerns about loss of local control over housing development. In the year since SB 35 was enacted, several development projects in the San Francisco Bay Area have invoked SB 35 to bypass local opposition or cumbersome permitting timelines.
Throughout 2018, we have discussed the implications of the legalization of marijuana on the real estate industry. In this final year-end edition, we provide a few important considerations and recommendations for property owners, landlords and tenants when purchasing or leasing green property.
The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) recently posted final adopted text for amendments to the CEQA Guidelines. The result of over five years of development efforts by the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research and CNRA, the amendments are the most comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines since 1998. In “Natural Resources Agency Finalizes Updates to the CEQA Guidelines,” Pillsbury environmental attorneys Norman F. Carlin, Kevin Ashe and Eric Moorman explore the wide range of issues covered in the amendments, including the new Vehicle-Miles-Traveled (VMT) methodology for analyzing transportation impacts; use of regulatory standards as significance thresholds; environmental baselines; and numerous procedural and technical improvements.
This update follows an earlier post discussing Proposition 10’s potential impacts and pre-election prospects, available here.
What happened on Election Day
Despite California’s sky-high rents, voters just rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed cities to expand rent control. With 100% of precincts reporting, 61.7% of voters opposed Prop 10, while 38.3% voted to approve the measure. The ballot measure only achieved a majority in one of California’s fifty-eight counties, San Francisco. In Los Angeles County, 47.2% of voters supported the proposition. However, the ballot measure fared substantially worse in Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno and Orange counties. These results highlight the measure’s widespread unpopularity.
The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) is an inter-agency committee designed to review foreign investments that raise national security concerns. While you may have seen CFIUS play a role in prior transactions, upcoming expanded regulations will further impact acquisitions of U.S. real estate.
How exactly will this occur?
In less than two weeks, California voters will decide whether to pass Proposition 10, which would allow cities and counties across the state to expand rent control.
Supporters of the measure say it will protect tenants during a time of unprecedented housing affordability problems in California. Opponents argue that the measure will stall housing construction—the levels are already low—and further increase costs.
On June 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of Center for Biological Diversity, et al., v. Export-Import Bank of the U.S., affirming the ruling of the District Court, which granted Export-Import Bank of the United States’ (Ex-Im Bank) summary judgement motion finding that, “as a threshold matter,” the plaintiff environmental groups lacked standing to pursue either of their National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) or Endangered Species Act (ESA)] claims. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held “that the action is not moot [but] affirm the district court on the question of standing.”
Recently, our colleague Trevor Wood published a Client Alert titled LIBOR and the Transition to Risk-Free Rates, discussing the Chief Executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) recent announcement that, because of insufficient trading in the underlying markets, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) will no longer be supported by the FCA after 2021. Take always from the Client Alert include:
- Work continues on the transition to risk-free rates, but progress is slow—FCA has published timetable and milestones.
Legalized cannabis use is rapidly sweeping the nation. Currently, 29 states have legalized some form of cannabis, effectively turning the majority of the United States green. In this post, we will take a closer look at some of these green states and discuss cannabis real estate trends across both state and country lines.
Risks and rewards abound at the intersection of online advertising and privacy for virtually every industry, and real estate is no exception. In his recent post on real estate firms and digital advertising, our colleague James W. McPhillips explores some of the considerations that owners, developers and managers should keep in mind when employing digital advertising to brand and otherwise promote properties.