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Introductory Comment

Coming Events

Recent Cases


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An ePublication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Volume 7, Number 11 • November 2012 • Archive of Past Issues
Real Property Home Page


Introductory Comment

I hope that you enjoyed this year’s Crocker Symposium as much as I did.   I thought that the last program on the schedule that was moderated by the radio personality and quizzed 4 of the leading real estate professionals in our community was worth the price of admission by itself.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Norm Chernin, Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address
: nchernin@firstam.com

Coming Events

Recent Cases

CEQA
Minor deficiencies and inaccuracies in EIR for proposed expansion of industrial facility did not prejudice the environmental review process because they would not have precluded informed decision making or informed public participation. Addition of two noise reports as part of final EIR did not require recirculation. Where draft EIR contained a summary of the findings in both reports and expressly identified both reports, and the reports were available for public review, inclusion of the two reports with the FEIR did not amount to adding "significant" new information.
Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center v. County of Siskiyou (Roseburg Forest Products Co.)
filed September 26, 2012, publication ordered October 18, 2012, Third District
Cite as C064930
Full text

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CEQA
While CEQA compliance is not required if a project has been approved by initiative, this compliance is required when a developer's supporters gather signatures of 15 percent of the registered voters on an initiative petition to approve the development, and the lead agency chooses to forgo the election and adopt the initiative directly as an ordinance, pursuant to Elections Code Section 9214.
Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)
filed October 30, 2012, Fifth District
Cite as F063849
Full text

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CEQA
With respect to EIR for residential development project, which identified adverse impacts on the Quino, an endangered species, post-approval formulation of habitat plan's provisions for active management of the Quino within proposed preserve violated CEQA's proscription against deferred mitigation measures. City's analysis of project's water supply impacts violated CEQA because there was insufficient evidence an adequate long term water supply existed for the project. Trial court correctly found that plaintiffs were prevailing parties and did not err in awarding them attorney fees and costs, where plaintiffs identified significant flaws in city's analyses of various environmental impacts, at least two of those flaws applied to the entire project and resulted in city's reconsideration of CEQA compliance, and thus both resulted in the enforcement of important public interest laws and conferred a significant benefit on the general public.
Preserve Wild Santee v. City of Santee (HomeFed Fanita Rancho, LLC)
filed October 19, 2012, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as D055215
Full text

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CEQA--Water Law
Irrigation district's agreement to provide water to tribal land for casino project did not qualify under CEQA's categorical exemption for "small" projects, where the district would have been required to provide far more water to the land than it had in the past. Where local agency formation commission previously approved district's annexation of tribal land, subject to conditions that included a limit on the amount of water the district could provide, district was not free to subsequently adjudicate whether the conditions were constitutional or to ignore them.
Voices for Rural Living v. El Dorado Irrigation District (Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians)
filed October 4, 2012, Third District
Cite as C064280
Full text

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Construction Law
Lack of contrast marking stripes on theater steps was a patent defect as a matter of law, so architect was not liable for alleged failure to warn owner that lack of such stripes was dangerous, when the stripes were in architect's plans and plaintiff's injuries occurred after owner accepted architect's completed work.
Neiman v. Leo A. Daly Company
filed October 30, 2012, Second District, Div. One
Cite as B234537
Full text

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Deeds of Trust
Bank made construction loan to developer, who entered into a trust deed with bank, pursuant to which it conveyed to bank a security interest in the entire project--a combination of residential condominium and retail units. The trust deed explicitly covered not only the real and personal property but also the developer's rights as declarant under the CC&Rs, including certain voting rights. The developer repaid a portion of the debt in exchange for a partial reconveyance deed releasing to it the bank's security interest in the retail units. Trial court erred in finding that developer, as owner of the retail units, retained those voting rights because the plain language of the CC&Rs, the trust deed, and the reconveyance deed all indicated that the voting rights associated with the retail units were not reconveyed.
PV Little Italy, LLC v. MetroWork Condominium Association
filed September 26, 2012, publication ordered October 18, 2012, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as D057488
Full text

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Environmental Law
Administrative civil liability order levied by regional water quality control board for violation of Clean Water Act--allowing sediment-laden storm water to flow off the sides of a residential subdivision construction site under development and enter into adjacent ephemeral drainages encompassing swales, ditches, and culverts that eventually connected to "waters of the United States"--was within board's jurisdiction, regardless of whether the ephemeral drainages themselves were waters of the United States within the meaning of the Act.
Garland v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
filed October 24, 2012, Third District
Cite as C067130
Full text

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Land Use
Local ordinances limiting potential alternative uses of land currently occupied by mobile home parks did not facially constitute a taking of the property under the Constitution where plaintiff owners could show only minimal economic harm, the restrictions did not affect the "primary expectation" of return on investment, and the ordinance did not force plaintiffs to continue to operate mobile home parks. Ordinances did not violate takings clause of state constitution because they do not deprive owners of the right to freely dispose of their property.
Laurel Park Community, LLC v. City of Tumwater
filed October 29, 2012
Cite as 11-35466
Full text

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Take a Little Off the Top
Trial court's award of $15,000 for loss of aesthetics resulting from unlawful cutting of tree that was partially on defendant's property and partially on plaintiff's--in addition to smaller award for the economic value of the tree--was supported by substantial evidence where plaintiff's testimony, corroborated by photographs and experts' testimony, demonstrated that while defendant's contractor may have cut just 30 percent of the tree, he drastically reduced the tree's aesthetics and compromised its ability to provide shade.
Rony v. Costa
filed October 26, 2012, First District, Div. One
Cite as A128596
Full text

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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2012 Real Property Section Newsletter

 

REAL PROPERTY SECTION PUBLICATIONS
Daniel L. Goodkin, Editor, Real Property Section Review
Norman A. Chernin, Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter

SECTION OFFICERS
Chair
Theresa C. Tate

First Vice Chair
Sarah V. J. Spyksma

Second Vice Chair
Norman A. Chernin

Treasurer
Brant Dveirin

Secretary/Crocker Chair
Susan J. Booth

Immediate Past Chair
Gregg J. Loubier

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Eric Altoon
Nedra E. Austin
Susan J. Booth
Claire Hervey Collins
Caroline Dreyfus
Robert T. Flick
Daniel L. Goodkin
Marcia Z. Gordon
Ryan Iwasaka

Linda S. Koffman
Trudi J. Lesser
Peter J. Niemiec
Robert C. Pearman
Leslie D. Reed
D. Eric Remensperger
Michael G. Smooke
Linda E. Spiegel
Andrew J. Yamamoto


SUBSECTION CHAIRS
Commercial Development and Leasing, Nadav Ravid
Construction Law, Shaaron Bangs
Finance, Benjamin Howell
General Real Estate Law, Marybeth Heydt
Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Glenn Block
Title Insurance, Jesse Hernandez

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Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after
the publication date.

The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only. Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information
provided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.