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Introductory Remarks
Past Event
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Recent Cases

The Real Property Section Newsletter is published monthly by the Real Property Law Section.

Teresa Y. Hillery
Vice President and Trial Counsel
Fidelity National Law Group


Real Property Executive Committee:


Caroline Dreyfus

First Vice Chair
Claire Hervey-Collins

Second Vice Chair
Eric Altoon

Misty Sanford

Nedra E. Austin

Immediate Past Chair
Susan J. Booth

Barristers Liaison
Christopher Bordenave

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Janna Boelke
James Earle
George Fatheree
Daniel L. Goodkin
Owen P. Gross
Marybeth Heydt
Teresa Y. Hillery
Ben Howell
Laurence L. Hummer
Donna E. Kirkner
Trudi Lesser
Daniel K. Liffmann
Linda E. Spiegel
Kelsey M. Thayer
Loretta Thompson
Seth Weissman



Michael Bayard
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Norm Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
Peter Gelles
Byron Hayes
Gordon Hunt
Bryan Jackson
Michael Klein
Mark Lamken
Gregg Loubier
Victor Marmon
Jerold L. Miles
O'Malley Miller
Donald Nanney
Gytis Nefas
Sarah Spyksma
Theresa Tate
Timothy Truax
Richard Volpert
Ira Waldman
Pamela Westhoff
Norma Williams


Commercial Development and Leasing
Marcia Gordon

L. Adam Winegard
Jane Hinton
General Real Property
Rachel Sanders
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law
Beth Hummer
Title Co-Chairs
Brendan B. Penney
Vanessa A. Widener



Introductory Remarks

20th Annual Real Property Installation and Awards Dinner

Join us for a night of celebration at Millennium Biltmore Hotel on May 30, 2018. To register, call LACBA Member Services at (213) 896-6560 or visit The event code is 053018RPS. More Information


The Real Property Section would like input from real estate attorneys who have been practicing 10 years or less. We are seeking to enhance the experience of the Real Property Section and greatly value your insight and any suggestions for improvements. If you have been practicing real estate law for 10 years or less, please complete the following survey by no later than Friday, May 11th:

Teresa Y. Hillery
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address:

Past Event


Last month, OWEN P. GROSS - Sklar Kirsh LLP, ERIK M. NORTH - Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, and KELSEY THAYER - Sutton, Pakfar & Courtney LLP, lead a spirited and animated round table discussion on Silly and Sometimes Stupid Opinion Requests with Ira J. Waldman and Roy S Geiger two of the authors (with Thomas G. Roberts) of The Legal Opinion, Chapter 8: CEB California Real Estate Finance Practice. As a prelude to the interactive discussion, attendees were treated to hosted cocktails and canapés in the wonderful event space at Cox Castle & Nicholson.
More Photos

Coming Events

May 2

ALTA Extended Title Policies
This program provides an overview of ALTA endorsements and exceptions, including how to read and use an ALTA survey.  The panelists will also address "cleaning up" title and will provide practical tips when negotiating with title insurance.

> Click here for more information

May 15

Current Issues in Equitable Easements
Three appellate justices will discuss the development and current state of the law on equitable easements.

> Click here for more information

May 16

It's Not Just Compensation: What Every Real Estate Professional Should Know About Eminent Domain Litigation

Please join the Land Use, Planning and Environmental Law Subsection of LACBA’s Real Property Section for this lively and informative presentation on what you need to know about eminent domain if you are working in the real estate space.  Our presenters will include Glenn L. Block and Gregory M. Bergman.

> Click here for more information

May 30

20th Annual Real Property Installation and Awards Dinner

> Click here for more information


LACBA Real Property CLE Anytime

Even if you can't attend our Real Property Section events, you can earn CLE credit by viewing our streaming videos. Here are a few options. Click any link below.

A Practical Guide to the Subdivision Map Act
Annual Construction Law Update and Flaig Award
Arbitration Provisions in Leases and Purchase and Sale Agreements: Considerations and Insights

Recent Cases
- CEQA -

The parking impacts of a mixed-use infill development located a quarter-mile from a commuter rail station was exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review pursuant to Public Resources Code Sec. 21099(d)(1).

Covina Residents for Responsible Development v. City of Covina (City Ventures) - filed Feb. 28, 2018, Publication ordered March 22, 2018, Second District, Div. Seven
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1403
Full text click here >

The construction wireless telecommunications facility in a city park does not constitute a change in the use or purpose of the park. The project, which will be 534 square feet, was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act as a matter of law.

Don't Cell Our Parks v. City of San Diego (Verizon Wireless) - filed March 15, 2018, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1280
Full text click here >

Substantial evidence supported a finding that a proposed refinery project to enable recovery of butane and propane would not increase the refinery's present capacity to process heavy crude oil. Although more butane and propane can be extracted from heavier crude oil, this fact does not incentivize the refinery to process more heavy crude oil because the selection of feedstock is governed by the determination of the crude oil that will yield the more profitable gasoline and diesel products. By approving the project, the county is not expressly or implicitly approving a change in crude oil feedstocks, nor is such an approval necessary in order to approve the project. An environmental impact report's failure to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions from the downstream uses of the recovered propane and butane does not violate the California Environmental Quality Act when the quantification of downstream emissions is speculative.

Rodeo Citizens Association v. County of Contra Costa (Phillips 66 Co.) - filed March 20, 2018, publication ordered April 12, 2018, First District, Div. Three
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1745
Full text click here >

- Clean Water Act -

A county's wells were "point sources" from which the county discharged "pollutants" in the form of treated effluent into groundwater, through which the pollutants then entered a "navigable water." The Clean Water Act does not require that a point source itself convey the pollutants directly into a navigable water for the point source to be subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulation. So long as the pollutants are fairly traceable from the point source to a navigable water such that the discharge was the functional equivalent of a discharge into the navigable water, and the pollutant levels reaching navigable water were more than de minimis, the discharge must satisfy NPDES permitting requirements.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui - filed March 30, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 15-17447
Full text click here >

- Coastal Zoning -

A decision to ban or otherwise regulate short-term rentals of single family residences in a coastal zone cannot be made by a private homeowners association as the regulation would affect the intensity of use and access to the beach. Any issues created by the rentals must be addressed by the city by amendment to its coastal zoning section, and the Coastal Commission.

Greenfield v. Mandalay Shores Community Association - filed March 27, 2018, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1464
Full text click here >

- Landlord Tenant -

A local ordinance prohibiting a landlord from refusing to rent a property to a tenant receiving a government housing subsidy is not preempted by the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

City and County of San Francisco v. Post - filed April 11, 2018, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1702
Full text click here >

The Ellis Act preempts a local ordinance that imposed a 10-year waiting period on the alteration of housing units that have been withdrawn from rental use after the tenant was evicted by a landlord exercising rights provided by the act.

Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute v. City and County of San Francisco - filed April 11, 2018, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1708
Full text click here >

While the Health and Safety Code requires every health studio to acquire and maintain an automated external defibrillator on its premises, this duty does not extend to a commercial landlord who leases space to an operator of a health studio.

Day v. Lupo Vine Street - filed April 11, 2018, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1684
Full text click here >

Once a tenant validly exercised the purchase option in its lease agreement, the lease was terminated and a contract for purchase and sale came into existence. When litigation between the tenant and the landlord causes a delay in the performance of that contract and the landlord is ordered to sell the property to the tenant, the trial court must consider the rent that the tenant continued to pay during the pendency of the litigation in order to place the parties in the positions in which they would have been at the time the sale and purchase contract should have been performed.

Petrolink v. Lantel Enterprises - filed March 15, 2018, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1275
Full text click here >

- Marijuana -

A medical marijuana collective is not a "medical office" under the San Jose Municipal Code because it does not fall within any of the specifically listed occupations, nor is it within the same nature or class as the listed occupations.

J. Arthur Properties, II, LLC v. City of San Jose - filed March 19, 2018, Sixth District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1303
Full text click here >

- NEPA -

A plaintiff has standing to challenge an agency action as failing to comply with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act if it can show the action will threaten its concrete interests--the plaintiff does not need to show that the alleged procedural deficiency threatens its interests. The plaintiff also does not need to show that the correction of the alleged procedural error would lead to a favorable decision so long as the plaintiff can show a reasonable probability that the agency decision could be influenced by the environmental considerations that the NEPA requires an agency to study. An agency considering whether to issue a discharge permit under the Clean Water Act must consider the objectives of a proposed project and the land use plan for the area where the project would be completed.

Friends of the Santa Clara River v. United States Army Corps of Engineers - filed April 9, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 15-56337
Full text click here >

- Nuisance -

A finding of nuisance per se need not be based on a single statute as opposed to a statutory scheme. Statements in a municipal code that medical marijuana dispensaries are not permitted, and that non-permitted uses are nuisances were sufficient to support a finding that dispensaries constitute nuisances per se.

Urgent Care Medical Services v. City of Pasadena - filed March 5, 2018, publication ordered March 28, 2018, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1551
Full text click here >

- Stray Voltage -

The harm that a homeowner suffered from the presence of stray voltage on her property did not outweigh the public benefit of a utility company's provision of electricity as a matter of law. The balancing of harm versus public benefit is for a jury to perform. A trial judge erred in allowing a homeowner to present evidence of stray voltage incidents at other properties, and at her property before she bought it, in her suit against a utility company seeking damages for the presence of stray voltage at her property.

Wilson v. Southern California Edison Company - filed March 26, 2018, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1426
Full text click here >


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