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VOLUME 17 | NUMBER 1 | JANUARY 2022
 
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IN THIS ISSUE
 
Introductory Remarks
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CLE Anytime
>
Coming Events
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Subsection Spotlights
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Recent Cases
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The Real Property Section Newsletter is published monthly
by the Real Property Section.

Editor
Vivienne Chen

 

Real Property Executive Committee:

SECTION OFFICERS

Chair
Teresa Y. Hillery

Vice Chair (Programming)
Rachel Sanders

Vice Chair (Communications)
Vivienne Chen

Vice Chair (Membership)
Gretta Moy

Treasurer
Owen Gross

Secretary
Dan Villalpando

Immediate Past Chair
Kelsey Thayer

 

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Celeste Caitlen Ahl
Eric A. Altoon
Nedra Austin
Rosetta Broomfield
Norman A. Chernin
Sadara DeVonne
Caroline Dreyfus
Brant H. Dveirin
Jane L. Hinton
Laurence L. Hummer
Trudi J. Lesser
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Law School Liaison
Daniel Liffmann (non-voting)s

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting)
Niloofar Henzaki

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones

 

SUBSECTION CHAIRS

Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chairs
Steven Farenbaugh
Jonathan Zweig

Construction Law Subsection, Co- Chairs
Aaron J. Flores
Ashley B. Jordan

General Real Property Subsection,
Co-Chair
s
Michael Davis
Joe Dzida

Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Subsection Chair
Julie Hamill

Real Estate Finance Subsection,
Co-Chairs

Mark Hikin
Alyssa Ashley Rutherford

Title Insurance Subsection, Chair
James H. Treadwell

 

PAST CHAIRS

Roy H. Aaron*
Eric A. Altoon
Michael J. Bayard
Stephen M. Blitz
Susan J. Booth
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Robert E. Carter*
Norm Chernin
R. Bradbury Clark*
Claire Hervey Collins
Professor William Coskran*
Caroline Dreyfus
Anson Dreison*
Brant H. Dveirin
Peter Gelles
Gail Gordon*
Byron Hayes, Jr.
Gordon Hunt
Bryan C. Jackson
Michael S. Klein
Preston Kline*
Bernard Kolbor
Robert Krueger*
Mark L. Lamken*
Marvin Leon
Gregg J. Loubier
Victor I. Marmon
Jerold L. Miles
O’Malley M. Miller
Rodney Moss*
Donald C. Nanney
Gytis L. Nefas
Carl B. Phelps
Laurence G. Preble
James D. Richman
Peter E. Robinson
Floyd Sayer*
Margaret J. Schock
Ronald I. Silverman
Sarah V.J. Spyksma
Theresa C. Tate
Kelsey Thayer
Timothy M. Truax
Richard S. Volpert
Ira J. Waldman
Alan Wayte*
Pamela L. Westhoff
John W. Whitaker
George H. Whitney*
Norma J. Williams
John M. Yunker, Jr.
Paula Reddish Zinnemann

*Deceased

 

 

Introductory Remarks

Real Property Section’s Subsections
Happy New Year! We are halfway through our fiscal year, and the Real Property Section’s subsections are busy planning upcoming programs and events for our members for the second half. With six months left, we want to highlight each of our subsections and those working the magic behind the scenes. For this January issue, we will be covering our new Residential Subsection and the co-chairs, Sadara DeVonne and Rosetta Broomfield (Subsection Spotlight below). Stay tuned for our spotlight on all the other subsections!

Our Open Invitation
Want to learn more about our section and see how you can get involved? We invite you to join one of our Executive Committee meetings and hear for yourself what we do and why we do it. The Executive Committee meets every first Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Zoom (Meeting Registration – Zoom). Feel free to stop by and meet our dynamic group in our next meeting on February 2, 2022.

Vivienne Chen
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address: vchen@swlaw.com

 

Find Us on Social Media

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Coming Events
 
January 25, 2022, 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Cyber Attacks on Construction Companies

No industry is immune from cybersecurity threats, and that includes the construction industry. Construction firms have access to a wealth of information that might be desirable to hackers and cyber extortionists. The construction industry has also adopted more cutting-edge technology in recent years, which creates potential portals to cyber-attacks. What was traditionally considered a labor focused industry is now immersed in technology.

Panelists
  • Andrew J. Moss. Partner, Reed Smith LLP
  • Sue J. Junn. Member, Clark Hill LLP
  • Rebecca Pearson. Associate Director, West Region Leader, Willis Towers Watson
  • Michael Corcione. Partner, HKA Global

Click here for more information and to register

 
 
January 26, 2022, 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.
BYO Sip and Welcome Meeting

The Residential Subsection invites you to celebrate their first kick-off event.

Please register by emailing Sadara DeVonne at sadara@devonnelaw.com and click this link to join the zoom.

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Save the Date!
 

February 22, 2022

Flaig Award and Construction Law Update
Construction Law Subsection

The Construction Law Subsection presents an award at its annual year-in-review program each February. Make sure to join us this year on February 22, 2022 for the Acret Award!

 
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CLE Anytime
 

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 Primer on How Title Companies Underwrite Construction Loans Since the Last Great Recession

Real Estate Applied Bankruptcy Basics and Evolving Developments in a Post-Pandemic Era

Commercial CC&R's and Reciprocal Easement Agreements

2021 Flaig Award & Annual Construction Law Update

Ground Lease Practice: Beyond the Basics

Nuts and Bolts of E-Recording

 
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Subsection Spotlights
 
- Residential Subsection -

This Subsection is dedicated to providing legal updates, educational content and practical advice to practitioners and licensees who advise in all aspects of residential real property. Contrary to most belief, this subsection will address more than purchase and sale transactions and will include all aspects of residential real property - finance, title and escrow, leasing, property management, post Covid-19 unlawful detainers and eminent domain.

 

Meet the Co-Chairs

Rosetta Broomfield-75w

Rosetta Broomfield is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Berakah Cooperation and has championed numerous domestic and international real estate transactions. In addition, she is very excited that her subsection gets first dibs on the Subsection Spotlight Series.

(1) What areas of real estate law do you focus on?
My practice focuses on the three D's which run the residential real estate market: Debt, Death and Divorce. As such, I am engaged in both transactional law and litigation ranging in areas from purchase agreements to trust administration and probate. In addition to my law practice, one of my most notable achievements was acting as a real estate contract consultant for quality housing alternatives in third world countries.

(2) What do you love about your practice?
An enjoyable aspect of my practice centers around the clients I represent. I am honored to have assisted the children of several of my peers in purchasing their first home and administering the estates of my friends’ deceased parents.

(3) What motivated you to co-chair this subsection?
Because everyone needs a decent place to live, I enjoy assisting others in achieving that goal. Residential housing transcends every race, gender and economic class and should be all inclusive.

(4) What do you want our members to know about this subsection?
This Residential Subsection is a formidable platform which addresses residential needs of every community. It will provide current legal and legislative updates that effect every homeowner and tenant. Membership expansion is inevitable!

(5) One interesting fact about yourself.
I love first place! After winning the National Track and Field Championship, I was the first female athletic scholarship recipient at USC. I am delighted to carry this legacy as the first co-chair of the Residential Subsection of LACBA RP!!!

 

Sadara DeVonne-75w

Sadara DeVonne is the founding attorney at DeVonne Law, and Chief Executive Officer and Real Estate Broker at Dwelling Places, Inc., a full-service real estate firm serving buyers, sellers and investors throughout California.

(1) What areas of real estate law do you focus on?
My legal and real estate practices focus on two sacred pillars of life: (1) home and (2) family. My goal is to enhances individuals, families and organizations with building and retaining wealth acquired through real property. Proficient in the most complex real estate matters, I provide adept advice and strategy on residential and commercial real property matters, from simple contracts to litigation, estate planning and probate.

(2) What do you love about your practice?
My love for real estate is twofold. I relish 1) helping to close the gap of unequal asset distribution and attainment among California residents and, 2) providing counsel to real estate practitioners and developers struggling to navigate intricate legal nuances during (and after) transactions.

(3) What motivated you to co-chair this subsection?
I am excited to contribute to a platform in which members examine residential real estate problems and contrive solutions that touch every life – whether it be that of the attorney, their client, Los Angeles residents or society at large.

(4) What do you want our members to know about this subsection?
What I appreciate most about the LACBA Real Property Section is the comradery between legal minds whose sole collective agenda is to enhance one another, the profession and the community. And I hope to bring the same energy to the peers practicing in the residential real estate law.

(5) One interesting fact about yourself.
I am a trailblazer. During law school, my partner and I garnered the first Moot Court competition win in Trinity Law School history, winning Best Petitioner’s Brief in the Western Region Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition hosted by the National Black Law Student Association.

 
 

Upcoming Event for Residential Subsection

The co-chairs would like to invite you to their first virtual BYO Sip and Welcome Meeting, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please register by emailing Sadara DeVonne at sadara@devonnelaw.com and click this link to join the zoom.” Please come to celebrate this subsection kick-off event because as Rosetta puts it, “you want to be on this winning team!!!”

If you would like to become a member or have questions about the Residential Subsection, please contact the co-chairs: Sadara DeVonne [direct: 626-316-2540, email: sadara@devonnelaw.com] and Rosetta Broomfield [direct: 562-716-9402, email: rosettabroomfield@yahoo.com]

 
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Recent Cases
 
- Environmental Law -

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations lacked sufficient monitoring provisions to ensure compliance with the permit’s zero discharge requirements for both production and land-application areas where it lacked a requirement that CAFOs monitor waste containment structures for underground discharges and had no monitoring provisions for dry weather discharges from land-application areas.

Food & Water Watch v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - filed Dec. 16, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-71554
Full text click here >

Whether an agency’s action is discretionary or ministerial turns on the applicable substantive law; since the State Water Resources Control Board determines whether a registration is compliant essentially by applying a checklist of fixed criteria, the process is ministerial.

Mission Peak Conservancy v. State Water Resources Control Board (George) - filed Dec. 15, 2021, First District, Div. Five
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 6635
Full text click here >

A purported public access easement granted to a state agency by the owner of a large coastal parcel is a property interest subject to the California Coastal Act’s restrictions on selling or transferring state-owned property interests near the coast.

Pappas v. State Coastal Conservancy (Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance) - filed Dec. 28, 2021, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 6840
Full text click here >

An independent producer of oil and natural gas was entitled to intervention as of right in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups alleging that the federal government unlawfully issued oil and gas leases on federal land since the producer had a significantly protectable interest that could be impaired by the disposition of the action, its intervention motion was timely, and its interests will not be adequately represented by existing parties; the likelihood that additional parties and arguments might make resolution of the case more difficult is a poor reason to deny intervention.

Western Watersheds Project v. Haaland - filed Jan. 5, 2022
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-35780
Full text click here >

The party challenging a city’s determination of general plan consistency has the burden to show why the determination was unreasonable based on all the evidence in the record; where the policy at issue is largely amorphous, and the dispute is a question of conflicting evidence, it is not the court’s role to reweigh the factors unless no reasonable person could reach the same conclusion based on the evidence.

Old East Days Neighborhood Association vi City of Davis (Trackside Center) - filed Dec. 20, 2021, publication ordered Jan. 12, 2022, Third District
Cite as 2022 S.O.S. 134
Full text click here >

Nothing prohibits the discussion of impacts that are less than significant with mitigation in an initial study rather than in the environmental impact report so long as the EIR complies with its purpose as an informational document; there is no litmus test or minimum length required to ensure a discussion is sufficiently detailed to comply with CEQA’s informational mandate. A trial court erred in declining to give deference to a city’s interpretation of its municipal code and focus on the words pursuant to without regard to the context of their use.

Ocean Street Extension Neighborhood Association v. City of Santa Cruz (Moe) - filed Dec. 16, 2021, publication ordered Jan. 13, 2022, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2022 S.O.S. 160
Full text click here >

-Rental Property -

A city could reasonably conclude that the short-term rental of a single-family dwelling has different impacts than the short-term rental of 20 or 50 or 100 rooms in a motel. A short-term rental of a single-family dwelling is a use customarily incident to use as a single-family residence.

Protect Our Neighborhoods v. City of Palm Springs - filed Jan. 7, 2022, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2022 S.O.S. 60
Full text click here >

- Taxation -

A court may entertain arguments that a business improvement district’s assessment scheme violates certain provisions of Proposition 218 when raised by a party that did not articulate these objections at the noticed public hearing at which protests regarding a BID are to be considered by lawmakers.

Hill RHF Housing Partners v. City of Los Angeles - filed Dec. 20, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 6661
Full text click here >

- Trespass -

A trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a plaintiff’s claims for injunctive relief regarding the defendant’s trespass of ripping, removing, and excavating the soil on the plaintiff’s property pursuant to the doctrine of laches where the plaintiff was long aware that a fence was not on the boundary line and waited until after the defendant had already completed major excavation and leveling work, among other improvements, on the disputed property, to bring the boundary issue to the defendant’s attention; the court properly applied the relative hardship doctrine to deny injunctive relief also where the defendant invested substantial time, resources, and acumen in developing the land, which had previously been barren.

Johnson v. Little Rock Ranch - filed Jan. 3, 2022, Fifth District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 19
Full text click here >

 
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