Land Use Changes after Condo Collapse

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? After the condo collapse in Surfside, FL, the state bar of Florida will organize a committee to review and recommend to the Governor and Legislature.

Why is this important? In Florida after initial building approval, the recertification occurs at year 40 with no inspection visits in between year 0 and year 45.

How will this be important? The Committee is being hired by the same person who chaired a similar committee bout homeowner associations while Gov. Jeb Bush was in office.

WSJ | After Florida Building Collapse, Task Force to Consider Changes to Condo Laws

Eminent Domain v. Volunteer Land

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? Texas Governor announced that the state will build a border wall at the Texas- Mexico Border using state and private funds. The hurdle is acquiring the mostly private lands. To that end, quote from the Governor: ” …the combination of state land as well as volunteer land will yield hundreds of miles to build a border wall in Texas.”

Why is this important? The federal lawsuit concerning the use of eminent domain to build the federal U.S.-Mexico border wall is currently on hold.

How will this be important? Begs the question whether a state built International border wall project can exercise the power of eminent domain.

Construction Dive | Texas prepares to take bids for border wall construction

COVID Relief Funds for Homelessness in California

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? California Legislature agreed to convert former hotels into permanent homeless housing with federal coronavirus relief dollars & will provide another $2 billion over 2 years to local governments

Why is this important? Other localities, like Ausitn, TX are considering purchasing existing facilities to house homeless.

How will this be important? This serves as a blueprint to address homelessness, if the programs are successful.

Los Angeles Times via Governing | California Set to Spend Record Amount on Homelessness

$40M Affordable Housing. Corporation, HQ & City.

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? Amazon is donating $40 million to Arlington County, Va to build affordable housing around its 2nd HQ

Why is this important? Amazon has pledged $2 billion for affordable housing near its facilities in Virginia, Seattle and Nashville, Tenn

How will this be important? We just talked about Apple having a similar program to build affordable housing. If there’s 1, then there’s 2, and soon there will be 100 companies following suit.

The Hill | Amazon donating land to Northern Virginia county for affordable housing

Protecting Rural Property Rights

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? A consideration that National heritage Site Designations can preserve and protect rural property.

Why is this important? Think o the major eminent domain battles- pipelines, border walls, rail lines- the majority of the property at issue is rural property.

How will this be important? We’ve seen the use of conservation easements to protect property, and this proposal is another tool in the tool belt.

Kansas Reflector | Kansas heritage sites can help save rural communities

Statutory Hurdles for Affordable Housing

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? There is a “current [federal] rule that prohibits property acquisition for affordable housing use in the first 10 years after a change in the property’s ownership”

Why is this important? it is seen as an obstacle to building new affordable housing.

How will this be important? Whether states follow suit to change laws that make affordable housing easier to be built.

Daily Camera | Rep. Joe Neguse proposing affordable housing bills

Affordable Housing. $1B from Apple.

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Apple is putting $1Billion into affordable housing around California.

Why is this important? Apple has a $2.5 Billion commitment to improve affordability of housing in California.

How will this be important? Apple’s project includes “new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness”

Apple | Apple deploys $1 billion in affordable housing support across California

Land Development Powered by Solar & Battery

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Tesla, Brookfield Assett Management and real estate developer Dacra are creating the first in the nation neighborhood powered by Tesla solar.

Why is this important? Real estate development and sustainability are finding new partners.

How will this be important? “Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Austin project will help shape the future of housing and sustainable technology projects”

Austin American Statesman | Austin neighborhood to be fueled by Tesla solar, battery tech

Proposed Amendment Constitutional Amendment: Right to Grow Food

  • July 9, 2021

What’s happening? Maine’s November ballot will include the right to “growing, raising, harvesting, and producing food, as well as saving and exchanging seeds.”

Why is this important? This is phase 2.0 after the right to have edible gardens free from local or state laws against it, or HOA rules prohibiting it.

How will this be important? State constitutional amendments spread from one state to the next. Yes, this is a move to make sure Montosanto doesn’t own all the world’s seeds according to a Maine legislator.

Ballotpodeia | Maine legislature sends right-to-food constitutional amendment to 2021 ballot

Meet Florida’s Wildlife Corridor

  • July 8, 2021

What’s happening? Florida passed legislation that creates an 800 mile corridor that connects state parks to open spaces from the Keys to the Alabama border to allow wildlife to move freely.

Why is this important? This is a nuanced approach to environmental and conservation issues by Republicans that passed with broad bipartisan support.

How will this be important? The New Yorker spelled it out- this is a blueprint for other states.

The New Yorker | Florida’s Remarkable New Wildlife Corridor from the Panhandle to the Keys