Land: Transactions, Use, Development and Dispute Resolution

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The attorneys in the LFAP LAND group provide legal services covering the entire development cycle, including acquisition/sale, title review, environmental compliance, project entitlement, long-term governance of commercial centers and common interest developments, and dispute resolution.

Acquisition/Sale

Beyond the basic price and terms, the success of many projects depends on the negotiated contingencies and options.  Sellers want short escrows and certainty; buyers want time and flexibility.  Having represented both buyers and sellers, and having handled numerous projects through the entire development process, LFAP attorneys can help fashion practical agreements that lead to a successful close.

Title Review

Before, during or after a transaction, ownership issues require careful examination of title documents and title insurance. A property’s chain of title can be affected by both recorded documents and matters that were not recorded, so LFAP attorneys work closely with title and escrow companies to research, review, and if necessary, terminate, amend, insure or record title exceptions.  LFAP attorneys can also help obtain and prepare any easements, rights-of-way, letters of permission and Irrevocable Offers to Dedicate required by a project.

Environmental Compliance

Few large projects are approved without opposition and none are approved without meticulous environmental review.  The cost and delay of an overly broad environmental review can kill a project, but an inadequate CEQA review can leave it vulnerable and subject to challenge.  Having participated in both the review process and subsequent court challenges, LFAP attorneys can help find the right balance to satisfy CEQA requirements affordably.

Project Entitlement

Every project must comply with the applicable General Plan and zoning standards.  Understanding the nuances of these requirements is critical, but the success of a project may still depend on other factors such as the conditions and exactions, the politics of public approval, and the financial consequences of Development Agreements, tax-sharing agreements, and reimbursement agreements.  Having been part of San Diego politics for over 40 years, and having participated in the committees and commissions that developed the standards, LFAP attorneys can help maximize the prospects for approval while minimizing delay and expense.

Project Governance

LFAP attorneys work with developers of major communities and retail centers on the drafting governing documents, including bylaws, articles of incorporation or association, CC&Rs, and rules and regulations. LFAP attorneys also assist owners, boards and management companies with the interpretation and enforcement of existing governing documents.

Property Dispute Resolution

Despite careful investigation, planning and communication, disputes can arise concerning property rights, easements, licenses, boundary lines, title, and the use of the land.   LFAP attorneys work closely with developers, property owners and easement holders to achieve cost-effective and efficient resolutions so that our clients can focus on their property and business plans.

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