Lounsbery Ferguson Altona & Peak

LAND: ACQUISITION, SALE, USE, AND DEVELOPMENT

Acquisition/Sale/Leasing
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. LFAP attorneys can also review, draft, amend, or enforce leases for commercial properties, including AIR/CAR forms.

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.

CEQA/Environmental Compliance
In today’s environment, most large projects face opposition and none are approved without meticulous CEQA review. The cost and delay of an overly broad environmental review can kill a project, but an inadequate CEQA review will leave it vulnerable and subject to challenge.

LFAP’s experience as counsel for both private developers and public agencies in the San Diego region gives it unique expertise in the local rules, procedures, and personalities that can impact a project. This expertise provides our attorneys the ability to reconcile the goals of the project applicant, experts, consultants, and lead agency staff in an expeditious and cost-effective manner. LFAP will help you navigate the entitlement process to create defensible entitlement documents.

Project Entitlement
Every project must comply with the local jurisdiction’s General Plan and zoning standards. Increasingly, however, as a result of California’s housing crisis, projects are also subject to, and can benefit from, the state’s burgeoning body of affordable housing laws. LFAP attorneys follow this ever-changing landscape closely and can help projects utilize the evolving legislation on matters such as density bonuses, waivers, concessions, and process streamlining.

Understanding the nuances of these state and local 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 local 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.

Unlawful Detainer
LFAP attorneys work with owners and managers of major communities and retail centers on the enforcement of governing documents, including leases, CC&Rs, and rules and regulations. LFAP attorneys assist with the procedural requirements and litigation of unlawful detainer actions on both the landlord and tenant sides.

maps with ruler and pencil
The attorneys in the LFAP Land group provide legal services covering the entire development cycle, including acquisition/sale, title review, environmental compliance, project entitlement, and dispute resolution.

Subject Matter Experts

KENNETH H. LOUNSBERY

KENNETH H. LOUNSBERY

Practice Areas: Land Use Acquisition, Land Development, Municipal Law, Eminent Domain, Private Election Remedies

DAVID W. FERGUSON

DAVID W. FERGUSON

Practice Areas: Land Acquisition, Use and Development; CEQA and Environmental Compliance

HELEN HOLMES PEAK

Practice Areas: Municipal Law; Eminent Domanin; Land Acquisition, Use and Development; CEQA/Environmental Compliance and Defense

CATHERINE FERGUSON

CATHERINE FERGUSON

Practice Areas: municipal law, land sales and acquisition, land use and development, and employment litigation

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