The attorneys in the LFAP Land group provide legal services covering the entire development cycle, including acquisition/sale, title review, environmental compliance, project entitlement, dispute resolution, and long-term governance of commercial centers and common interest developments.
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.
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 and Defense
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 slow down or derail 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 and, if challenges arise, LFAP’s litigation team will defend your approvals in court.
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.
Eminent Domain – Condemnation
The attorneys at LFAP provide guidance and solutions to the challenging issues in eminent domain matters and inverse condemnation. Protecting private property rights while providing needed public improvement is vital to a successful project. By ensuring that public agencies do not condition projects for unrelated infrastructure, do not require unnecessary acquisitions, and provide public right-of-way when necessary, LFAP attorneys help protect the project’s budget and schedule.
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.