There’s news today about a case in which the Supreme Court had to answer this question: what did Congress mean by the term “critical habitat” in the Endangered Species Act?
The court answered the question: “critical habitat” does not include land where the endangered species in question could not currently live. If it’s an area where the species couldn’t live, then it’s not that species’ habitat. All of the justices agreed.
Seems like a common-sense answer to me.
I think this guy has said this before, but it’s worth highlighting, to illustrate the fact that just because someone gets elected mayor of New York City doesn’t mean he understands the Constitution, or that he always has good ideas about how a city should be run:
“Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed[.]”
Does he really think that a city government can, or should be able to, dictate the use of every piece of land within its boundaries?
That’s the question I asked in my Real Estate Law Update for the month of November. In the Update I discuss what I see as possible trends in the way residential real estate transactions are put together.
If you are selling or buying property without (or with) the services of a real estate broker, I can prepare the contract, or help with the contract, the title report, and any or all other aspects of the transaction.
Please go to the link above to read all about it. As always, your comments are welcome.
IF YOU HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (OR NOT) BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS OR WHAT IT DOES, READ MY REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE
I have found that many people I talk to don’t know what the homestead exemption is, and don’t know what it does. People are frequently surprised when I tell them that the first $150,000 of equity in their home is exempt from the claims of creditors.
If you are an Arizona homeowner and don’t know what any of this is about, you need to read my Real Estate Law Update for October. It’s posted in the publications section of deconcinimcdonald.com.
I DON’T KNOW IF IT WOULD WORK, BUT REPLACING SUBWAY TRAINS WITH AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES SOUNDS LIKE AN IDEA WORTH EXPLORING
I have written several posts on autonomous vehicles. I think they will be in widespread use in my lifetime.
I had never heard this idea before, but it is intriguing: in cities where there are subways, replace the electric trains (an early 20th century technology, at best) with autonomous electric cars. Such a system would replace the old subway trains with smaller, more efficient, easier to maintain vehicles. Sounds like it might be a good idea.
I wrote about a superficially similar idea several months ago: have dedicated lanes for autonomous vehicles, like the HOV lane on the freeway.
I don’t claim to know much about urban planning, but I find the subject interesting. It is somewhat related, sometimes, to my work on real estate transactions.
I found this item on worker commuting trends to be very interesting. It explains phenomena that I believe can be discerned from simple observation: large population centers provide greater opportunities for both workers and employers, but there is a limit to how much time workers will spend commuting.
The Miracle Mile neighborhood in Los Angeles appears, from the aerial photos, to be bounded by Wilshire, Olympic, Highland, and Fairfax. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is on Wilshire, adjacent to the northwest corner of the neighborhood. There are large commercial properties lining the south side of Wilshire, abutting the neighborhood.
It sounds like LACMA is building new buildings on its existing site. Hard for me to see how the neighbors could be finding fault with that, but apparently they are.
At least one commentator is suggesting that the neighborhood opposition is a shakedown by the neighbors to get amenities for the neighborhood. Hard for me to see how that would work.
Will My Trust Shield My Assets From The Claims Of My Creditors? THE TIMELY TOPIC OF MY SEPTEMBER ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT
My September newsletter was mailed last week and is now posted at deconcinimcdonald.com. It’s about a question that comes up regularly: will a trust shield your assets from future liabilities?
In the newsletter I also discuss the perennial topic of what assets are exempt from the claims of your creditors under Arizona law. I said under Arizona law because the rules are different in other states.
On a related topic, here is a link to a newsletter I wrote a while back about Arizona law on how one particular type of property, your homestead, may be exempt from claims of creditors. I have heard that there’s no limit to the homestead exemption in some states, but that’s not the case in Arizona.
If you would like to receive my newsletter via snail mail, just send me an email via the link on my home page.
Antiplanner has an interesting new post about the cost of new housing that focuses on lovely Buckeye, Arizona. His thesis, of course, is that with lower regulation comes lower-cost new housing.
DR Horton, the builder whose project is discussed in Antiplanner’s post, does seem to have a formula for building fairly large houses on modest-sized (but not tiny) lots at very competitive prices. They just built a subdivision not far from my house, on an infill parcel, that fits that profile. Admittedly, it’s not in the most fashionable location, but the pricing looked to me to be pretty competitive with new houses in much less desirable, outlying, locations (like Buckeye).
THIS IS SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC BUT SEEMS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO SHARE: FLINT, MICHIGAN, WATER APPARENTLY ISN’T AS BAD AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED
Environmental problems are related to real estate, so maybe it’s not too off topic, but anyway it seems like important news: the extensive reporting on the problems with the municipal water utility in Flint, Michigan, appears to have been unnecessarily alarmist. In other words, the presence of lead in that city’s water supply is not the public health disaster that it’s been made out to be.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.