Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground
Our attorney contributors share relevant and timely insight into real estate, energy law, water law, and environmental issues.
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Oregon Eviction Ban Extended for Residential But Not Commercial Tenants

On September 28, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-56. Citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent state wildfires, the Order extends the existing ban on eviction of residential tenants for non-payment of rent until December 31…
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Fannie Mae Extends Temporary Moratorium on Residential Foreclosures and Evictions

At the end of August, Fannie Mae announced an extension of a temporary moratorium on residential foreclosures and evictions that was originally set to expire on August 31, 2020. The moratorium applies to single-family mortgages backed by Fannie Mae…
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A Terrible Time to Be Without Water

On the reservation of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Central Oregon, it’s wildfire season. As of August 25, two fires were burning.
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Oregon Foreclosure Moratorium Extended Until December 31, 2020

On August 31, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-37, extending prohibitions on residential and commercial foreclosures in Oregon through December 31, 2020. This Order was issued under the Governor’s authority given by Oregon…
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Efforts Continue to Address Toxic PFAS in the Pacific Northwest

In February 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a comprehensive action plan to address toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). In February 2020, EPA released a program update discussing its progress.
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Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses

Companies across the state, and around the country, have suffered significant loss of income due to interruptions to their business caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing government-ordered closures. These companies have been disappointed…
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Portland City Council Passes the Residential Infill Project

Back in 2019, I wrote a blog post discussing how allowing so-called “middle housing” – duplexes, triplexes, and quadruplexes – could help alleviate Portland’s affordable housing crisis. The more units you have on a piece of land, the more you can…
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Real Estate Adapts to the New COVID Normal

Like most other industries, the real estate business was turned upside-down in March when the COVID-19 outbreak got real. Now that five months have passed and life with COVID-19 appears to be the new normal, some real estate trends are starting to…
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Three Overlooked Ways to Reduce Development Costs

A recent study evaluated three overlooked steps that developers can take that will often result in surprising savings in development costs. The study focused on the development of wind energy generation facilities, but the lessons offered seem…
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IRS Proposes New 1031 Regulations – Sculptures Are Real Property, Walls Are Not

The IRS issued Proposed Regulation 117589-18 on June 11, 2020 (the “Proposed Regs”), in response to legislative changes applicable to like-kind exchange transactions (“1031s”). The Proposed Regs address transactions involving both real property and…
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Oregon Clarifies State Jurisdiction Over Solar Energy Projects

On June 30, 2020, the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) issued a permanent administrative order adopting rule changes to hopefully clarify when new solar energy projects in the state must get a land use permit from EFSC.
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Oregon Adopts Temporary E-Notarization Law

In a prior blog post , we identified the recent trend to adoption of e-notarization in several states in response to the COVID crisis. As of that time, Oregon had not authorized e-notarization on either a permanent or temporary basis.
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Top Three Investor-Friendly Rules from the Newest IRS Opportunity Zone Notice

The IRS issued Notice 2020-39 on June 5, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which extended several deadlines applicable to Opportunity Zone investments.
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Portland's Residential Real Estate Market Responds Surprisingly to COVID-19

The COVID-19 health crisis has indelibly affected society, impacting our behaviors, habits, and priorities. Unlike previous recessions, our relationship to spending and saving may be markedly different in our current circumstance. One clear example…
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New Law Prohibits Foreclosures in Oregon Until September 30, 2020

During the special session held between June 24 and June 26, the Oregon legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed into law, HB 4204, which prohibits foreclosures in Oregon from March 8, 2020 until September 30, 2020. It applies to both…
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Oregon Legislature Extends Eviction Moratorium to September 30

On June 26, state lawmakers approved House Bill 4213 extending Governor Brown’s executive order temporarily prohibiting evictions of both residential and commercial tenants for non-payment of rent or other charges under a lease. Under the Governor’s…
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Force Majeure Clause Hitz the Spot for Restaurant Tenant

In previous updates Tonkon Torp attorneys have addressed the applicability of force majeure clauses in commercial contracts. As expected, commercial renters are taking a beating, and many have been forced to close as a result of the pandemic.
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Supplemental Environmental Projects Have Been Eliminated, Local Communities to Feel the Pain

On March 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) ended its Environment and Natural Resources Division’s long-standing policy of allowing the use of supplemental environmental projects (“SEPs”) to offset monetary penalties assessed to private…
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The Battle Continues Between Residential Landowners and Industrial Polluters

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court published their opinion in Atlantic Richfield v. Christian, further tangling the rules of engagement in the fight between residential property owners and industrial polluters.
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More Proof that Environmental Site Assessments Are Critically Important in CERCLA Cases

In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), frequently referred to as Superfund. This legislation was passed in response to mounting concerns regarding releases or threatened…
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