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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Section 1031: What is Real Property? Four Things You Should Know From the New Final Regulations

Effective December 2, 2020, the IRS issued its Final Regulations (the “Final Regs”) clarifying what is real property under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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Property Owners, Don’t Get Stuck Double-Paying for Janitorial Services

Imagine you are a property owner or manager over any number of properties. You hire various service providers to perform services such as landscaping, security, cleaning, etc.
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Oregon Legislature Extends Residential Eviction Moratorium, Creates Landlord Compensation Fund

On December 21, 2020, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 4401, further extending the moratorium on residential evictions without cause and for nonpayment of rent from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The law also extends the deadline for repayment…
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Multnomah County “Freezes” Eviction Proceedings Through 2020

Multnomah County may be exiting Governor Kate Brown’s COVID-19 “freeze,” but eviction proceedings in Oregon’s largest county remain largely on hold until after the New Year.
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Oregon Establishes Fund to Help Homeowners Pay Their Mortgages

On November 19, 2020, the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) announced a $20 million fund called the Oregon Homeowner Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) to help homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments.
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Residential Eviction Extension Proposal Includes Landlord Relief

Oregon House Bill 4213, as extended by Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-56, currently prohibits eviction of residential tenants for non-payment of rent through December 31, 2020, as previously discussed. However, with COVID-19 raging on and…
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Oregon Rethinks the Future of Recycling

Even though Oregon is considered the third greenest state in the United States, and a national leader when it comes to recycling, Oregon’s waste-management programs are not actually recovering all of the state’s recyclable wastes. The cause of this…
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Cranes and Cows

Usually when you think of cranes on urban land, you picture yellow tower cranes signaling the newest high rise on the horizon. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of representing Columbia Land Trust (CLT) when it acquired about 500 acres of bottom…
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Last Coal-Fired Power Plant in Oregon Shuts Its Doors Forever

On October 15, 2020 at 11:56 a.m., Portland General Electric Company shut down the coal-fired Boardman electricity generating station for the last time. Boise-based Idaho Power, which serves customers in eastern Oregon, is a minority owner in the…
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Banks Sue Over Oregon’s Foreclosure Moratorium

Two recent lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon illustrate that Oregon banks are none too pleased about HB 4204. This legislation, passed by the Oregon legislature in June 2020, prohibits residential and commercial…
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The Future(s) of Water

How much will water be worth in the future? We may soon find out. For years, investors have traded “futures” contracts in corn, soybeans, crude oil, silver, and gold. A futures contract is simply an enforceable agreement to buy (or sell) a certain…
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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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