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We Make a Simple Pledge to

Communicate, in a timely Fashion, each appraisal, analysis, and opinion without bias or
partiality

Abstain from behavior that is deleterious to our clients, the appraisal profession, and the
public

Hold paramount the confidential nature of the appraiser/consultant - client relationship

and

Comply with the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
and the
Code of Professional Ethics of the National Society of Real Estate Appraisers
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The Magnitude of Random Appraisal Error in Commercial Real Estate Valuation
Author: Richard A. Graff and Michael S. Young
Start Page: 33
End Page: 54
Volume: 17
Issue Number: 1
Year: 1999
Publication: Journal of Real Estate Research
Abstract: Analysis of more than seven hundred pairs of simultaneous independent
appraisals of institutional-grade commercial properties shows that the standard
deviation of the random component of appraisal error is approximately 2%. Random
appraisal error appears constant across both time and the institutional-grade
investment universe, except during infrequent periods of real estate market gridlock.
Most appraisal error is deterministic in nature, even though it usually appears
random in routine cross-sectional analysis. Such appraisal error can be constrained
and reduced by investment management control systems.

INDYMAC Bank
3465 Foothill Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
November 02, 2004
IndyMac Bank
Appraisal GUIDELINES:
First and foremost, we require safe, habitable properties in average or better
condition.
If there are repairs, a cost to cure estimate must be included. Furthermore, the cost
to cure cannot exceed 3% of the value of the property or $2,500, whichever is less. A
deck or stairway that doesn’t have a railing for safety will need to be corrected. Holes
in the floor must be fixed.
Guidelines – UNACCEPTABLE properties:

Random Disaggregate Appraisal Error in Commercial Property: Evidence from the
Russell-NCREIF Database
Author: David M. Geltner, Richard A. Graff, and Michael S. Young
Start Page: 403
End Page: 420
Volume: 9
Issue Number: 4
Year: 1994
Publication: Journal of Real Estate Research
Abstract: This paper examines the magnitude of random disaggregate appraisal
valuation error in institutional-grade commercial property. Unlike previous
transactions-based studies of appraisal error, we use a much larger database that is
not restricted to sold properties, and we employ a methodology that focuses on
appraisal error rather than the difference between transaction price and previous
appraised value. Our model gives a point estimate of 11.07% for the standard error
of appraisals in the Russell-NCREIF database, with a robust range of 6% to 13%.

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Michigan
Registers of Deeds Win Court Battle Over Copies
Jarrod A. Clabaugh , Source of Title
Reprinted with permission
Four title insurance companies recently filed a lawsuit against the registers of deeds
in five Michigan counties after they were informed they could no longer resell the bulk
data sets they purchased at discount prices from the counties.  The five Michigan
counties named in the suit were Eaton, Lapeer, Newaygo, Saginaw and Tuscola.  
The title companies alleged that the registers’ actions violated several laws including
the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, and one
Michigan law that prohibits county registers from maintaining systems of abstracts of
title.  The title companies who brought the suit were: First American Title, Chicago
Title, Lawyers Title and Transnation Title.

Appraisal smoothing has been widely accepted as an important factor to consider
when analyzing real estate returns using appraisal-based data. In this paper, we
demonstrate that the general applicability of the appraisal-smoothing arguments
developed so far in the literature is limited by the assumptions upon which the
arguments are based. We further show that the use of appraisal-based data can
result in a higher (not lower) variance than that of true returns. Given this, it might be
more fruitful to analyze the unique characteristics of real estate markets as possible
explanations for the seemingly low variance observed in appraisal-based (or
transaction-based) return indexes

Real Estate Information Technology
Editor
Sofia V. Dermisi
Roosevelt University
Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration
430 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
sdermisi@roosevelt.edu
This section advances the frontiers of Real Estate Information Technology. This is a
forum for discussion on how technology is changing: (1) real estate and land
economics research and education; (2) forecasting; (3) real estate practice; and (4)
real estate itself, including issues and problems associated with the adoption of new
technology. Annotations of data from public and private sources available via the
Internet are also published in this section, as well as in-depth software and data
reviews. Articles must be relevant to both collegiate scholars and practitioners.
Manuscripts must be rigorous since they will receive anonymous peer review. Email
manuscripts and data annotations should be sent to the editor.

Texas Chemical Company Pays $23.4 Million to
Clean Up Toxic Site
By RITA CICERO, Andrews Publications Staff Writer
Houston-based EPEC Polymers Inc. has agreed to a settlement of more than $23.4
million in connection with the cleanup of a Texas Superfund site contaminated with
lead and petrochemicals.  The company will perform the remaining cleanup work at
the Turtle Bayou site at an estimated cost of $13.4 million, according to a consent
decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Decision to Invalidate Biological Opinion for
Management of the Columbia River System
By Paul S. Weiland and Robert D. Thornton
On April 9, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a
decision that will impede, if not foreclose, many activities that affect species listed
under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of
the United States District Court for the District of Oregon invalidating the biological
opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under section 7 of
the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the management of the Columbia River
system.  National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service, No. 06-
35011 (9th Cir. April 9, 2007).  The decision will have impacts on a wide variety of
activities throughout California and the west.  It has major implications for California's
water supply and existing and proposed regional habitat plans.


Court
Rules That Water Right Restrictions To Protect Fish Habitat Did Not Constitute
A Taking
By Alfred E. Smith, II
In a decision entered on March 29, 2007, the United States Court of Federal Claims
ruled that the government need not pay compensation to a water district for
restrictions on water diversions to protect endangered species.  Casitas Municipal
Water District v. United States, Case No. 05-168L  ("Casitas").  The case involved a
municipal water district that built a fish ladder and other improvements to assist the
passage of endangered steelhead trout at the Robles Diversion Dam located on the
Ventura River.
The water district argued that restrictions imposed by the U.S. amounted to a taking
of property thereby triggering the Constitution's just compensation requirement
because the restrictions required the district to forego the exercise of a right to divert
approximately 3,200 acre-feet of water per year for irrigation purposes.  The water
district pointed out that water is a unique asset, the value of which is tied exclusively
to its use, and when its use is restricted or denied, all value is lost.

Appraisers'
Valuations for Tax Filings Come Under Microscope With New Law
By Arden Dale
Word Count: 446
It may soon become trickier to get an item appraised for tax purposes. The Pension
Protection Act, passed in August, puts appraisers in the sights of the Internal
Revenue Service by saying they can be penalized for valuations the agency later
decides are off the mark.
The move marks a big change because taxpayers, not appraisers, historically have
borne the brunt of a wrong valuation. One result: The cost of getting something
appraised may well rise.
Appraisals are used for a number of purposes in tax filings. For instance, noncash ...

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Appraisers'
Valuations for Tax Filings Come Under Microscope With New Law
By Arden Dale
Word Count: 446
It may soon become trickier to get an item appraised for tax purposes. The Pension
Protection Act, passed in August, puts appraisers in the sights of the Internal
Revenue Service by saying they can be penalized for valuations the agency later
decides are off the mark.
The move marks a big change because taxpayers, not appraisers, historically have
borne the brunt of a wrong valuation. One result: The cost of getting something
appraised may well rise.
Appraisals are used for a number of purposes in tax filings. For instance, noncash ...
• THE FULL WSJ.com ARTICLE IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.• IF YOU

Expansion Continues
In spite of cautious economic forecasts, unexpectedly
robust job growth fuels all property types in
2007

Federal Rules of Evidence
main page
search
|vidence overview
Contents & Context
These rules govern the introduction of evidence in proceedings, both civil and
criminal, in Federal courts. While they do not apply to suits in state courts, the rules
of many states have been closely modeled on these provisions.
real estate appraisal los angeles
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The Los Angeles Regional Board's
Basin Plan is designed to preserve and enhance
water quality and protect the beneficial uses of all regional waters. Specifically, the
Basin Plan (i) designates beneficial uses for surface and ground waters, (ii) sets
narrative and numerical objectives that must be attained or maintained to protect the
designated beneficial uses and conform to the state's antidegradation policy, and (iii)
describes implementation programs to protect all waters in the Region. In addition,
the Basin Plan incorporates (by reference) all applicable State and Regional Board
plans and policies and other pertinent water quality policies and regulations. Those
of other agencies are referenced in appropriate sections throughout the Basin Plan.
The Basin Plan is a resource for the Regional Board and others who use water
and/or discharge wastewater in the Los Angeles Region. Other agencies and
organizations involved in environmental permitting and resource management
activities also use the Basin Plan. Finally the Basin Plan provides valuable
information to the public about local water quality issues.

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Guide to
Underwriting with DU®
The Guide to Underwriting with DU® is a reference manual for underwriting
conventional conforming loans with DU. The Guide identifies specific characteristics
in the loan application and credit report that DU uses to evaluate risk and provide
underwriting recommendations for conventional loans that are eligible for sale to
Fannie Mae. The Guide provides detailed information for complete and accurate
submission of conventional conforming loans to DU.
Note:
Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, it might take several seconds
or minutes to open this file in your Web browser. Instead, you might want to save the
file to your computer before viewing the file. To save the file, right click the Guide link
and select "Save Target As."
January 2007 Guide


State Water Resources Control Board Releases Draft General Construction Permit -
Proposes Incorporation of Numeric Effluent Limits, Action Levels and
Hydromodification Control Requirements
by Mary Lynn Coffee and Melissa A. Poole
Late last week the State Water Resources Control Board ("State Board") released for
public review the much anticipated
Draft General Construction Permit, which is up for
reissuance by the State Board this year.  To view, please click
here.  The General
Construction Permit applies to virtually all construction activities that result in soil
disturbance of one acre or more, and according to State Board member Arthur
Baggett, will be a precedent for other industry-specific construction and stormwater
permits, such as the Caltrans permit, also due for renewal this year.  Public
workshops on the draft permit are planned for April in Northern and Southern
California; however, dates have not yet been set.  Further information about the date
and location of the workshops, and the submittal of comments on the Draft General
Construction Permit is expected to be posted on the State Board website by March .  

January 28, 2007
Real Estate Appraisals and Copyrighting Facts
posted by Eric Goldman
As reported by the Washington Post, an interesting intellectual property dispute is
brewing in the real estate appraisal business. On one side are traditional real estate
appraisers, who charge several hundred dollars for an appraisal that typically
involves an onsite inspection. On the other side are online appraisal services that,
relying on their databases and some algorithms, offer lenders an instantaneous
appraisal at a small fraction of the cost.
The traditional appraisers are upset because the online services may be extracting
information from their appraisals and using that information to improve their
databases (and thus the accuracy of their online appraisals). Taken to its logical
extreme, as online appraisers get better databases by capturing data from the
traditional appraisers’ inspections, traditional appraisers will destroy their own
industry.
Not surprisingly, the traditional appraisers are looking for ways to preserve their
market niche, and intellectual property doctrines can be great tools to hinder
marketplace competition. So the WaPo article mentions that the traditional appraisers
are considering their copyrights in their appraisals. After all, traditional appraisers put
in their sweat of the brow, so shouldn’t they be rewarded? (The article provides some
good quotes reflecting this paradigm).
We know how this argument goes. Copyright doesn’t protect the labor invested to
generate facts. Appraisers probably can copyright the report in its entirety, and they
may even be able to copyright their specific price estimate (see, e.g., CDN v. Kapes),
but there should be no way for appraisers or anyone else to obtain copyright
protection for a home’s basic specifications (e.g., square footage, age, number of
rooms). As a result, copyright law does not provide appraisers with any effective way
to restrict online databases from extracting facts from their reports. Thus, if traditional
appraisers are looking for a tool to restrict competition from online factual databases,
copyright law may not be very helpful.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled that MLS subsidiary WIREdata
may obtain
property assessment records maintained by the local county authorities under
Wisconsin’s Open Records Law. The purpose of these and other sunshine laws is to
allow the public access to government held data, which is copyright free under the
law. The Court ordered the local recordkeepers to transfer the data (input by
appraisers) from its computer databases, apparently without charge to WIREdata.
Whether computer stored or on “property report cards”, the data is still public, said
the Court, so hand it over. Extracting the “raw data” did not violate copyright laws.

WIREdata’s request was initially approved by the municipalities on condition it pony
up $6,600 in programming and other fees. WIREdata refused to pay and sued. This
was a “denial” under the law, said the Court of Appeals, overruling the lower court.
real estate appraisal los angeles

A
Conservation Easement Appraisal Guide Page 2
INTRODUCTION
By most measures, the past several years have been banner years for conservation
easement
activity throughout the State of Colorado. This is due in large part to the financial
incentives
designed into Colorado's unique state income tax credit for conservation easement
donations.
This program, along with other conservation programs such as Great Outdoors
Colorado
(GOCO) or the federal income tax benefits, has helped Colorado's landowners and
conservation
entities to protect many of Colorado's most cherished landscapes. All of this activity
has greatly
benefited Colorado's residents and visitors alike.
With this increase in easement activity has come an increased scrutiny of
conservation easement
valuations. While easement deals and easement donors vary dramatically, if
landowner's intend
to make a charitable contribution and take advantage of the federal and state tax
benefits, the
conservation easement's value must be substantiated by a qualified easement
appraisal that
determines its fair market value. The appraisal is also the single item that can come
under the
closest scrutiny from the IRS, the Colorado Department of Revenue, conservation
funders or
potential brokers and buyers of tax credits. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that
easement
appraisals be done by qualified appraisers who thoroughly understand the very
complicated
process of valuing a conservation easement.

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TO: All Interested Parties
FROM: Gregory J. Accetta, Chair
Appraisal Standards Board
RE: Results of the
Concept Paper on the Reporting Requirements of the Uniform
Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and Future Course of Action
DATE: January 25, 2007
On July 15, 2006, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) issued a Concept Paper to
solicit
comment on the reporting requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional
Appraisal
Practice (USPAP). This was the initial step in reviewing the current reporting
requirements in
USPAP. The purpose of this communication is to summarize the responses to that
Concept Paper
and discuss a potential course of action.
As defined in USPAP, reporting is not an aspect of an appraiser’s scope of work.
However,
throughout the ASB’s recent examination of the role of scope of work in the
development
process, the ASB received comments and questions related to reporting. Based on
the feedback
received, it appears that some appraisers and users of appraisal services question
whether or not
the reporting Standards offer the same degree of flexibility as the development
Standards.


HUD
OCPO, Western (Denver) Field Contracting Operations
Denver Operations Branch, NFW
R -- Technical Assistance for Rent Study and Rent Flexibility Module Modification 03,
Amendment 02
http://www.fbo.gov/spg/HUD/NFW/NFW/R%2DDEN%2D02125/listing.
html

Board: No favoritism in appraisal
Rockwall County: Resident said top appraiser gave ex-official value break
06:01 AM CST on Friday, February 23, 2007
By IAN McCANN / The Dallas Morning News
imccann@dallasnews.com
The state board that oversees appraisal districts has dismissed a complaint alleging
that the Rockwall County district gave former County Judge Bill Bell favorable
treatment in setting his home's taxable value.
Dave Montoya, executive director of the Texas Board of Tax Professional Examiners,
said Thursday that there was a lack of evidence to support county resident James
Merkel's allegation against chief appraiser Ray Helm.

BOMA International Launches The G.R.E.E.N. Web Site
One-Stop Energy and Environment Resource Now Available to
Commercial Real Estate Professionals

(WASHINGTON, DC-February 27, 2007) The Building Owners and Managers
Association (BOMA) International today launched The Green Resource Energy and
Environment Network (G.R.E.E.N.) viewable at
www.boma.org/green.
The G.R.E.E.N. offers commercial real estate professionals one-stop shopping for
valuable information on sustainability issues, ranging from BOMA’s advocacy policy
positions to state and local legislative initiatives to case studies to education offerings
such as the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP).  The G.R.E.E.N. is a
constantly evolving site that highlights industry best practices; reports on the latest
trends, solutions and educational practices; and keeps industry professionals
updated on advocacy and code development. The G.R.E.E.N. also provides
information on other industry programs and resources.
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Jury says
DOT appraisal was off
By STEPHEN GURR
The Times
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Hall County jury decided that the Georgia Department of Transportation offered a
landowner $2.2 million less than it should have for a tract of land it condemned for an
interchange improvement.
The jury sided with Gwinnett County developer Milton Bowen, the brother of DOT
board member Rudy Bowen, in setting a price of $3.5 million for 14.9 undeveloped
acres at U.S. 129 near the Interstate 985 interchange. The DOT had appraised the
land at $1.3 million. Bowen's attorney, Frank Armstrong, asked the jury to consider a
price of $6.7 million.

Supreme Court: Public Official May Not Rely On Government Attorney's Advice As to
Conflict of Interest Rules
by Lloyd W. Pellman and Stephen N. Roberts
Public officials throughout the state face a thorny issue whenever they consider
making a decision that may affect them personally.  A recent decision of the
California Supreme Court, People v. Maria Socorro Chacon, No. S125536 (February
8, 2007) ("Chacon"), holds that a
public official may not use reliance upon the advice
of his or her government agency's counsel as a defense in a prosecution for an
alleged conflict of interest.  

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Copyright Appraiser Takes on AVMs
by David Brauner, Editor
Tim Vining,  is at it again. Vining is the appraiser who made national news by filing
the first appraisal copyright infringement lawsuit- and collecting. This time he is
challenging the legitimacy of AMVs to do valuations in his home state of Washington,
where qualification standards are required for those who perform real estate
valuations.
(Washington Real Estate Appraiser Act- INTENT: (1) “It is the intent of the legislature
that only individuals who meet and maintain minimum standards of competence and
conduct established under this chapter for certified, licensed, or registered real
estate appraisers may provide real estate appraisal services to the public.”)
Vining also wonders whether
AVMs that extract appraiser’s data are in conflict with
federal privacy legislation, particularly the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB). (story
continues below)

Ninth Circuit Requires Service to Quantify Take of Listed Species it Authorizes or
Demonstrate Why Quantification is Impracticable
In an opinion that raises the bar for issuance of incidental take statements (ITS)
issued under Section 7 of the federal
Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. §
1536), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated an ITS for failing to specify
conditions under which reinitiation of consultation would be triggered.  Oregon
Natural Resources Council v. Allen, No. 05-35830 (9th Cir. Feb. 16, 2007).
Furthermore, although the court did not go so far as to require the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Sercive (Service) to specify numeric limits on individual members of listed fish
and wildlife species killed or harmed (“taken”) in all ITSs, it did express a strong
preference for such numeric limits, rebuking the Service for issuing an ITS “without
explaining why such a limit is impracticable to obtain and employ.”

Office of Affordable
Housing Preservation (
OAHP)
Housing subsidy contracts are expiring on thousands of privately owned multifamily
properties with federally insured mortgages. Many of these contracts set rents at
amounts higher than those of the local market. As these subsidy contracts expire, the
Mark-to-Market program will reduce rents to market levels and will restructure existing
debt to levels supportable by these rents.
The Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring (OMHAR) was established
by the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 (MAHRA) to
administer the Mark-to-Market program until sunset on September 30, 2004.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established a new
office, the Office of Affordable Housing Preservation (OAHP) effective October 1,
2004. The Office of Affordable Housing Preservation was established to assure the
smooth continuation of the Mark to Market program (M2M) utilizing authorities that
continue after the legislative sunset of OMHAR on September 30, 2004. OAHP will
also provide assistance to affordable housing areas in the oversight and
preservation of a wide spectrum of affordable housing programs. OAHP will be
charged with important projects and programs while continuing the success of the
M2M program.
OAHP will continue to work with property owners, Participating Administrative Entities
(PAEs), tenants, lenders, and others with a stake in the future of affordable housing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OAHP Website Map Now Available!
OAHP realizes there are many websites with a lot of different web pages and
documentation and it can be frustrating trying to find the web page and/or document
that will fit the viewers need. To help alleviate this problem on OAHP's website, a new
web page is now available to assist its viewers in locating the most commonly used
web pages and documents relating to OAHP and the Mark-to-Market Program. To
view the listing go to the OAHP Site Map web page.

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Welcome to the Appraisal Subcommittee (
ASC)
The Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination
Council - ASC - welcomes you to its NEW, UPDATED Web site. To learn more about
its new features, please click here.
We hope that you find our Web site easy to use and full of comprehensive
information about the Federal oversight system regarding licensed or certified real
estate appraisers.
To navigate this site: select a blue primary "tab" at top of your screen. After selecting
a primary tab, a row of yellow secondary tabs will appear under the primary tab,
which now will be yellow. Select the secondary tab that identifies your area of interest.
To receive automated email notifications about the status (active or expired) and
disciplinary actions (revocations, suspensions, and surrenders) regarding appraisers
on the National Registry, click here.
If you would like to ask a specific question about the ASC or request information,
advice, or other data that is not available on this Web site, please contact us by:
U.S. Mail at 2000 K Street, N.W., Suite 310; Washington, D.C. 20006;
E-mail to ASC Staff at these e-mail addresses;
Calling us at 202-293-6250; or
Faxing us at 202-293-6251.

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RCA
Report-Value outside the box
Commercial owners and managers
have long spiffed up the lobby,
added a few amenities, and upped
the rents to increase asset value.
But adding value can be more than
a new lobby or even a complete
change of use. Here are three creative
solutions to adding value outside
the box.

Construction
Calculators
Lowe’s For Pros offers a wide range of construction calculators, from insulation to
concrete calculators, that provide not only materials estimates, but man-hours
estimates as well.
Take the guesswork out of your next job and start using Lowe’s For Pros
construction calculators now. Simply click on any link below to begin
Insulation Calculators  
Blown-in Insulation
R-Value
Rolled Insulation man-hours included!
Concrete Calculators
Concrete Grade Beams man-hours included!
Concrete Footings man-hours included!
Concrete Holes & Pillars man-hours included!
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Concrete Footings (non-continuous) man-hours included!
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Carpet Flooring man-hours included!
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Wall Coverings Calculators
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Beam Calculator
Rafter Stock Size
Siding Calculators
Siding Squares
Siding Planks
Siding Panels

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Land
use
From Wex, everyone's resource for law learning
Table of contents [showhide]  
1 land use law: an overview
2 menu of sources
2.1 Federal Material
2.1.1 U.S. Constitution
2.1.2 Federal Statutes
2.1.3 Federal Regulations
2.1.4 Federal Judicial Decisions
2.2 State Material
2.2.1 State Statutes
2.2.2 Judicial Decisions
2.3 Other References
2.3.1 Key Internet Sources
2.3.2 Useful Offnet (or Subscription - $) Sources
3 other topics
land use law: an overview
In colonial America few regulations existed on the use of land due to the seemingly
endless amounts of it. As society shifted from a rural to an urban society, public land
regulation became important especially to city governments trying to control industry,
commerce, and housing within its boundaries. The first zoning ordinance was passed
in New York City in 1916 and by the 1930s, most states had adopted zoning laws. By
the 1970s, concerns about the environment and historic preservation led to further
regulation.
Today, federal, state, and local governments regulate growth and development
through statutory law. The majority of controls on land, however, stem from actions of
private developers and individuals. Three typical situations involving such private
entities and the court system are: suits brought by one neighbor against another;
suits brought by a public official against a neighboring landowner on behalf of the
public; and suits involving individuals who share ownership of a particular parcel of
land. In these settings judicial determination and enforcement of private land-use
arrangements can not only reinforce public regulation but achieve forms and levels
of control zoning cannot.

AMERICAN PLANNING
ASSOCIATION
Planning Acronyms and Abbreviations
A List of Generic Terms and Organization Titles
About the American Planning Association
The need for planners to shape a community vision has never been greater. The
American Planning Association brings together thousands of people — practicing
planners, citizens, elected officials — committed to making great communities happen.
APA is a nonprofit public interest and research organization committed to urban,
suburban, regional, and rural planning. APA and its professional institute, the

American Institute of Certified
Planners, advance the art and science of planning to
meet the needs of people and society.

Parole. L A thesaraus of modern concepts in
urban development. For each there is a
definition, bibliography and its source publication.

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Appraiser,  Realtor,

This is the single largest, comprehensive, exhaustive and
current  listing of urban planning websites on the Internet.
The webmaster for
About Planning has been the "urban planning" category editor for
two (2) of the three (3) largest Internet directories. Each directory maintains over 2
million websites. Once you have checked out the 300 sites here, you won't need to
visit another directory again. The editor constantly updates this site and reviews
each site carefully for planning content, relevance and functionality.  The About
Planning editor has some favorites ( J ), least favorites ( L  ) and indifference ( K ).
CA Appraiser,

UCLA
Center for Neighborhood Knowledge

Convert
v4.10
Convert is a useful utility program to convert English and Metric units for a large
number of engineering and scientific factors. You can even make custom
conversions tailored to your needs - great for estimators! We recommend
downloading the file directly onto your desktop for easy access. Convert is Freeware
that works in Windows 95 and 98.
<Size: 153 kb; Download time: 0 min. 21 sec. on 56 Kbps modem>

Introduction
Noise pollution is not a new issue. It has been around since the beginning of
transportation, and its roots closely parallel that of transportation development itself.
In the beginning, animal hooves and people were the primary noise sources, but they
were eventu-ally replaced by the clickety clank of iron wheels on cobblestone and
block roads. This problem resulted in the first documented noise regulation.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, EDUCATION LAW, GOVERNMENT
LAW,
PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
Mt. San Jacinto Cmty. College Dist. v. Superior Court of Riverside County, No.
S132251 (Cal. February 22, 2007)
In the context of "quick-take" eminent domain actions and deposits of probable
compensation by the condemner: 1) a statutory date of property valuation, that
occurs at the time probable compensation is deposited, is constitutional; and 2) a
requirement of a waiver of claims and defenses for receipt of deposited probable
compensation is also constitutional.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.] http://caselaw.findlaw.
com/data2/californiastatecases/s132251.doc
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.] http://caselaw.lp.
findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/s132251.pdf. CA Appraiser,

The
Forest Service appraisal review system is designed to protect the appraiser, the
line officer, and the public by providing an independent, technical analysis of the
adequacy of real property appraisal reports in compliance with the Uniform Appraisal
Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA) and the Uniform Standards of
Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).
70.2 – Objectives
The Forest Service appraisal review system is designed to:
1.  Approve reasonable and accurate value estimate(s) supported by facts and
analyses for use in real property actions.
2.  Maintain acceptable quality of appraisal reports by ensuring that:
a.  The appraisal process complies with UASFLA, USPAP, with applicable Federal
law, Departmental regulations, and Forest Service policy.
b.  The appraisal approaches and techniques have been properly developed without
error or omission.
c.  In partial acquisitions, the appraisal does not include noncompensable items, and
all compensable items have been considered.
d.  Contract appraisals comply with contract specifications.
e.  The reviews which critique an appraiser's work are used to advise the appraiser
of the level of performance required and that being performed.  Appraisal review
permits monitoring of the overall Regional or National appraisal program.
f.  There are annual compliance reviews of all staff appraisers.

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LETTER OPINION
2002-L-41
July 12, 2002
Mr. John Warcup
Assistant City Attorney
City of Grand Forks
PO Box 12909
Grand Forks, ND 58208-2909
Dear Mr. Warcup:
Thank you for your letter asking
whether a copy of an appraisal of real property
requested by the landowner is an open record under N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.
The City of Grand Forks (City) is acquiring property to construct the Grand Forks
Flood
Protection Project. This is a joint project between the Corps of Engineers (Corps), the
city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and the City, with the costs being shared by the
parties. The City is responsible to pay for and perform all necessary real estate
acquisitions in Grand Forks under the agreement between the parties.
The requested appraisal was ordered by the City, the fee was paid by the City, and
any
negotiations for acquiring the real property are to be handled by the City. If
negotiations
are unsuccessful, an eminent domain or condemnation proceeding would be
commenced in state court by the City which bears responsibility to acquire the
property
either through negotiation or condemnation proceedings.

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
ACQUISITION, DISPOSITION, AND EXCHANGE OF STATE LAND
Operational Audit
Finding No. 7: We noted deficiencies,
including the use of unapproved
appraisal
reports, for a land exchange which was
approved by the Board of Trustees.

Dear Clients and Friends:

Thank you for attending Nossaman’s recent seminar, “Planning for the Future: Land
Use Legal Issues for 2007 and Beyond.”  A copy of the presentation has been
posted to our website and can be found by clicking
here.  We welcome your
suggestions for additional topics relevant to the development and home building
industries for future Nossaman seminars.  
To receive Nossaman legal updates on breaking land use and environmental issues,
click here to sign up for our free E-Alerts.  
I look forward to seeing you soon.


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Department of the Army, Corps of
Engineers
[ZRIN 0710–ZA02]
Reissuance of Nationwide Permits
AGENCY: Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.
ACTION: Final notice.
SUMMARY:
The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (Corps) is reissuing all
existing nationwide permits (NWPs),
general conditions, and definitions,
with some modifications. The Corps is
also issuing six new NWPs, two new
general conditions, and 13 new
definitions. The effective date for the
new and reissued NWPs will be March
19, 2007. These NWPs will expire on
March 18, 2012. The NWPs will protect
the aquatic environment and the public
interest while effectively authorizing
activities that have minimal individual
and cumulative adverse effects on the
aquatic environment.
DATES: The NWPs and general
conditions will become effective on
March 19, 2007.
ADDRESSES: U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Attn: CECW–CO, 441 G
Street NW., Washington, DC 20314–
1000.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr.
David Olson at 202–761–4922 or by email
at david.b.olson@usace.army.mil or
access the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Home Page at http://
www.usace.army.mil/inet/functions/cw/
cecwo/reg/.

The mission of the
Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the Nation’s
aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and
balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all
construction activities that occur in the Nation’s waters, including wetlands.  Corps
permits are also necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the
Nation’s navigable waters. The Corps balances the reasonably foreseeable benefits
and detriments of proposed projects, and makes permit decisions that recognize the
essential values of the Nation’s aquatic ecosystems to the general public, as well as
the property rights of private citizens who want to use their land. During the permit
process, the Corps considers the views of other Federal, state and local agencies,
interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest
review are fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property,
infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the
authorized impacts to the waters of the US. The adverse impacts to the aquatic
environment are offset by mitigation requirements, which may include restoring,
enhancing, creating and preserving aquatic functions and values. The Corps strives
to make its permit decisions in a timely manner that minimizes impacts to the
regulated public.

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CONSTRUCTION, GOVERNMENT
CONTRACTS, GOVERNMENT LAW, SERVICES, TRANSPORTATION
Prof'l Eng'rs in California Gov't v. Kempton, No.
S139917
In a writ proceeding, a state employees' union and a taxpayer challenged Caltrans's
interpretation of Proposition 35, which expressly removed a constitutional restriction
on the ability of governmental entities to contract with private firms for architectural
and engineering services on public works projects. A ruling in favor of Caltrans in the
proceeding is affirmed as Proposition 35 implicitly repealed prior statutes regulating
private contracting, but did not invalidate the prior procedure for selecting private
contractors

Supreme Court To Hear Important
CERCLA Cost Recovery Case
By Alfred E. Smith, II
On April 23, 2007, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in U.S. v.
Atlantic Research Corporation, Supreme Court Case No. 06-562 (“Atlantic
Research”).  The case raises important issues for parties seeking to recover
environmental remediation costs under the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”).  If the Supreme Court does
not affirm the decision of the Eighth Circuit in U.S. v. Atlantic Research Corp., 459 F.
3d 827 (8th Cir. 2006), many public agencies, water purveyors and other parties will
be significantly limited in their ability to utilize CERCLA’s powerful enforcement tools
to recover costs from responsible parties that are incurred cleaning up hazardous
contamination

The purpose of this article is to give a delineation of what it will take for a loan officer
to become an expert and thus differentiate themselves from the competition. If you
are interested in just getting by—I would suggest you stop reading at this juncture.  If
you are truly interested in learning what it will take to succeed, this will at least give
you an outline for the road. It certainly does not include every facet or course I would
recommend—but it gives you the idea of how varied and comprehensive we must be.
Our industry touches upon many facets of people’s lives and we can’t help people
without taking into account all aspects of the real estate finance transaction.
1.      Learn the
real estate process.


Economic Developments Courtesy of Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist
Fannie Mae’s chief economist, David Berson, tackles the most up-to-date topics
pertaining to the financial market. Have concerns around the recent scrutiny into the
subprime market? Then you definitely want to read David’s
Monthly Outlook. Recent
topics include housing activity, discussions around the correlation between interest
rates and the stock market. For more immediate information about what is occurring
within the mortgage industry—be sure to view his
Weekly Commentary.

Zillow.com estimates draw fire, state ban
Peter Corbett
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 14, 2007 12:00 AM
An Arizona regulatory board has ordered
Zillow.com to stop offering its online
estimates of home values.
The Arizona Board of Appraisal has issued two cease-and-desist letters to the
popular real estate Web site, claiming Zillow needs an appraiser license to offer its
"zestimates" in Arizona.
"It is the board's feeling that (Zillow) is providing an appraisal," said Deborah
Pearson, Board of Appraisal executive director

Technical
Bulletins  
In order to provide the most up-to-date technical and industry information about
polyiso insulation, PIMA—the trade association of the polyiso industry—researches
and posts technical bulletins, advisories and case studies. These documents are
published as a public service to help expand the knowledge of architects,
consultants, building owners and roofing contractors and to build consensus on the
performance characteristics of polyiso. Individual polyiso manufacturers should be
consulted for specifics about their respective products’ performance and applications.

Pollution Loss Allocation and Other
Insurance Coverage Issues Before CA Supreme
Court
by Kurt W. Melchior and Deborah E. Beck
Accepting what may be one of the most important insurance coverage cases in some
time, the California Supreme Court has granted review in State of California v.
Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 146 Cal. App. 4th 851 (2006).  In that case, the
State sought indemnification from its comprehensive general liability (CGL) insurers
for damages caused by discharges at the Stringfellow waste disposal site.  The State’
s policies included the 1970 form of the pollution exclusion, which precludes
coverage for damages caused by the discharge of pollutants unless the discharge
was “sudden and accidental.”  (Later policies commonly contain the “absolute
pollution exclusion,” which bars indemnity even for sudden and accidental pollution.)

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the insurers.  The 4th District
Court of Appeal reversed.  Two of the court’s rulings—holding the policy language
“arising out of” ambiguous and interpreting the so-called “watercourse exclusion”—
differ from other courts’ rulings and are controversial.  Perhaps of greatest interest,
however, are the appellate court’s rulings on the allocation of losses.

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Understanding
Hardwood Lumber Grading       
This article from Independent Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine covers the basics.
September 21, 2001
Reprinted with permission from the Feb/March 98 issue of Independent Sawmill &
Woodlot Magazine
Today, NHLA grading rules are not only the dominant grading system for hardwood
lumber in the United States, but also form the basis for much of the international
trade in hardwoods.
Most hardwood lumber produced in this country is graded using the rules developed
and maintained by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). In 1897,
hardwood lumber producers and users formed the NHLA to standardize the grading
of hardwood lumber. Prior to that time, individual mills had their own grading systems
for their local markets. The original NHLA grading rules were based on the number
and size of defects as the major criteria. This changed in the early 1930's to grading
rules based on the amount and size of clear cuttings. Other than slight modifications
every once and awhile, the rules have been relatively stable since that time.

Lumber
Guide
Buying by the Board Foot
Softwood Lumber Grades
Hardwood Lumber Grades
Lumber Grading Terms
Milling Our Lumber

Introduction
A successful do-it-yourself project starts with good
wood. At first you may think
there's a secret lumberyard code when you confront the many types and dimensions
of wood. But once you take time to learn how the industry assigns grades and
determines sizes, it's easy to choose and order the lumber best suited for your
purpose--and maybe save money, too.

Plywood
by Fix-It Club
Some projects require that you use or at least understand plywood. This material is a
very popular construction tool, because the layering of thin sheets of wood gives it
great flexibility and strength. Knowing about plywood can save you money and may
mean the difference between a successful project and one that fails.

Welcome to
OSBGuideTM
The Structural Board Association represents the world's leading manufacturers
of Oriented Strand Board (OSB).
To learn more about the SBA or OSB, select a topic from the list below.
About the Structural Board Association: Learn more...
About Oriented Strand Board: Learn more...
OSB Facts for Homeowners: Learn more...
OSB Performance for Builders: Learn more...
OSB Specifications for Architects: Learn more...
SBA Membership: Learn more...

When you need cost-effective high performance in floor and roof systems, beams
and headers, or rim boards for frame construction,
engineered lumber products from
Georgia-Pacific outperforms conventional lumber with higher strength and greater
stability over longer spans. GP Engineered Lumber resists shrinking, crowning,
twisting and warping, which means quieter floors and fewer callbacks.

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
Welcome to the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), headquartered in
Chicago, Illinois, with membership throughout the world. PCI, an organization
dedicated to fostering greater understanding and use of precast and prestressed
concrete, maintains a full staff of technical and marketing specialists.
Home > Publications >
Designer's Notebook
Article List
Benefits and Advantages
Blast Considerations - Part 1
Blast Considerations - Part 1
Blast Considerations - Part 3
Blast Considerations - Part 4
Bullnoses
Clay Product-Faced Precast
Corners and Returns
Cornices
Design Economy - Part 1
Design Economy - Part 2
Design Economy - Part 3
Designer’s Notebook
Energy Conservation 64 page booklet.
Energy Conservation and Condensation Control, Part 1
Energy Conservation and Condensation Control, Part 2
Energy Conservation, Part 3
Multiple Mixes/Textures
Radiused Precast Concrete
Reveals
Sculptural Forms
Specification Guidance - Part 1
Specification Guidance - Part 2
Specification Guidance - Part 3
Specification Guidance - Part 4
Stone Veneer-Faced Precast - Part 1
Stone Veneer-Faced Precast - Part 2
Sustainable Design, Part 1
Window Panels

These kits are the first by any manufacturer in the housing industry to conform to
National Housing Quality (NHQ) Certified Training Materials Program guidelines,
which seek to improve the installed performance of individual building products and
ultimately improve the quality, durability, and affordability of the entire house.
The training kits include an instructional video, an instructor guide and a student
guide. All of these materials are provided in both English and Spanish, and are also
accessible via a CD-ROM, which is provided in the kit. The kit is intended for use by
builders who actively participate in the training program. Videotapes and CDs are
also available by themselves to anyone interested in learning more about installing
Simpson products.
Simpson is the first building products manufacturer to become an official sponsor of
the NHQ program, which is designed to foster consistency and quality in building
practices.

Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to training customers on the proper specification,
installation and inspection of structural system solutions.
As part of this commitment our r
egional training centers offer a selection of seminars
for engineers, architects, dealers, contractors and inspectors. These dedicated
training facilities offer opportunities for classroom instruction as well as chances for
hands-on installation of Simpson Strong-Tie products. Participants can earn
professional development hours (PDH) through Simpson’s registration with CSI, SEA,
ICC, BIA, AIBO, ACIA and AIBD. Read more about Simpson Training.

For example, you don't need to buy an expensive piece of plywood that's perfect on
both sides if only one side will be seen. Similarly, there's no sense in paying for 1/2-
inch thickness when 3/8-inch plywood is really all you need. Plywood also comes with
different glues, veneers, and degrees of finish. By knowing these characteristics you
may be able to save money as well as do a better job.

Federal Citizens Information Center "
Housing"

Building codes require structures to be designed with a system of connections that
provide a continuous load path
capable of transferring forces through the framing members to the foundation. In
regions of the country prone to high
wind events, this method of construction is critical to the safety and welfare of the
public.
Homes in
high wind regions are often designed by professional structural engineers
who carefully detail the
connections required between framing members to ensure that the wind forces are
safely transferred through the
structure. The building code also offers prescriptive design guidelines that provide
instructions for builders and detail
the way the structure should be built. The International Residential Code (IRC)
provides prescriptive requirements
for homes built in low wind regions defined as having a design wind speed less than
110 mph for the 2003 IRC or
less than 100 mph for the 2006 IRC. For higher wind speeds, the IRC refers builders
to the AF&PA Wood Frame
Construction Manual (WFCM) which covers construction methods for winds speeds
up to 150 mph.


REALTORS® Commercial Alliance Report
The REALTORS®
Commercial Alliance Report is published four times annually and
distributed to members of the National Association of REALTORS® and commercial
real estate industry leaders. To receive the RCA Report, update your NRDS
information to include commercial interests in the "Field of Business List".
AppraisalPort / FNC - Class Action Suit Seeks $5 Million in Damages
In a lawsuit filed May 9th, 2007, FNC has been sued for:

False Advertising under the Lanham Act
Intentional Misrepresentation (Fraud)
Negligent Misrepresentation
Conversion, Misappropriation, and Breach of Bailment
Breach of Implied Contract
Click here for the source document: FNC Complaint
"The Plaintiffs bring this action as a class action on behalf of all appraisers, including
both individuals and entities enAppealing a low appraisal may mean doing some
legwork
By Lew Sichelman, United Feature Syndicate
April 22, 2007


WASHINGTON — As many people are finding out that, in today's down market, their
homes aren't worth what they thought. At least not in the eyes of the professionals
hired to tell lenders what the places could fetch.
In a perfect world, the value of a property is what a buyer will pay for it. But the
housing market is imperfect at best.
For example, buyers sometimes will pay whatever the seller asks just to get a house
they've come to love, whether the price has any basis in reality.
And in a few instances, buyers and sellers intentionally conspire to inflate the agreed-
upon price to defraud the lender and line their pockets to the tune of thousands of
dollars.
Consequently, an appraiser, a valuation expert who can give the property the once-
over and give the lender an impartial opinion of its worth, is needed.
But the art of appraising is not an exact science. And those who practice it are
fallible. If you believe your appraiser has made a mistake, you can appeal to your
lender.
Start by finding out whether your appraisal was done in person or electronically.
More and more lenders use automated valuations, particularly in the home-equity
sector, to speed up the process and cut costs. But they are notoriously inaccurate.
Ask to have your place valued by someone who actually looks at your house,
compares it to others in the neighborhood, checks out the community and does all
the things an appraiser is supposed to do. In most cases, lenders will bow to your
wishes, especially if you are willing to cover the several hundred dollars a full
appraisal will cost.
If a real, live appraiser is responsible for a valuation you think has come in too low,
you always can ask for a second opinion from another appraiser. But you'll have to
pay for that too. Moreover, the second valuation must be more than 5% higher than
the first. In the appraisal game, anything less is considered an acceptable difference.
You can help your case by doing some of the appraisal spadework on your own.
Start with searching out "comparables" the appraiser may have missed the first time
around. A comparable is a property of the same size and style in the same location
and with the same features as the one being appraised. To determine a fair-market
value for the subject property, an appraiser looks for recent sales of several
comparable properties.

Normally, they limit their search for "comps" to the Multiple Listing Service. And when
they do that, they may not be looking at the entire market. Even though enough
sales pass through the typical MLS that an appraiser should have little trouble finding
comparables, not every deal goes through the system. Independent brokers who are
not MLS members make many of them, and some are made without the help of an
agent, MLS member or not. As a result, half of all transactions in some markets occur
outside the MLS. Your job is to find them. To do that, you'll have to comb the land
records at the courthouse.
gaged in performing appraisals, who have used the
AppraisalPort web service of
FNC since its inception through at least April 2007, and who were damaged
thereby."   
The Plaintiffs are requesting that the Court award them damages and/or recoupment
of profits in an amount greater than $5,000,000 to be determined at trial.
The complaint starts off with a brief history of how AppraisalPort functions, the AI
Ready data standard, and how appraisers interface with the service and their
clients.  

Appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraisal organization:
NAR (National Association of Realtors) believes that the intent of FIRREA was to limit
reliance on appraisal organizations in determining appraiser qualifications for various
complex appraisal transactions, while placing emphasis on the qualifications
prescribed by the AQB and USPAP. Members of NAR’s Appraisal Committee have
indicated that education and experience are more of an indication of appraiser
capabilities than membership in an appraisal organization. They’ve also indicated
that the creation of the Appraisal Foundation through FIRREA was meant to set
national appraisal standards while de-emphasizing membership in an appraisal
organization. Members note at the time FIRREA was passed, there was no national
appraisal standard, rather there was a patchwork of appraisal organizations which
offered qualifications with varying degrees of rigor.
Thus, NAR (National Association
of Realtors)believes that the IRS should place greater emphasis on education and
experience rather than membership in an appraisal organization in its determination
of what constitutes a qualified appraiser.
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