Real Property Matters
The legal aspects of planning, financing and constructing or modifying school facilities is a special area of expertise of the Firm. The Firm also has substantial experience working with the Office of Public School Construction ("OPSC") and the State Allocation Board ("SAB") with regard to submitting and obtaining approval of applications for funding and reimbursement for land acquisition and related real property matters, as well as funding and reimbursement of construction costs, on behalf of school districts. The Firm has in-depth experience among its attorneys in regard to negotiated land acquisitions or sales and condemnation matters, including compliance with all applicable local and state laws and the policies and funding requirements of the OPSC and the SAB. This has been particularly true as obtaining "Financial Hardship" status and now "Bridge Financing" for such "Unfunded List" approvals of the SAB. We have assisted numerous school districts with initial selection of school sites and construction of school facilities. This includes negotiation with landowners, preparation of purchase/sale agreements, obtaining approvals of the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the California Department of Education, complying with CEQA and assistance in school construction, and litigation when necessary.
The Firm also has been involved in numerous condemnation proceedings, which have necessitated interfacing with appraisers and other experts, the drafting of all notices to property owners, as well as the conducting of public hearings for condemnation and preparation of resolutions, and, if necessary, initiating eminent domain proceedings. Should a need for litigation arise, the Firm's attorneys possess litigation experience in both the trial and appellate courts. We have been successful in negotiating the purchase of many unimproved and partially improved school sites and have represented school districts in various property exchanges.
The Firm has been involved in many boundary reorganization issues and has assisted school districts with the closing of schools and the sale or lease of surplus properties. This has included all aspects of disposing of surplus property including, negotiations with cities and counties over zoning issues and assisting school districts with community or political opposition.
While we strive to avoid disputes or resolve them at the earliest possible date and the least cost, the Firm has successfully litigated property acquisitions and school construction disputes.