Stuart D. Kaplow, P.A.

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Earlier this year a precedent setting property sale in Vermont was the first real estate transaction in the United States using blockchain, portending a new era in the sale of land and improvements. Blockchain technology is an industry disrupter on the cusp of improving transactions across all sectors and borders. It is suggested blockchain may do for the $217 trillion U.S. real estate market what the portable phone did for communication, .. and that may…
At a time when solar panels are de riguere a recent decision by a Maryland appellate court limiting the authority of local governments to regulate the location and specifics of construction of a solar farm has broad implications far beyond this case. Perennial Solar, LLC filed an application for a zoning special exception and variance to construct a solar panel farm in Washington County, Maryland. The Washington County Board of Zoning Appeals granted the relief…
Buried in the omnibus spending bill signed earlier this year were amendments to the Superfund law that for the first time make clear that tenants can qualify as bona fide prospective purchasers, protected from cleanup costs from the presence of hazardous substances on a property. The Consolidated Appropriations Act signed on March 23, 2018 included in Division N, the ‘‘Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018’’ (the BUILD Act). The Comprehensive Environmental Response,…
The 2018 International Green Construction Code was released on November 8, 2018 by the U.S. Green Building Council, International Code Council, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society. Make no mistake, the 203 page document unveiled by the coterie of trade group authors and available from the ICC for sale to the public (.. click here for a free read only copy of the 2018 IgCC), is an entirely new standard and…
This post is a compilation of the highlights from the just completed Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that took place last week in Chicago. Possibly more accurately stated, this is a report on the state of the LEED green building rating system. The state of LEED is strong. It is a given that each year Greenbuild is “the” target rich environment for networking with others across the environmental industrial complex and for learning about what…
Despite that a frog told us all in a song lyric, “it’s not easy bein’ green,” it is easy to buy a green building, but .. And there are many good reasons for purchasing a green building that is LEED Certified. LEED gave us the technologies and methodologies revolutionizing the way we construct and occupy buildings. And while there is no debate that a LEED Certified building has a higher return on investment than a…
A decision earlier this month by the Eleventh Circuit United States Courts Of Appeals goes further than other modern courts in describing that building codes when adopted by local government cannot be copyrighted. Ruling that “the law,” whether by statute, ordinance, regulations, or code, and even when its source is a judicial opinion, is not subject to federal copyright law, has broad implications, particularly for green building. And it is not new law that government’s…
RELi 2.0, a comprehensive rating system that provides strategies and tools for resilient building and design, is expected to be launched on Monday, November 12th. The launch of RELi 2.0 is significant because it is widely suggested, just as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is now standard practice in nearly every commercial real estate transaction in this country, that in the future the same will be true of a resilience assessment. The Green Business…
EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood. Lead is harmful to health, especially for children. Though most lead exposure occurs when people eat paint chips and inhale dust, the EPA estimates that up to 20% of lead exposure comes from drinking water. Lead enters drinking water through multiple pathways and the largest quantity is through corrosion, that is a…
For the uninitiated GRESB assesses the sustainability performance of real estate and infrastructure portfolios worldwide. GRESB is the global environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real estate assets. GRESB’s stated “mission is to enhance and protect shareholder value by assessing and empowering sustainability practices in the real asset sector.” They do that by offering ESG data transparency in scorecards, benchmark reports and portfolio analysis tools. The bottom line is that ESG data is increasingly…