The Alabama Homebuilders Association of Alabama, Inc. (the Homebuilders) has sued the Alabama State Board for Registration of Architects (the Board) seeking to invalidate a regulation that requires an architect for the design of townhouses. Alabama’s code exempts from the practice of architecture the making of plans and specifications for the construction of “single-family residence buildings.” The Board’s regulations state that an architect is not required for design of a “detached single-family residence.” (more…)

Although the air may not be cool and crisp yet, it is August, and in the South, that means football season is just around the corner.  Perhaps it is “football brain” that drove our thoughts in presenting recommendations for creating and running a successful joint venture (“JV”), resulting in the analogies discussed below.  However, we believe it is more than that.  A successful joint venture, much like a successful football program, requires thoughtful planning during the inception phase, strong leadership with well-defined roles, and careful risk management. Coin-toss, kick-off, and read on to learn effective ways to make your JV perform like it is playing on the varsity team.
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A New Jersey court recently reversed a variance issued by a zoning board to a building designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.  The owner of the planned office building sought and obtained site plan approval and a height variance from the zoning board.  Among other things, the zoning board found that the landscaping plan “conserves natural resources and prevents degradation of the environment,” that the site plan fulfilled planning goals of reducing impervious coverage, and that achieving the LEED Gold standard for energy use, recycling and waste disposal “promotes the [land use law’s] purpose of promoting utilization of renewable energy resources.” (more…)