• Richard Patch Named Client Service All-Star for Second Year

    For the second consecutive year, Richard Patch was named among the best attorneys for client service by corporate counsel in BTI’s 2018 Client Service All-Star list.

    The annual list from BTI Consulting Group Inc. is based on direct feedback from more than 300 corporate counsel of large businesses and Fortune 1000 companies with $1 billion or more in revenue identifying attorneys who stand out for delivering superior client service. This is

    Richard’s second year named to the list, one of only 17 attorneys making repeat appearances on the BTI All-Star list from last year. Clients single out these MVPs for providing consistent service over time—proving themselves as the best at client service time and time again. The Client Service All-Stars excel in six common traits identified by corporate counsel and legal decision makers: having superior client focus; demonstrating an unmatched understanding of the client’s business; having exceptional legal skills; delivering efficient, value-added service; being innovative thought leaders; and a new driver—delivering superior client experience.

    As a senior trial and appellate lawyer, Richard Patch is widely regarded as one of the leading satellite, cable and telecommunications lawyers in the country. Richard was also recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star in 2014 and 2017, and Coblentz has been recognized in BTI’s Client Service A-Team for several consecutive years where corporate counsel continue to rank Coblentz in the top firms nationally for client service excellence.

    Categories: News
  • Assemblyman Chiu Unveils AB 3037 Community Redevelopment Proposal

    Assemblyman David Chiu has unveiled his long-promised legislation to establish a modified version of the state’s former redevelopment program, aimed at creating major state funding for affordable housing, transit, and other infrastructure. Chiu introduced AB 3037 as placeholder legislation on February 16 and amended it on March 19. Committee hearings began on April 11.

    When redevelopment agencies were eliminated in 2011, cities and counties lost approximately $1 billion in annual funding for affordable housing. Following on the heels of major state housing legislation passed in 2017, AB 3037 would allow cities and counties to establish new agencies (each, a “redevelopment housing and infrastructure agency”) to capture tax increment within designated geographic areas for affordable housing, transit priority projects and other specified infrastructure and community facilities. The legislation attempts to address critiques of former redevelopment agency spending abuses by adding auditing and other accountability measures. The state would also agree to repay any property tax losses to local school districts.

    Key features of the legislation include:

    • A requirement for state (Strategic Growth Council) consent that establishment of the local agency would further statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals.
    • Department of Finance review and approval based on specified standards, including state fiscal capacity and consistency with a to-be-negotiated tax revenue cap.
    • Housing preservation and development requirements, including implementation of anti-displacement policies, and dedication of at least 30% of the available increment to affordable housing.
    • Detailed auditing and record keeping, with major fines for non-compliance.
    • Authority to issue bonds to finance housing or infrastructure projects.

    We will continue to track this legislation as it moves through Committee hearings.

  • Coblentz Expands Wine Country Office with the Addition of Jeff Dodd

    Napa, CA March 19, 2018 – Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is pleased to announce that Jeff Dodd has joined the firm as an associate in its Wine Country office. Jeff was previously with Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty.

    Jeff is a land use and environmental law attorney. He assists entrepreneurs, small business owners, farmers, and non-profit entities seeking to own, develop, and add value to real property. He helps his clients understand the regulatory and political issues associated with their projects and implement strategies to achieve their goals in a timely and efficient manner.

    “Jeff is an impressive, highly respected lawyer who brings significant local experience and relationships to the firm,” said Brandi Brown, head of Coblentz’s Wine Country office. Scott Greenwood-Meinert, who joined the firm in October, said, “Jeff will be a great addition as we continue to build our Napa team to serve our Wine Country clients, particularly in the land use and environmental areas. We are delighted to welcome Jeff to Coblentz.”

    “I’m thrilled to join the high-level group of attorneys at Coblentz and I’m even more thrilled that Coblentz is harnessing their resources in the North Bay,” said Dodd. ” The firm does more than just provide first-class legal counsel to their clients, they invest and give back to the communities where they serve and I am excited to be a part of that.”

    A Napa Valley native, Jeff serves on the Board of Directors of Connolly Ranch Education Center, a program connecting children to nature through farm-based education, and Community Health Initiative, which is dedicated to achieving 100% healthcare coverage for all Napa County residents regardless of income or age. He also represented the City of Napa on the Napa County Park and Open Space District Advisory Committee and served as an alternate to Napa County’s Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee. While in law school, Jeff served as an extern for Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court.

    Coblentz’s full-service Wine Country office serves the needs of clients across the spectrum including wineries, the food and beverage industry, real estate development and hospitality/resort companies, and family wealth clients. Coblentz’s Wine Country office is located on the Riverfront at 700 Main Street, Suite 210, Napa CA 94559. Tel. 707-603-2722.

    About Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP
    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP, headquartered in San Francisco, is a premier provider of innovative, results-oriented legal services, specializing in real estate, litigation, business, intellectual property, employment, tax and family wealth. Law360 named Coblentz a California Powerhouse firm in 2017. The National Law Journal named Coblentz to its 2016 Midsize Hot List, the fourth year the firm has made this prestigious nation-wide list. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Coblentz as one of the nation’s top law firms in the Best Law Firm list, with national rankings in 13 practice areas and six prestigious “Tier 1” rankings in the highly competitive San Francisco law firm category. For more information: www.coblentzlaw.com.

    Categories: News
  • Farewell to Costa-Hawkins Agreements for On-Site Affordable Rental Units in SF

    San Francisco wasted no time implementing AB 1505, which authorizes localities to adopt ordinances requiring developers to provide on-site inclusionary affordable housing units in rental projects, provided that there is an alternative means of compliance such as in-lieu fees or off-site inclusionary rental units.  As explained in our prior post on 2017’s 15-bill housing package, AB 1505 supersedes case law that deemed on-site inclusionary rental unit requirements an impermissible form of rent control under the state Costa-Hawkins Act.

    Previously, project sponsors proposing on-site inclusionary units in rental projects were required to enter into Costa-Hawkins Agreements.  Those agreements state that the inclusionary rental units are being provided in exchange for a development bonus, modification of zoning standards, or direct financial contribution from the City.  Last month, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance sponsored by Supervisors Peskin and Kim to implement AB 1505, effectively eliminating Costa-Hawkins Agreements and simplifying the process for providing on-site inclusionary rental units in new development projects.  Mayor Farrell signed the ordinance on February 23, and it becomes effective March 25.

    According to the Planning Department’s January staff report to the Planning Commission, some code-compliant projects have been unable to provide on-site inclusionary rental units because they could not demonstrate the prerequisites for a Costa-Hawkins Agreement.  Most large-scale development projects need one or more exceptions from Planning Code development standards and so meeting the prerequisites has not been an issue, but Costa-Hawkins Agreements added an extra step to the entitlement process.  That step has been eliminated.  As mandated by AB 1505, the legislation would still permit developers to elect the fee or off-site options for rental projects, and it would not require on-site rental units.