New Opportunity Zones Designed to Spur Economic Development

The U.S. Treasury Department has approved Governor Nathan Deal’s nomination of portions of Savannah and surrounding areas as Opportunity Zones. Attorney Joey Strength explains what this means for businesses in his article for Business in Savannah.

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An Overview of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)

The federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was established in 2000 by Congress to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The program attracts investment in low-income communities by allowing individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax liability.

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Government Relations: The Intersection of Regulation, Public Policy, and Business

HunterMaclean attorney Harold Yellin explains how government relations lawyers can help navigate clients through complex regulatory, legislative, and public policy concerns.

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New Businesses Pose Questions for Existing Regulations

This article for Business in Savannah discusses the ways in which new businesses can challenge current guidelines and how to the best ways to navigate the process.

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Land Use and Zoning Among Top Civil Disputes

By HunterMaclean Attorneys, published on March 21, 2012, in Business in Savannah.

The City of Savannah recently felt how deeply and personally a land use and real estate development dispute can impact the community.

When citizens objected to the construction of a new mausoleum on privately-owned Forest Lawn Cemetery — a neighbor of historic, city-owned Bonaventure Cemetery — the City of Savannah confronted a complex issue. Local citizens criticized the proposed removal of century-old trees that add to the ambiance at the Bonaventure Cemetery entrance and called for a stop to the planned development of the new mausoleum.

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Zoning Classifications Serve as Important Considerations

By Harold B. Yellin, published on July 6, 2011, in Business in Savannah.

When negotiating contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate, consideration must be given to the zoning classification and the related land use requirements of applicable zoning ordinances.

If you are buying commercial real estate that is raw land, the buyer must research the applicable zoning classification and determine which uses are permitted within the zoning classification. Zoning districts vary considerably from municipality to municipality, so great care should be taken when buying real estate. Do not assume that a particular use will permitted, for example, in a commercial district, just because the same use is permitted in a different municipality’s commercial district.

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Don’t Let the Mud Hit the Fan – Wetlands Legislation is Often Overlooked by Business Owners.

By Andrew H. Ernst, published on September 10, 2000, in Savannah Morning News.

We are all aware of the environmental problems associated with the purchase of property that may be contaminated with hazardous substances. However, Savannah business owners often overlook another important environmental issue: wetlands legislation.

Overlooking the Clean Water Act, which regulates the filling of wetlands, among other things, can be a costly mistake. You may acquire property only to discover your plans thwarted or complicated by the Army Corps of Engineers or the Environmental Protection Agency which have recently stepped up enforcement actions with respect to wetlands development.

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Water, Water Everywhere, Better Call the Corps: Section 404 Regulation of Wetlands

By Andrew H. Ernst and Wade W. Herring, II, published on April 4, 1990, in Mercer Law Review 41, no. 34, Rev. 843.

I. WHY CONSIDER WHETHER AN AREA IS A WETLAND?

A real estate developer may acquire property for commercial, residential, agricultural, or industrial use only to discover that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) or the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) can thwart the development plans if they discover “jurisdictional wetlands” on the property. (see end note 1) Section 404 (see end note 2) of the Clean Water Act (see end note 3) (the “CWA”), also known as the Federal Water Pollution Prevention Control Act of 1972, regulates the filling of various wetlands and has become increasingly important and controversial over the last few years as the Corps and EPA have stepped up enforcement actions against unsuspecting developers. Should a developer inadvertently begin work in a wetland without benefit of a permit, or should it intentionally attempt to circumvent the Act, the Corps and EPA have available both administrative and judicial remedies to stop the developer’s work on its project. (see end note 4)

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