Real Estate & Land Use Law Update - Sept. 2008



Welcome to the first edition of Larkin Hoffman’s e-news Real Estate and Land Use Law Update. Our goal in preparing this publication is to inform our clients and friends of important developments in real estate and land use law. We know that you receive many emails from many sources, purporting to provide you with information you need for your business. Therefore, we have chosen a format that highlights the subjects covered and provides very basic information on the issues addressed, so that you can decide whether or not the information is of interest to you. If you would like more information on a particular subject, you can click on the attached link. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts on how we can serve you better.


- Tom Alexander, Chair of Real Estate & Land Use &

Gary Van Cleve, Chair of Real Estate Litigation


News & Announcements


Larkin Hoffman Win Saves Land Developer $1M in Taxes

The Larkin Hoffman real estate litigation trial team led by

Gary Van Cleve and Rob Stefonowicz successfully appealed a $1.7 million special assessment levied against their developer client. Following a one-week trial, the district court ruled in favor of Larkin Hoffman's developer client and found that the City of Rochester had over-assessed the undeveloped land by more than $1 million.



It’s Good to be Green

  By Mike Mergens

New real estate development and construction projects will face significant new obstacles if the EPA determines it must regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In one state, the issuance of a permit was overturned because the permit did not contain carbon dioxide emission limitations. What can builders in Minnesota do to prepare for a similar situation? For developers, this means constructing "high performance" or "green" buildings.



Federal Tax Benefits of Conservation Easements

  By Francis Green III 

A gift of a conservation easement can benefit the environment and also provide federal tax benefits for the donor. Conservation easements may be granted only to charitable organizations whose purposes or powers include land conservation or governmental bodies with the power to hold an interest in real estate. A gift of a permanent conservation easement that meets the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is considered a charitable contribution which allows the owner to take a federal income tax deduction for the value of the easement.



About Our Practice


Larkin Hoffman’s Real Estate and Land Use practice groups include 23 attorneys. We have 10 attorneys certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as Real Property Specialists. Our practice group also includes eight attorneys whose practice is solely dedicated to litigation in the real estate and land use areas. Together, we feel we are capable of handling any real estate or land use problem that our clients may have—from the largest commercial or mixed use project to a house closing or garage setback variance. Whether the problem is large or small, we treat each the same way—with respect for the client and with an eye toward providing quality, cost-effective legal services. 










This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates.  While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.

September 2008 



In This Issue:

  • A Larkin Hoffman win saves land developer $1M
  • Green building
  • The tax benefits of conservationism

Contact our Real Estate and Land Use Attorneys:


Tom F Alexander, Chair

E-mail 952.896.3375






Linda H Fisher



Francis Green III





Bradley J Hintze



Gregory E Korstad





Julie Perrus







Joanna L Vossen



Contact our Real Estate Litigation Attorneys:




Scott A Johnson



Michael J Mergens



Julie N Nagorski





Jessica B Rivas



Rob A Stefonowicz