State of the Industry Van A. Tengberg
Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Housing or Open Space • Original Developer • Sales of residential housing made based on understanding that a golf course would be there: • Written disclosures • Pictures • Advertisements • Contracts
Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Housing or Open Space • Recorded Documents • Original entitlements – open space or other compromise for density • Recorded against golf course • CC&R’s • Covenants • Easements for utilities/drainage
Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Housing or Open Space • Zoning/Entitlements • Local issue (city, town, county) • Town meetings (“NIMBY”) • Wetlands (fish and game)
Conversion of Golf Course to Residential Housing or Open Space • Other Issues • Drainage • Open space • View • Fire protection
Lightning • New Jersey Case (Maussner) (1997) • Golf course owners/operators do not owe a duty of care to protect their patrons from lightning. • All golf courses must post notice as to what safety measures are being taken. If there are no safety measures, then inform golfers they are playing at their own risk.
Lightning • New Jersey Case (Maussner) (1997) continued • If a golf course does utilize safety measures, it owes a duty of care to use state of the art equipment and use it correctly. • Kansas Case (Sall) (2005) • Same holding
Discrimination • Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club • California case • Unruh Act. Prohibits discrimination in any business establishment NOTE: marital discrimination not specifically mentioned in the Unruh Act. • Domestic Partner Act. Registered domestic partners have all of the same rights, privileges and benefits as married couples.
Discrimination • Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club continued • Club’s Bylaws. “Privileges of the Club may be exercised and enjoyed by the member and the legal spouse of the members.” Common provision. • California Supreme Court held registered domestic partners under the California Domestic Partner Act are entitled to exercise and enjoy spousal privileges.
Discrimination • Limitations: • The holding in the case does not extend to domestic partners who are not registered under the California Domestic Partner Act. • The holding in the case does not extend to heterosexual significant others.
Conservation Easements: What is it? • A conservation easement is a covenant that limits or restricts the future use of property for preservation, conservation or wildlife habitat purposes
Conservation Easements: Purposes • A conservation easement must fulfill one of the following purposes: • Preservation of land areas for outdoor recreation by, or the education of, the general public • Protection of a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, plants or similar ecosystems • Preservation of open space; or • Preservation of an historically important land area or a certified historic structure
Conservation Easements: Tax Benefits • Value of the land without the conservation easement v. the value of the land with the conservation easement = value of conservation easement • Value of conservation easement may be deducted at the rate of 30% of adjusted gross income of the taxpayer over six years • Deductions may not exceed value of conservation easement
Conservation Easements: Under Attack • IRS Notice 2004-41 • States (South Carolina) • Senate Finance Committee