LEX VINI

Potential Penalty Relief for Late Property Tax Payments Related to COVID-19

Property owners who missed the April deadline for paying the second installment of real property taxes because of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for relief from late payment penalties.  But to get this relief, you may need to act soon. ALERT: On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-61-20, directing county tax […]

Vineyard Purchases: Avoid Attorney Fees, Get a Survey

All too often purchasers of real property make assumptions about the extent of land included in their purchase, relying on visible landmarks such as tree lines and existing fences.  Despite the opportunity, and many times admonitions, to engage a land surveyor prior to the consummation of a purchase, prospective buyers often times wait until after […]

Vineyard Property:The Not So Common Sense of Preventing Prescriptive Easments – Part II

This is the second part of a two part post discussing prescriptive easements. Last time we talked about how one of two neighbors (“Joe”) should be careful not to compromise or lose his claim to a prescriptive easement to continue using a road on his neighbor’s (“Jane’s”) property by using not so common, common sense. This time […]

Vineyard Property: The Not So Common Sense of Prescriptive Easements – Part I

This is the first part of a two part post discussing prescriptive easements. Common sense – that’s what guides most of us, most of the time, and that’s a good thing. However, when it comes to protecting property rights, common sense solutions can sometimes be dangerous. This is because some rules of property law are counterintuitive, […]

Avoiding Tax Reassessment in Transfer of Vineyard or Winery Properties

California real property is reassessed upon certain transfers causing higher (or lower) property taxes. Generally, a reassessment will occur when ownership of the property is transferred. Exclusions from reassessment are available for transfers of real property between spouses and between a parent and a child. Therefore, family owned vineyards and winery property may have been transferred down through […]

Fight Continues Over Lot-Line Adjustments in Napa County

The Sierra Club and a Napa resident have filed separate appeals of two Napa County Superior Court rulings that upheld Napa County’s policy on allowing “successive” lot-line adjustments involving four or fewer parcels. The County’s policy on lot-line adjustments first came under assault in connection with long-time grape grower and vintner, Will Nord, whose company, […]

Sonoma County Proposes Revisions to the Rules for Williamson Act Contracts

The Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department has drafted new rules to be applied to properties in Williamson Act agricultural preserve contracts.  The proposed 49 pages of rules will replace the existing seven pages of rules that were originally adopted in 1970.  Much of the new document clarifies existing state law and county policies, […]

Proposed California Budget Could Impact Williamson Act Subventions

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his budget proposing to cut state spending by $12.5 billion dollars.  Some of these cuts will directly impact land use and agriculture.  Specifically, the Governor’s budget proposes the permanent suspension of Williamson Act subventions.  The Williamson Act allows agricultural landowners to commit their properties to agricultural uses in […]