Wednesday, March 10, 2010

D.C. land disposition law requires CBAs (sort of)

The Washington D.C. District Land Disposition Amendment Act of 2009 states that when city property is transferred to a developer for a project requiring government assistance, the developer must submit "Any community benefits agreement between the developer and the relevant community, if any".

The law doesn't seem to require CBAs, since there might not be "any" relevant community. It raises some questions though, like can a community coalition demand a CBA when a developer doesn't want to recognize it as "the relevant community"? What if there are competing community coalitions, who decides which one (or both) is "the relevant community"?

Aside from CBAs, the law also imposes some generally applicable community benefit policies. It requires developers that purchase city land to contract with Certified Business Enterprises (local/disadvantaged businesses) for at least 35% of the project's contract dollar volume and to enter into a First Source Agreement with the city. Transparency and accountability are encouraged by requiring the mayor to prepare an economic analysis for property dispositions. The analysis must describe "The manner in which economic factors were weighted and evaluated," and it must also include a narrative explanation as to why the particular disposition method (e.g., competitive bidding, negotiated sale) was chosen.

Leila Marie Jackson Batties at the Holland & Knight law firm has prepared an article discussing the law in more detail.

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