From Landslide to Land Use
Wendel Rosen is among the leading champions of the law and policy around Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts (GHADs), independent public agencies that allow communities to manage the risks associated with development in geologically unstable areas.
Geologically unstable areas, such as shorelines, coastal bluffs and hillsides, are often coveted by home developers and owners for their desirable locations but maligned by government agencies and insurers due to their potential for disaster – whether millions of dollars in property damage or, in the most extreme cases, community devastation and loss of lives. To effectively mitigate and address these risks, communities that exist in areas of geologic concern face myriad advance planning, community organizing, legal and coverage challenges.
The Wendel Edge
Wendel Rosen is among the leading champions of the law and policy around Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts (GHADs), independent public agencies that allow communities to manage the risks associated with development in geologically sensitive areas. GHADs are empowered to authorize and finance improvements that mitigate risks and to respond if anticipated or unforeseen events occur. A single Wendel Rosen partner serves as general counsel on more than a dozen GHADs – nearly one third of the total GHADs in California. She handles their formation and counsels the governing legislative bodies, homeowners and developers regarding all aspects of GHAD law and has formed numerous other GHADs. As a founding member of the California Association of Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts, this partner also works to advance the legislative and regulatory priorities important to communities relying on GHADs.
Wendel Rosen has assisted numerous communities in managing the risks of development in geologically sensitive areas and preventing potential hazards. For example, a GHAD was created in Oakland, Calif. where a housing development had been long delayed due to concerns about potential landslides. The GHAD formation provided the insurance protection necessary for the development to proceed.