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Lawsuit stalls construction in historic California neighborhood

From plumbing to landscape architecture, few ventures bring together more disparate industries and professionals than construction. Contractors and management firms often have to put their money forward while getting projects off the ground, which can cause problems during sudden delays or cancellations.

Many types of construction are subject to delays that are not part of most long-term project planning. For example, a Santa Clara construction project is temporarily coming to a halt over its possible effect on a property with historic claims. A preservation society has filed a lawsuit against the city until it completes an environmental impact report on the project's plans.

The city claimed there was no evidence the project would affect the historical neighborhood. The plaintiffs countered by saying an impact report would prove evidence of impacts to the look and feel of the area, including sightlines and sunlight.

The area is home to several multifamily housing developments built by a legendary architect in the second half of the 20th century. California's rush to add housing stock is pitting advocates of more open communities with smaller homes with people who believe the only solution is new construction with multiple units. When conflicts lead to stopped construction, contractors may end up feeling the pain.

A lawsuit is always a possibility if other parties' business or legal issues have cost them time or money. Construction companies and contractors may want to review their options with an attorney to save vital capital or reclaim assets spent on projects held up in court. No company should have to pay for another's mistakes.

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