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Glossary of Real Estate Leasing


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Definition of Environmental Mitigation Land

Although not a true leasing term, “Environmental Mitigation Land” often arises in the context of a leasing project (such as a shopping center) that is in the permitting stage, prior to breaking ground.

“Environmental Mitigation Land” is land that is permanently set aside to offset the negative effects of a development project somewhere else.

Many projects, both private and public, will have a negative impact on the environment.  The agency in charge of processing the application for a project will often require some form of environmental mitigation to offset harms caused by the project.  If the mitigation cannot be performed on‑site, the agency in charge may consider an off-site location. 

The most common private projects that require mitigation are a new subdivision of houses or a large commercial building, that are proposed on untouched land.  Public projects that require mitigation could include widening a freeway, extending a transit system, building a new bridge, or erecting a dam.

How it Works:  When a developer (private or public) must provide mitigation in the form of “Environmental Mitigation Land,” the developer will most often buy a parcel of land that has certain qualities.  It may be any land that is desirable for public acquisition and presevation, such as land that contains an endangered species, land that is a habitat for migratory birds, or land that is adjacent to an existing park.  After buying the land the developer donates it to a public agency or non-profit group who will take over management of the parcel to preserve it from future development and/or perform habitat restoration or enhanement.

Essentially the developer of the project that causes the environmental harm is saying: “We will give the public this parcel of Environmental Mitigation Land to offset the harm that our project will cause.”

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DISCLOSURE:  Some of the definitions of leasing terms in this glossary have been tailored to reflect the common practice in the leasing of smaller-sized commercial properties in Northern California.  These definitions are not intended to be the legal definitions that would typically be used in a legal proceeding.