Alan M. Sorem’s practice encompasses all aspects of land use and real estate law.
Alan assists professional developers, property owners, business entities, banks, and trust companies in their real estate matters. His representation of such clients includes commercial, agricultural, and residential sale agreements, leases, options to purchase, easements, development agreements, and the drafting, recording, and assigning of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), along with the accompanying bylaws and articles of incorporation.
Representative transactions include:
- Agricultural Lands – Alan has assisted with purchases, sales, and leases of nurseries and farms located throughout the Willamette Valley. Such transactions regularly require due diligence matters to include the handling of transfer of water rights, environmental assessments, creating and validating legal units of land, and clearing title matters.
- Professional Practices – Purchases, sales, and lease-options of owner-occupied buildings and complexes require comprehensive legal review and assistance. Alan works with clients in the negotiation, drafting, and closing of professional service buildings, including assisting with financing issues.
- Development Properties – The acquisition and development of bare property for residential, commercial or industrial uses requires a strong legal foundation. Alan has substantial experience working with professional development corporations in preparing purchase and sale agreements, closing documents, and resolving related title issues.
Alan’s land use experience includes representing property owners and business interests in applications for post acknowledgment comprehensive plan map amendments, zone changes, code amendments, subdivisions, partitions, property line adjustments, conditional use permits, site plan reviews, and variance applications. He regularly represents clients before local hearings officers, planning commissions, city councils, and county boards of commissioners. He has extensive experience representing real estate and land use clients before the Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals and Oregon Court of Appeals.
Representative cases include:
- Exactions – Alan has experience working with local governments in reaching negotiated settlements and eliminating or substantially reducing the imposition of conditions of approval requiring the dedication of real property and the construction of off-site improvements. Such cases include City of Salem’s approval of ordinance 2013-04-SM, in which the City agreed to forgo a prior request of road construction costs in the amount of approximately one million dollars.
- Oregon Court of Appeals – Gilmour v. Linn County, Case No. A161668 – Linn County adopted a decision requiring a conditional use permit for a facility that compresses straw bales for distribution to market. Alan represented the property owner and farmer in reversing the County ’s decision. LUBA held the use was permitted outright in Oregon’s EFU zone. LUBA’s holding was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on appeal.
- Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals – Tokarski v. City of Salem, LUBA No. 2016-025 – In representing the property owner, Alan successfully argued the City erroneously conditioned a subdivision approval requiring construction of a road and bridge improvement.
- Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals – MEK Properties, LLC v. Coos County, LUBA No. No. 2010-021 – In a decision frequently cited as a basis for defending applicants against unlawful denials of land use decisions, Alan and the land use attorneys at Saalfeld Griggs successfully obtained a remand by LUBA of a local subdivision denial that the county subsequently approved on remand.
- Amicus Brief – U.S. Supreme Court – On behalf of Oregonians in Action, Alan represented the National Association of Home Builders and Oregon Home Builders Association in the West Linn Corporate Park, L.L.C. v. City of West Linn Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court as Amicus Curiae.
Alan assists borrowers, private lenders, and sellers with the production and review of loan documents. Alan has also worked extensively with lending institutions assisting their loan officers in developing strategies for resolving non-performing loans. His prior representation of such clients includes negotiation and drafting workout, forbearance, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure agreements.
Title Review & Claims
Alan frequently represents lending institutions, private lenders, and real property transaction participants in the review of title reports, clearing of title, and processing of title claims.
Professional Involvement & Recognition
Alan currently serves as a Board Member for the Home Builders Association of Marion & Polk Counties. Previously, he served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Oregon State Bar Association’s Real Estate and Land Use Section. He also chaired for the Oregon State Bar’s Legislative Land Use Committee. He is a former member of the City of Salem Economic Opportunity Analysis Advisory Committee. Additionally, Alan is the recipient of the Super Lawyers’ Rising Star accolade.
Alan currently is a Board Member for the Home Builders Association of Marion & Polk Counties. Previously, he served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Oregon State Bar Association’s Real Estate and Land Use Section. He also chaired for the Oregon State Bar’s Legislative Land Use Committee. He is a former member of the City of Salem Economic Opportunity Analysis Advisory Committee.
Willamette University College of Law
J.D., cum laude, 2006
St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota
B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 2001
Off the Job
Alan was born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He still is a passionate follower of the Minnesota Vikings. On the weekend, Alan spends his time with his wife and three daughters. As an active family man, you will likely find him and his family attending local events, enjoying the outdoors, or hanging out at home. This year Alan resolved to get back into fighting shape – literally. He is studying Shao-Lin Kempo and would be happy to take you to a class anytime.