California is known for its stringent development regulations. This isn't anything new. The state has always been a challenging place to build and develop. The guidelines are aimed at protecting the state's natural resources, but they are also tied to a suburban—rather than big city—mindset, according to Sonnet Hui, general manager and VP of Project Management Advisors. She has worked through the regulations for years, and understands the ins and outs.

"There's a long history of trying to protect the state's unique natural beauty and resources and rightly so," Hui tells "We have nearly every biome on the planet and the unique challenges that go along with them, from forest fires to coastal erosion and seismic activity. Perhaps more than other states, we feel the effects of climate change and enact rules to attempt to combat it. Ultimately, the regulations are in place to protect the state and the people who live and work here."

The suburban mindset in California also plays a big role in the regulations, and are a stark difference to other states and major metros. "Outside of the major cities and their immediate neigborhoods, which are much denser than those elsewhere in the country, people want space and large backyards," says Hui. "They've put land use restrictions in place to prevent major developments from encroaching on their property and their lifestyle."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.