Posts from 2010
Posted in Projects

The City of Fremont announced that it plans to condemn a small, 1,249 square foot property located at the corner of Warren Avenue and Kato Road in order to facilitate its Warren Avenue Grade Separation Project.

There's nothing particularly notable about the announcement, except for a potential regulatory overlay.  The parcel is apparently owned by AT&T Communications, and even though the property currently lies vacant, AT&T is apparently taking the position that it cannot agree to any deal with the City without first obtaining approval from the California Public Utilities ...

I received an interesting email last week about possible claims against a neighboring property owner who was taking steps in an apparent effort to lower the amount of compensation the agency would have to pay for the property.   I didn't get much in the way of details, but it did get me thinking about how (and why) this might occur, and what someone could do about it.

The first thought that occurred to me is why would a neighboring property owner want to cause the value of property to be lower?  It seems that in most circumstances, the last thing one owner would want is for a low value to be established ...

Posted in Court Decisions

One of the cases we've been following the entire year is Guggenheim v. City of Goleta.  The case involves a challenge to the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance for mobile homes.  The owner claimed that the ordinance had the effect of transferring the vast majority (as much as 90 percent) of the property's value to the tenants, constituting a taking. 

Last September, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier District Court decision, holding that Goleta's ordinance constituted a taking, and it remanded the case for a trial on the amount of compensation the owner should be ...

Posted in Events, Projects

On those cold winter nights as the holidays approach, who doesn't pause for a moment to consider the long history between Christmas and eminent domain?  For those who don't spend their time in front of the fire sipping egg nog and contemplating condemnation, I offer these tidbits:

  1. In August 2010, the Nevada Irrigation District voted to condemn part of a farm owned by Robert Hane.  How does this involve Christmas, you say?  Mr. Hane's farm produces - you guessed it - Christmas Trees.  For more on the story, read the Fair market value? Water district invokes eminent domain, from the Auburn ...
Posted in Projects

We've previously reported on the Fresno Unified School District's plans to build its $20 million southeast elementary school which requires the acquisition of 20 different parcels.  While it initially appeared that the acquisition of the Foursquare Gospel Church would be a major hold-up, that no longer appears to be the case. 

According to a recent KMPH Fox News article, "Fresno Church Faces Eminent Domain," the District has reached a deal with the Foursquare Gospel Church, and eminent domain will no longer be necessary.  However, the story does not quite end there, as the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Both California and federal eminent domain laws set forth obligations on "public entities" or the "government."   When these specific terms are used, do the statutes also apply to public or private utility companies exercising the power of eminent domain?

One example is found in the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act, which allows a landowner to seek reimbursement for costs and attorneys' fees when a condemnation action instituted by a "federal agency" is abandoned by the "United States."  (42 U.S.C. 4654.)  If a utility company ...

Ever since the Supreme Court issued its infamous 2005 Kelo decision, people have been anxiously awaiting the Court's next opportunity to weigh in on the extent of the government's eminent domain authority and, in particular, the limits (if any) created by the "public use" requirement. 

One of the cases that has been watched closely involves efforts to expand Columbia University in New York.  In Tuck-It-Away, Inc. v. New York State Urban Development Corporation, dba Empire State Development Corporation, the New York State Urban Development Corporation sought to condemn ...

Posted in Court Decisions

I wanted to provide a quick update on some things about which we've reported over the past few months:

1.  Los Angeles Unified School District v. Casasola (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 189

In Court Blurs Line Between Goodwill and Relocation Benefits, we reported on the Casasola decision, which expanded upon the earlier decision in Redevelopment Agency of the City of Emeryville v. Arvery Corporation (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 1357 to hold that business owners cannot recover as lost business goodwill anything that falls within the scope of the Relocation Act, whether or not the losses are actually ...

The City of Rancho Cordova's Redevelopment Agency has been working to implement plans to eliminate blighted conditions along Folsom Boulevard.  As part of those efforts, the RDA filed an eminent domain action to acquire a 9-acre site owned by Lily Company.

Lily Company challenged the RDA's right to take on numerous grounds, including lack of proper blight findings and allegations that the RDA was colluding with the Los Rios Community College District.  We initially reported on the case in an August post, Rancho Cordova Eminent Domain Case Involves Allegations of Contractual ...

Posted in Redevelopment

The Americana at Brand center in Glendale is a large, outdoor shopping community consisting of over 75 retail shops and 300 condos and apartments.  It opened to the public in 2008.  One would think this would not have been the best time to open up a retail center.  However, apparently in the midst of the recession, the center is doing quite well, and the developer is seeking to expand onto two adjacent properties.   

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, "Developer wants to expand Americana at Brand shopping center," the developer of Americana at Brand -- Rick Caruso -- has sent a letter ...

California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.

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