Posts from 2011

Yesterday, we reported briefly on the Supreme Court’s decision in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos.  As many of you undoubtedly know by now, the outcome was the nightmare redevelopment agencies feared most, but that many (including us) had forecast after listening to oral argument last month. 

The Court upheld ABX1 26, allowing the dissolution of California’s redevelopment agencies to proceed, but struck down ABX1 27, the voluntary buy back program that would have allowed redevelopment to continue.  In particular:

  • The Court had little difficulty upholding ABX1 ...

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos, the case challenging ABX1 26 and ABX1 27.  In a decision foreshadowed by the tone of last month's oral argument, the Court upheld ABX1 26, but struck down ABX1 27 as a violation of California's Proposition 22:

  • "Assembly Bill 1X 26, the dissolution measure, is a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state Constitution."
  • "A different conclusion is required with respect to Assembly Bill 1X 27, the measure conditioning further ...
Posted in Events

It's Christmas Eve Eve here in Southern California.  Our chances for a white Christmas seem small; as I look out my window, I see bright sunshine and know the temperature is in the 70s.  Still, it's easy to see that the holiday season is in full swing.

If you are in need of some last minute shopping ideas and don't know what to get the eminent domain practitioner on your gift list, there are some great choices to be found.

Perhaps the most all-inclusive option comes to us through the Institute for Justice.  Its "Rally in a Box" comes complete with stickers, posters, signs, and six ...

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Last April, we reported on a bizarre case arising out of the City of San Clemente's attempt to down zone a piece of property.  The trial court had concluded that the down zoning constituted a taking and ordered the City to rescind a decision supported by that down zoning.  The City had denied an application to develop the property because the application did not conform to the current general plan and zoning ordinance (the City seems to have sidestepped the fact that the development applications included applications to amend the general plan and zoning). 

In addition to a writ of mandate ...

Posted in Projects

The debate over the extensions of some of the Bush-era tax cuts have been making national news for some time.  It's splattered all over the newspaper and has its own running commentary on the political talk shows. 

But today, there's a different twist for those of us who deal with eminent domain.  Congress is debating the extension of the payroll taxes yet again, but this time, a major eminent domain issue is wrapped up in the fray.

Specifically, Republicans in Congress had said they planned to couple the extension of the tax cuts with a requirement to fast-track approval of a ...

One of the peculiarities with California's eminent domain law lies with the way it addresses situations in which an agency makes a deposit of probable compensation in a case in which one or more of the defendants raise a right-to-take challenge. 

The issue came to a head yet again, with the California Supreme Court holding that a lender's withdrawal of a condemnation deposit does not result in a waiver of the property owner's right to take challenge.  The decision, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpiration Authority v. Alameda Produce Market (November 14, 2011), chronicles the long ...

"Downzoning" describes a government agency's rezoning a parcel of land once previously zoned for a more intense use to a more restrictive use (e.g., changing the commercial  zoning designation of an undeveloped parcel of land to agricultural or open space).  Those who purchase an undeveloped property zoned for commercial, industrial, or residential uses, only to later have that property rezoned for agricultural or open space uses unquestionably suffer a loss.  But when is it compensable?

There's an interesting news article on the Daily Zilla about an alleged downzoning case ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Before a public agency can exercise the power of eminent domain, it must adopt a resolution of necessity making certain findings in support of the taking of property.  The resolution defines the scope of the agency's acquisition, and the agency is typically prevented from contradicting the terms of the resolution in the eminent domain action.

There is a delicate balancing-act in drafting the scope of the taking in the resolution.  If the scope is too narrow, the agency may ultimately need to go back and acquire additional rights or property.  On the other hand, if the scope is too broad, it ...

Posted in Court Decisions

We've covered in the past the impacts property and business owners suffer when government agencies plan for public projects.  We've also covered when agency planning crosses the line and results in precondemnation damages or a de facto taking.  A recent unpublished Court of Appeal decision, Joffe v. City of Huntington Park, highlights (1) the types of impacts owners suffer and (2) the difficulty owners face in trying to recover for such impacts.

In Joffe, a related property owner and furniture manufacturing business claimed that the city repeatedly expressed a desire to ...

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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