Posts from 2013
Posted in Projects

California's infrastructure received another push in the right direction last week as the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $152 million to 36 projects statewide -- bringing its total transportation funding for 2013 beyond the $3 billion barrier.  

Some highlights of projects receiving funding this year as 2013 winds to a close:

  • Los Angeles received (i) $26 million to improve the Port of Los Angeles, (ii) $20 million to widen the I-5 freeway from the Orange County Line to the I-5/I-605 junction, and (iii) $28 million for the Exposition Light Rail Project ...
Posted in Court Decisions

In the second flooding decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the past two weeks, the court held that there was no physical taking because the property was never actually flooded and no de facto taking because no federal entity or regulation prohibited the plaintiffs from using their property.  (See Stueve Bros. Farms, LLC v. United States (No. 2013-5021, Dec. 11, 2013).)

In 1941, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the construction of the Prado Dam on the Santa Ana River near Corona, California.  Because the Army Corps anticipated that operation of ...

Posted in Court Decisions

As you may recall, last December we reported on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, in which the Supreme Court held that government-induced flooding of limited duration may be compensable.  (See Supreme Court Holds Temporary Flooding Can Be A Taking.)  The Supreme Court explained that the relevant factors in determining whether a temporary flooding rises to the level of a compensable taking include:  (i) the degree to which the invasion is intended or is a foreseeable result of authorized government action, (ii) the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In August, I reported on the decision in City of Perris v. Stamper, in which the Court of Appeal weighed in on the ever-shifting line dividing the judge and jury's roles in eminent domain cases. At the time, I poked a bit of fun at a former colleague,Rick Friess, who won the appeal but was still complaining that the Court didn't see everything exactly his way.

Well, it appears that my good friend hasn't quite given up yet. Last week, the California Supreme Court decided to hear the case, meaning Rick will have one more crack at his dedication argument. The Supreme Court is limiting its review to ...

Posted in Redevelopment

When Governor Brown eliminated California’s redevelopment agencies with one swipe of his pen (OK, fine, he had a bit of help from the California Supreme Court as well), one of the things that got a bit lost in the ensuing chaos is the fact that California’s redevelopment law had evolved over the decades, becoming hopelessly intertwined with any number of other laws.

One such law is the Polanco Act, Health and Safety Code sections 33459 et seq.  The Polanco Act provided the government with tools to clean up contaminated property.  More specifically, it allowed the government either to ...

Posted in Events

The Southern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute will be holding its 46th Annual Litigation Seminar this Friday, November 15.  The list of topics sounds fantastic:

  • It's Just a Simple Rent Re-Setting in a Ground Lease
  • If the Glove Doesn't Fit . . . Make it Fit (Abuses in the Tax Appeal Process)
  • Hot Topics in Eminent Domain
  • Planning for and Managing Large Acquisition Projects -- Lessons Learned
  • Uneconomic Remnants -- Are They Always?
  • We Just Need Your Property on a Temporary Basis -- For the Next 4 Years
  • Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (A Review of Recent Major Valuation Cases)
  • The ...
Posted in Projects

Last week, the Agoura Hills City Council approved acquiring 14 properties through eminent domain for its Augora Road Widening and Canwood Street Improvement Project, as reported by The Acorn.  The purpose of the project is to reduce traffic congestion and provide an emergency bypass road to the 101.  The project will expand Agoura Road from two lanes to four lanes, provide sidewalks, bike paths and landscaped pathways and medians. There will also be improvements to Kanan Road as a result.  Almost half of the acquisitions consist of only temporary construction easements. 

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Tags: Projects
Posted in Projects

Eminent domain litigation can be expensive.  Acquiring small strips of property often costs more in legal and appraisal costs than the value of the property itself.  Sometimes public agencies have no choice but to condemn these minor acquisitions, as property owners cannot be found, will not negotiate, or otherwise take unreasonable positions.  But when property owners are willing to reasonably negotiate, public agencies need to think hard about these cost savings and weigh them against setting a precedent for other acquisitions.  

For example, if it will cost an agency $20,000 in ...

Posted in Projects

Caltrans and the Amador County Transportation Commission have scheduled a public workshop for the proposed State Route 88 Pine Grove Improvements Project for tonight at 5:30 p.m.  The workshop will take place at the Pine Grove Town Hall, located at 19889 Highway 88, Pine Grove, California 95665.  The notice for the public workshop states that Caltrans and the County Transportation Commission have proposed "to modify State Route 88 through the Town of Pine Grove in order to reduce congestion, improve operations and enhance safety between the intersections at Climax Road and Tabeaud ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court decided one of two pending cases dealing with inclusionary housing, holding that when a public agency requires a developer to convey units at below market rates and make substantial cash payments, the developer may challenge these conditions under the California Mitigation Fee Act.  (Sterling Park v. City of Palo Alto (Oct. 17, 2013) 2013 Cal. Lexis 8112.)  The California Supreme Court’s decision clarifies the scope of the Mitigation Fee Act, confirming that inclusionary in-lieu fees are subject to the essential nexus and rough ...

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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