Posts from 2021
SCOTUS’ Take on Takings

The Supreme Court of the United States rarely hears anything related to eminent domain or takings cases; the Kelo decision in 2005 was the latest “big” case for our industry, although the 2019 Knick decision also made headlines. But in the last week, SCOTUS has shown a keen interest in property rights, rendering several impactful decisions – with a focus on California in particular.

We just reported on the Cedar Point Nursery decision, where the Court found that a regulation allowing unions to access private property constituted a taking. Now, the Court has issued several more ...

Posted in Right to Take

On June 23rd, the United States Supreme Court held that a California regulation allowing labor organizations to intermittently access agricultural employers’ property was an unconstitutional taking. The Court reversed the decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, an outcome we predicted in our post last year about this issue. The decision is a major victory for property owners, and raises questions going forward about a public agency’s ability to regulate private property rights—particularly as it pertains to allowing temporary access. 

Background

In Cedar ...

Can a Public Agency Condemn Property to Prevent a Proposed Private Use?

In the City of Fresno, the Tower Theatre is a bohemian landmark, opened in 1929 as a 20th Century Fox Movie House. This year, it became public that Adventure Church was buying the theatre, which has caused tensions to rise in the community, with thousands signing a petition to save the historic theatre, weeks of demonstrations trying to prevent its use as a church, and even a pending lawsuit. The City attempted to defuse the situation by offering Adventure Church an alternative location, which also backfired. So what’s next? The City may be considering using eminent domain to prevent ...

Court Determines a Lease Terminated by the Terms of the Contract, not by a Taking

When is a lease termination triggered by eminent domain versus by contract?  The case of Media v. City of San Diego, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103728 addressed this question and concluded that the lease termination was only a product of the lease naturally terminating, not the governmental acquisition of the underlying property.  This opinion raises questions regarding the future of loss of goodwill and furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) for short-term tenants.

Background

A billboard owner had been leasing property to display the billboard for many years when it was converted to a ...

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Posted in Right of Way
What Happens When Railroad Right-of-Way is Abandoned and Turned into a Public Trail System?

Throughout the United States, old railroad corridors are being abandoned and converted into other uses, such as hiking, biking or other trail purposes. This converted use makes sense, as it is difficult to otherwise compile a long stretch of right-of-way that would be needed to create such trails. But are adjacent property owners entitled to some sort of just compensation when this conversion takes place?  The answer is maybe. 

Before a railroad operator can abandon its right-of-way, it must first secure approvals by the Surface Transportation Board. When that abandonment process ...

Court Upholds Concept of Rough Proportionality Invalidating Local Measure

In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374, holding that in order for a dedication or exaction to pass constitutional muster, in addition to establishing an “essential nexus” between a legitimate state interest and the permit condition, the condition must be roughly proportional to the impact of the proposed development.  More than two decades later, the County of El Dorado adopted Measure E.  Under Measure E, instead of allowing a developer to pay their fair share toward traffic improvements through a traffic impact fee program, a ...

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Does California Legislation’s Proposed Voluntary Coastal Property Acquisition Program Address Sea Level Rise?

For those of you who missed our recent webinar, "Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California", you can find a recording of the event posted on our website.  My colleagues Ben Rubin and John Erskine provided a great overview of ways to protect existing infrastructure and private property through coastal resiliency, what the models and data are suggesting on the future of sea level rise and the status of pending sea level rise legislation in California. I covered risks and possible solutions for public agencies and property owners, with a focus on how Coastal Commission and ...

WEBINAR: Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California

With the recent flurry of coastal law bills before the California State Legislature and the myriad headlines advising that we must retreat from the shore, sea level rise (SLR) and related climate change topics remain front and center in California. Join our Water Industry Group on May 27, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT for "Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California" as we sort through the pending legislation and discuss the basis for this ever-increasing concern with the encroaching ocean.

Comprised of attorneys from Nossaman’s Water, Environment & Land Use and ...

WEBINAR: Charting a Course for Offshore Wind Energy in California

Please join us on May 6, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT as Nossaman’s Coastal Development and Environment & Land Use Groups present “Charting a Course for Offshore Wind Energy in California” to discuss current proposals and pending regulations concerning offshore wind development along the California coast.

We will be participating on a top tier panel of coastal specialists which will also include: Kate Huckelbridge, Deputy Director of Energy, Ocean Resources & Federal Consistency, CA Coastal Commission; Jennifer Lucchesi, Executive Officer, State Lands ...

WEBINAR: The First 100 Days of President Biden’s Environmental Policy: Revolution or Back to Basics?

The first 100 days of a new administration can define what lies ahead for the next four years. Join our panel of Nossaman Environment & Land Use attorneys from across the U.S. on April 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT as we review and evaluate the Biden administration’s first 100 days of policy moves involving environmental and natural resources management.

We will discuss efforts to fill leadership roles at CEQ, EPA, Interior, DOT and other federal agencies. Updates and analysis will be provided regarding key areas of policy, legislation and regulation, including:

  • Climate ...

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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