In California, a fundamental principle of eminent domain law is that an owner of property acquired by eminent domain is entitled to just compensation for the property interests taken (Code Civ. Proc. §1263.010).
However, what if the acquisition for the public project involves only a portion of the owner’s property interests? This question arises quite often when a portion of an owner’s property is acquired for street or freeway widenings, grade separation projects, expansion of property already dedicated to an existing public use, as well as many other types of public ...
A recent article from Border Report, "Tijuana residents holding out for more money, slowing construction of border crossing," caught my attention. Not only because we're advising on the border crossing project on the U.S. side, but also because it raises an interesting valuation issue.
According to the article, property owners in eastern Tijuana, where the new port of entry is going to be built, are holding up the project by demanding more money for their land. Specifically, the owners want to be paid what the land will be worth once the border crossing is built instead of current value. These increased payment demands ...
Brad Kuhn and Jillian Friess Leivas authored the article “Eminent Domain 2021 Year in Review” for The Appraisal Journal. The article takes an in-depth look at multiple developments on the eminent domain front that occurred in 2021, including the special occasion when the U.S. Supreme Court heard two taking cases. It also examines the impact of the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to provide federal funding for infrastructure projects for many years to come.
The Appraisal Journal is a publication of The Appraisal Institute, a global ...
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 ...
In California eminent domain cases, appraisers typically have relatively wide latitude in determining fair market value for the property to be acquired. However, there are certain rules they must follow, and when an appraiser violates those rules, the appraiser’s opinion may be completely stricken, leaving a property owner or a public agency with no valuation evidence. This is precisely what happened in a new unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Solano Transportation Authority v. Anderson (2021 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 2129), where the property owners’ ...
On April 21, 2021, I will be participating in the sixth annual International Right of Way Association (IRWA) Chapter 57 and Southern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute's (SCCAI) Virtual Joint Meeting. I will be a co-presenter discussing "Project Benefits - Do They Ever Apply, and If So, How Are Benefits Supported?" during which we will cover project benefits and their significance in the eminent domain arena. This program will also include:
- The statutory and case law landscape that gives rise to the issue of project benefits, when and how they may apply and methods and ...
Providing listeners a convenient and concise medium to access timely reports on important land use topics, Nossaman’s recent podcast offerings make a great addition to your professional playlist.
First, check out Nossaman’s own Digging Into Land Use Law podcast, which covers the development of all things in, on or above the ground. Recently, I recorded the episode “Valuation and Damages: Assessing COVID-19’s Economic Impact.” Changes in how businesses operate, restrictions on property use and reduced revenues brought on by mandated closures due to COVID-19 have had ...
When a public agency seeks to acquire property by eminent domain, the agency’s appraiser sometimes forgets to account for unique value attributes of the property. For example, the valuation may fail to take into account income the property generates from a billboard or a cell tower. According to an article on KCRA News, 'I think they are a bunch of thieves': Auburn couple decries Caltrans' eminent domain move, this situation is currently playing out in Northern California. …
When a public agency is acquiring private property for a public project, typically the key issue in dispute is how much the agency should pay -- what is “just compensation”? Determining the property’s value and any damages from the acquisition or public project is usually based on appraisals prepared for the public agency and property owner. A recent article written by Lauren Alexander, on behalf of the Owners' Counsel of America (a network of experienced eminent domain attorneys dedicated to defending the rights of private property owners across the US), highlights the top 10 ...
After adopting a resolution of necessity and initiating eminent domain proceedings to acquire private property, public agencies are usually in a rush to move forward with the proposed public project. But every once in a while, those projects get delayed or postponed. A recent court of appeal decision, Rutgard v. City of Los Angeles (2020) Cal.App. LEXIS 709, serves as an important reminder for public agencies that they must put the property to public use within 10 years or otherwise timely adopt a new resolution of necessity. Absent doing so, the public agency has an obligation to offer ...
For those of you involved in the transportation sector, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 3rd for a discussion on planning, procurement and financing strategies that can be implemented now to support timely project delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are planning a very interactive webinar where ample time will be set aside to answer questions received from attendees both prior to and during the event.
Topics that will be covered include:
- How to prepare now to efficiently and effectively move projects forward
- Procurement and contracting strategies that enable ...
On April 1, Nossaman’s Eminent Domain Group hosted a webinar to discuss the impacts COVID-19 is having on the Right of Way industry. First, I’d like to thank the people who attended, many of whom added thoughtful questions to the discussion. It’s clear a lot of people are giving these issues a lot of thought. Second, obviously things continue to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and even by the time this post goes from being drafted to appearing on the blog, things are likely to change.
Note that this post is not meant to recap the things we discussed at the webinar. If you weren’t able to join us and want to review what we covered, feel free to download the COVID-19 PowerPoint we used, or watch the entire recorded webinar. No, the purpose of this post is to provide some insights as to what other right of way professionals are thinking about a few of these issues. During the webinar, we asked several poll questions, and since the Nossaman team found the results interesting, I’m hoping some of you will as well ...
In Freeport Reg’l Water Auth. v. M&H Realty Partners VI, L.P., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6126 (Sept. 16, 2019), the court walked through a complicated fact pattern involving – in its simplest form – a 40-foot easement for an underground water pipeline. For our purposes, the key issues were valuing (1) the easement being acquired, (2) the severance damages caused to the remainder parcel, and (3) a temporary construction easement for the pipeline’s installation. Though it was not technically a eminent domain case because the parties had reached an agreement concerning the ...
Welcome to the first installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Nossaman Partner Rick Rayl discusses the initial appraisal process and benefits of a strong appraisal.
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain. We cover all aspects of eminent domain, 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 eminent domain conferences and seminars in the Western United States.
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