Here's a quick update about some recent headlines in our eminent domain community.
- Eminent Domain for New School in Foster City? According to a Mercury News article, Charter Square owners resistant to selling property to school district, the San Mateo-Foster City School District is looking for a site for a new school, and it may turn to eminent domain to acquire the Charter Square Shopping Center. Moving forward with the new school depends on the passage of a $130 million bond measure in June. If it goes forward, more than a dozen businesses will need to be relocated.
- Orinda to Condemn for Storm Drain Project: According to an article in the Lamorinda Weekly, Orinda City Council Initiates Eminent Domain Proceedings to Keep Glorietta Project on Track, the City of Orinda is moving forward with the condemnation of easements over two properties in order to construct the Glorietta Storm Drain Improvement Project. Several other properties were required, but one particular property owner declined any compensation for the easement (that's a new one), instead suggesting that the City use the savings towards repaving some of its roads. One of the other owners, however, simply wants additional time to complete an independent appraisal and obtain a report from an arborist to understand the project's impacts to some of the owner's trees (including a 75-foot redwood tree -- that could get expensive).
- Redding Also Needs Sewer Easement: According to an article in the Record Searchlight, Redding OK's eminent domain to get land; sewer easement needed for subdivision plan, the City of Redding has also approved using eminent domain to acquire sewer easements to benefit a developer's proposed subdivision plan. It was a hotly contested Board decision that lasted about two-and-a-half hours. About 13,000 square feet of property is needed, and an offer was made in the amount of $5,700. The property owner claimed the offer was "pennies on the dollar." Eminent domain can be a private developer's best friend or its worst enemy.
- Federal Takings Claims Do Exist! Check out our colleague Robert Thomas' blog post, There, That Wasn't So Hard, Was It? Third Circuit Actually Lets Landowner Raise Federal Constitutional Claims In Federal Court, where he explains that finally a federal court has allowed a takings claim to proceed without knocking it out on procedural grounds. A rarity, indeed.
- Kelo Apology: According to an article on NewsBusters, Well-Kept Secret: New London, Conn. Mayor Has Apologized for Kelo Property Seizures, the newly elected Mayor of New London, Connecticut, has apologized to the property owners impacted by the condemnation involved in the infamous Kelo v. City of New London decision. The Mayor confirmed he issued a "formal apology," and is quoted as saying, "I think our development strategy was flawed. We are moving forward with new strategy that will embrace a new vision."
Stay tuned for next week's updates.
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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