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 This is precisely what happened in a new unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Solano Transportation Authority v. Anderson (2021 Cal.App.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 ...
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 ...
COVID-19 has undoubtedly upended the world, including the way we do business and the future of our economy. We have received a number of questions and concerns from clients in the right of way industry on how the current pandemic affects the way we do business, and what to expect going forward. Please read on for links to helpful resources...
We are pleased to provide the final installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Eminent Domain & Valuation Partner Rick Rayl discusses the different types of Right-to-Take Challenges and how they affect both parties to an eminent domain case.
We look forward to seeing everyone for our March 2020 Seminars in San Francisco and Orange County. Please contact us through the blog if you wish to receive save-the-date information.
We are pleased to provide the next installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Eminent Domain & Valuation Partner Rick Rayl discusses timing and preparation of Notices of Possession and other preliminary steps in the filing of a condemnation action.
We are pleased to provide the next installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Eminent Domain Partner and Litigation Department Chair David Graeler discusses managing Temporary Construction Easements when there is a project delay.
We are pleased to provide the next installment of our video series from Nossaman’s 2019 Eminent Domain Seminars. In this segment, Eminent Domain Partner Artin Shaverdian discusses best practices when abandoning take areas and narrowing project scope.
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.
On November 1, Nossaman Eminent Domain Partner Bernadette Duran-Brown will be Co-Chairing the Southern California Appraisal Institute’s 51st Annual Litigation Seminar. Additionally, Ms. Duran-Brown will be joined by Brad Kuhn, Chair of Nossaman’s Eminent Domain & Valuation Practice Group, who will be participating in a panel discussion concerning Easement Valuation.
The seminar will be held on Thursday, November 1st, at the Omni Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles. The event will kick off with registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and will also include luncheon ...
We wanted to provide some timely articles for those of you in the eminent domain and valuation arena.
First, Brad Kuhn, the Chair of Nossaman’s Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group, was recently featured on the cover of the July/August 2018 issue of Right Of Way magazine—a publication of the International Right of Way Association. Brad participated in an Industry Roundtable in the issue on leveraging the right of way professional in today’s fast-paced design-build world. The Roundtable examined the critical right of way component in infrastructure projects and how ...
This week, Nossaman Eminent Domain Partner Bernadette Duran-Brown will be speaking at the Southern California Appraisal Institute’s 50th Annual Litigation Seminar.
Ms. Duran-Brown will be providing a Summary of Recent Eminent Domain and Valuation-Related Cases. Her presentation will cover the most recent and upcoming legal developments and is essential for anyone involved with public projects or affected by large-scale development in the region. We will provide a follow-up blog post summarizing Ms. Duran-Brown’s presentation for anyone unable to attend in person.
As we await the California Supreme Court's decision in the Property Reserve case (see related posts here and here), many government agencies are faced with the question of what they will do if the justices deem the current right of entry procedures unconstitutional. Perhaps technology can come to the rescue.
Many in the real estate industry are embracing technology and drones in particular. The builderonline.com article "Here's How Drones Will Impact Real Estate Listings" discusses how drone photography will play a significant role in marketing, appraisals and inspections. ...
While much of the focus in California lately has been on eminent domain for transportation projects, there's some new condemnations moving forward in both Northern California and Southern California for social -- or community -- development projects.
- Down south, the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Port of San Diego has exercised its condemnation powers to acquire four acres of prime property on Chula Vista's Bayfront in order to construct the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan project. The Master Plan, approved by the Coastal Commission in 2012, is a joint project ...
In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters:
- A witness intending to testify to an opinion of value must exchange a statement of valuation data; and
- A witness will be precluded from testifying to a comparable sale if it is determined by the court that the comparable is not comparable and would confuse the jury.
Before we delve into the case, here’s a basic reminder of California law as it pertains to these two issues:
With respect to the court’s first finding, California Code of ...
Six weeks ago, I wrote about California Assembly Bill 624 and the Appraisal Institute’s effort to change California law that presently requires all licensed appraisers to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). While the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) would still mandate that USPAP be followed for federally-related transactions (i.e. appraisals for a financial institution that is federally insured), I observed that a licensed appraiser in California performing an appraisal for a ...
Two days ago, the Appraisal Foundation issued a memorandum to Appraisal Regulatory System Stakeholders that warned of the Appraisal Institute approaching members of Congress to sponsor legislation that would essentially dismantle the current national appraiser regulatory system. The Appraisal Foundation states that provisions being suggested by the Appraisal Institute include the elimination of the Appraisal Subcommittee and the removal or significant dilution of the Congressional authority of the Appraisal Foundation." It asserts that removing the existing ...
Two recent news articles caught my eye about a project taking place in San Diego County. A North County Times article, ESCONDIDO: Eminent domain hearing set for Bear Valley properties, reports that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors was set to vote this week on potentially using eminent domain to acquire necessary properties for the expansion of Bear Valley Parkway. While the project would widen the busy roadway from two to four lanes, add a center median and bicycle lanes, it would also necessitate the demolition of 18 homes and the taking of 32 slices of property -- mostly ...
My partner Brad Kuhn and I spoke yesterday at the IRWA Chapter 1 Valuation Conference. Our topic involved large-scale acquisitions, and what makes them different from a typical, single-parcel acquisition. As always, the Conference was well attend. And as always, both the panelists and the audience are made up of a great cross-section of the top right of way practitioners in Southern California. This mix often leads to some great discussions -- and yesterday was no exception.
One of the questions that arose during our presentation involved the fairly recent requirement that agencies ...
Eminent domain is typically used in the context of a freeway widening, a grade separation project, a utility corridor, or perhaps a new school. It's not often you hear about the use of eminent domain in the healthcare industry. But it does happen.
Take a recent example in Oceanside: the Tri-City Medical Center, a public hospital, is looking to expand its facility. It apparently has the power of eminent domain, and according to a North County Times article, OCEANSIDE: Tri-City seeks to take land through eminent domain, it's ready to use that power this week by adopting a resolution ...
According to a Turlock Journal article, "TID moves ahead with eminent domain," the Turlock Irrigation District approved the adoption of a resolution of necessity in order to move forward with eminent domain for the Hughson/Grayson 115 kv transmission line project.
As expected, impacted property owners are not satisfied with the agency's appraised value. The article reports that residents are in the process of obtaining their own appraisals, and have requested a 30 day extension prior to the commencement of eminent domain proceedings. (As a public agency, the irrigation district ...
When eminent domain attorneys think of just compensation in the context of an eminent domain case, we're typically thinking about the value of what we can see: the dirt itself; and anything built on that dirt. But every so often, a property's real value lies not in what is on the surface, but what sits below the surface.
A recent post by the Biersdorf law firm, Mineral Rights in Eminent Domain Cases, reminds us about this often overlooked issue. The post contains a nice summary of when and how these issues can arise, and I won't repeat all of what they have to say. The bottom line is that when a ...
The California Court of Appeal issued an interesting unpublished decision yesterday addressing a number of eminent domain issues, ranging from right to take challenges, entitlement to goodwill, severance damages, and jury instructions. The case, City of San Luis Obispo v. Hanson, garnered enough attention that several third parties filed Amicus briefs with the Court.
By way of background, the City of San Luis Obispo decided to realign a road partly in order to accommodate a newly approved Costco development. The realignment required right-of-way acquisition from a property ...
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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