Property dedication requirements and eminent domain usually don’t mix well: they make for an odd and confusing set of valuation rules. For example, if an agency seeks to condemn property to build a road through an undeveloped area, but that road would be required in order to develop the properties, how should it be valued? Under one set of eminent domain rules (the Porterville doctrine), the property subject to dedication has little value since it would have to be given up as part of any future development. Under another set of eminent domain rules (the “project influence rule” ...
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 ...
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 ...
While nobody could have anticipated the challenges of 2020, the right-of-way industry worked through difficult issues to move critical infrastructure projects forward. On February 11, 2021, our Eminent Domain & Valuation Group presented “Eminent Domain in 2020: A Year in Review,” during which we discussed decisions in key cases and trends from California and around the country that will continue to impact the right-of-way industry going forward. If you were not able to attend the live session, we invite you to watch the on-demand presentation at your convenience.
Sometimes a public agency ends up abandoning an eminent domain proceeding, even after the property owner or business has moved from the property. Under Code of Civil Procedure, section 1268.620, if a defendant “moves from property” and the agency subsequently dismisses the suit, the owner/business may be able to recover payment of all damages proximately caused by the proceeding and its dismissal. One would think determining whether an owner/occupant has “moved” from the property would not be an issue for dispute. But a recent unpublished California Court of Appeal ...
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. …
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 ...
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 ...
Eminent domain is typically used for roads, utilities, schools, and even airports, but in California, it is quite unusual (perhaps even unheard of) to use eminent domain for space travel.
But according to an article in the Antelope Valley Press, Eminent domain possible if airport land buy fails, that is exactly what's about to happen. According to the article, the Mojave Air and Space Port Board of Directors agreed to move ahead with eminent domain for acquiring several vacant parcels of land if negotiations fail. The properties are apparently necessary to expand the safety zone ...
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.
In an eminent domain proceeding, tenants of property subject to condemnation have constitutional rights to just compensation. However, those rights can be assigned to the landlord through a lease agreement. A recent unpublished Court of Appeal decision confirmed that commercial tenants can assign all claims to just compensation through the terms of a lease agreement ...
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.
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 ...
What happens when a property owner unknowingly pays the electricity bill on a city-owned parking lot for over 15 years? If you said nothing, then you get a gold star.
In Murphy v. City of Sierra Madre (pdf), a recent decision out of the Second Appellate District, the plaintiffs-appellants were the subsequent owners of a piece of property originally purchased from the City through a Disposition Development Agreement. When the City originally transferred the property, it also mistakenly transferred an adjacent electrical meter for a City-owned parking lot. As a result, from ...
Yes! And two separate groups recently learned this fact the hard way. On April 17, the Eastern District of California issued two separate decisions dismissing two separate inverse condemnation claims with prejudice because the plaintiffs did not have an independent property interest in the subject property. In Abarca v. Merck & Co. (E.D. Cal. Apr. 17, 2012) Case No. 1:07-cv-0388, a group of minor plaintiffs and a group of non-owner landscape plaintiffs filed an action against the County of Merced, the Merced Irrigation District, and Merced Drainage District ...
California provides a special procedural remedy whenever a lawsuit implicates a defendant's First Amendment right to petition or free speech. The procedure is commonly referred to as the "anti-SLAPP." (SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.) Under this procedure, the trial court evaluates the merits of the lawsuit using a summary judgment like process, often at an early stage of the litigation. In a recent unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the propriety of applying this procedure when a plaintiff is ...
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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