Posts tagged Contamination.
Posted in Projects

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 ...
Posted in Court Decisions

Agencies acquiring private property for a public project conduct thorough investigations to determine whether the property has environmental contamination.  If contamination is found, the question arises whether evidence of the contamination will be admissible in the eminent domain proceeding.  In California the answer is yes, based on a single case that involved evidence of remediation costs introduced by both sides without objection.  In Redevelopment Agency of Pomona v. Thrifty Oil Company, 4 Cal.App.4th 469 (1992), the Agency sought to condemn a parcel owned by Thrifty that ...

Posted in Events

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference.  It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New London, Connecticut, battle ground of the infamous Kelo decision.  

I spoke yesterday on a panel moderated by Orell Anderson, alongside attorneys Jim Ray and Jeff Pollack.  Our topic involved how contamination issues are handled in litigation.  It was a great session, even though it did not go at all as we planned it.  The extremely engaged audience consumed nearly the ...

Posted in Redevelopment

When Governor Brown eliminated California’s redevelopment agencies with one swipe of his pen (OK, fine, he had a bit of help from the California Supreme Court as well), one of the things that got a bit lost in the ensuing chaos is the fact that California’s redevelopment law had evolved over the decades, becoming hopelessly intertwined with any number of other laws.

One such law is the Polanco Act, Health and Safety Code sections 33459 et seq.  The Polanco Act provided the government with tools to clean up contaminated property.  More specifically, it allowed the government either to ...

Posted in Events

One of the trickiest circumstances to deal with in an eminent domain case occurs when the property being condemned suffers from a contamination issue.  This presents a number of thorny issues and, quite frankly, is an area of law which is shockingly undeveloped in most jurisdictions. 

  • Should the cost of the remediation be offset from the value of the property? 
  • Should the contamination be ignored since the owner is being compelled to "sell" the property, often against his or her will? 
  • Should the appraisers treat the contamination as they would any other circumstance affecting the ...
Posted in Redevelopment

Just when it looked liked we had reached the eleventh hour in the California's redevelopment battle, redevelopment agencies appear to be getting at least a temporary stay of execution. Governor Brown had declared a March 10 deadline for a vote on his proposal to overhaul California's budget, including "disestablishing" redevelopment agencies. 

But on Monday, those efforts stalled.  In an open letter to the Governor, five key Republican senators announced:

Although it is clear that you [the Governor] engaged in our conversation seriously, it appears we have reached an impasse.

In ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Last week, we give a brief overview of the new published California Court of Appeal decision in City of Gardena v. Rikuo Corporation (Feb. 7, 2011).  For anyone interested in a more detailed explanation of the City of Gardena case, you can read our E-Alert, "Court Dismisses Appeal Arising From Stipulated Eminent Domain Judgment."

The case is probably worth a read for all of us in the right-of-way industry, as the decision serves as an important reminder for public agencies and property owners to carefully document eminent domain settlements, especially where additional actions ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Most eminent domain cases don't proceed to a full-blown jury trial.  Rather, most get settled somewhere along the way, and those settlements often come in the form of a stipulated judgment.  In most of those cases, nothing more happens.  The agency pays the judgment, obtains a final order of condemnation, and all parties move on with their lives.

But sometimes, the judgment itself isn't the end of the story.  And in City of Gardena v. Rikuo Corporation (Feb. 7, 2011), the parties still had to deal with ongoing environmental remediation issues long after their stipulated judgment was ...

I received an interesting email last week about possible claims against a neighboring property owner who was taking steps in an apparent effort to lower the amount of compensation the agency would have to pay for the property.   I didn't get much in the way of details, but it did get me thinking about how (and why) this might occur, and what someone could do about it.

The first thought that occurred to me is why would a neighboring property owner want to cause the value of property to be lower?  It seems that in most circumstances, the last thing one owner would want is for a low value to be established ...

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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