The City of Menlo Park is proceeding with two transportation projects. The first one, an undercrossing to separate bicycles and pedestrians from rail traffic at Middle Avenue, received the green light from the City Council on December 15. The City has committed $210,000 and has authorized staff to apply for an additional $490,000 in San Mateo County Measure A sales tax funds to pay for preliminary engineering work on the project. The City estimates that the design and construction of the undercrossing will cost approximately $11 million.
The City’s second project is the Ravenswood ...
Because billboards are typically near public transit, they are routinely impacted by public projects such as street widenings, highway and freeway expansions, and grade separation projects. When impacted, billboard companies may make claims for (i) the value of the billboard itself (fixtures and equipment), (ii) loss of business goodwill, and (iii) relocation expenses. Usually the first two items can be addressed through a successful billboard relocation. But when happens when a moratorium is in place prohibiting new billboards? Does a moratorium on new billboards ...
In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters: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 ...
The City of Temecula is moving forward with the French Valley Parkway. The project involves construction of a new arterial, as well as improvements to the I-15 Winchester Road interchange. Phase I of the project included constructing southbound off-ramps for the future Parkway. These ramps are complete, but as a post on The Transit Coalition Inland Empire blog asked a year ago - "What the heck is going on with French Valley Parkway?" The answer is the same now as it was then -- Caltrans and the City are working to establish the scope and phasing of the remaining improvements. So when will it ...
The Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting is well under way in Washington D.C. (January 11-15, 2015). The meeting, which has attracted over 12,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors this year, provides an opportunity for transportation professionals to share knowledge and perspectives with colleagues and to learn about the latest developments in transportation research, policy, and practice. More than 5,000 presentations and almost 750 sessions and workshops address topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, and researchers. A ...
According to Robin Richard’s article, "Needles May Exercise Eminent Domain to make way for Highway 95 Connector," the City of Needles is considering adopting Resolutions of Necessity to acquire 14 parcels for its long-planned I-40 connector project. The City will be acquiring permanent road easements and temporary construction easements of various sizes. The impacted properties include residential, commercial and motel uses. Some of the acquisitions are fairly small, but as my colleague Brad Kuhn recently posted, even these sliver acquisitions can have impacts to the ...
The question now is, is the court's statement merely a bump in the road or a roadblock? The United States filed the eminent domain action seeking to condemn certain access rights so it could increase its profitability when it sold vacant federal land in Alameda County, California. In its complaint and declaration of taking, the United States alleged that it needed to condemn the property interest for the "continuing operations" of the Alameda Federal Center. In support of the taking, the United States relied on the General Service Administration's general authority. The federal ...
One issue that eminent domain attorneys face routinely involves helping businesses obtain the relocation benefits to which they are entitled under the law, while at the same time pursuing a claim for lost business goodwill. To us, there is a clear difference between the two, as we are indoctrinated early in our careers into understanding that the two types of relief, while seemingly closely related, are instead largely unrelated in the eyes of the law.
But to a typical business owner facing a forced relocation due to a government acquisition, the issues can appear thorny and complex. ...
Californians who have owned their properties for years understand the benefits of Proposition 13: their property taxes are based upon the property's purchase price (with only small allowable annual increases), as opposed to the property's current value. But upon a transfer, the property gets reassessed at its current value. Consequently, people in California often wind up with higher property taxes when they sell one property and buy another, even if the new property costs exactly what they received for the sale of the old property.
When an owner is forced to "sell" as a result of the ...
It's not too often you see one government agency threaten another agency with eminent domain. But it does happen. A recent article by Barbara Henry in the U-T San Diego, Encinitas has few options on Pacific View site, highlights on such dispute taking place right now.
According to the article, the City of Encinitas very much wants to acquire the Encinitas Union School District's 2.8-acre property that formerly housed the Pacific View Elementary School. But the School District has rejected the City's overtures, turning down a $4.3 million offer to purchase. Instead, the School ...
The City of Sacramento took another step forward on the plan for a new multi-million dollar arena for the Sacramento Kings. Last Tuesday, in a 7-2 vote, the city council passed a resolution of necessity approving the use of eminent domain to acquire a former Macy’s store property, which comprises more than half of the property needed for the $448 million dollar project. Wasting no time at all, the City’s legal counsel filed the eminent domain action just two days later, and plans to file a motion to gain prejudgment possession of the property to keep the city’s construction timeline ...
You know how sometimes you go to one of those educational seminars, and it sounds interesting, but then it turns out that a lot of it doesn't really apply to what you actually do? We hate it when that happens, and so we are constantly trying to find that perfect seminar that covers exactly what we want it to cover.
After months of careful searching, we didn't find what we were seeking, so we came up with a different plan. We're going to host our own seminar and fill it full of exactly what we want to cover.
On March 20, Nossaman will be hosting its first ever Eminent Domain Seminar. It's going to be ...
Property owners are routinely hiring attorneys well in advance of a public agency's filing of an eminent domain action. Many times, the representation begins before it is even certain whether the agency will actually move forward with acquiring the property. And sometimes, claims for inverse condemnation may ripen during the public agency's construction of the project on other nearby properties. When this overlap exists between inverse condemnation and potential future eminent domain actions, owners should be careful to assess how the attorney will be compensated. A recent ...
After two years of negotiating with residential property owners, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved acquisition of the property by eminent domain. The Modesto Bee reports that the board approved the acquisition of a single-family residence at its meeting on Tuesday in order to construct its Claribel Road project, which will cost the county $15.2 million. The project will widen Claribel Road from two lanes to a four-lane separated highway relieving congestion and reducing the safety concerns of the current configuration, which causes an estimated 16 accidents ...
On August 30, 2012, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that a privately owned utility could be subject to strict liability for inverse condemnation, thereby concurring with a similar holding previously reached out of the Fourth Appellate District.
A typical inverse condemnation action is initiated when a property owner files a complaint essentially asserting that a government agency is trying to take its property without filing a formal eminent domain action. Typical inverse condemnation claims involve ...
This Friday, May 11, International Right of Way Association Chapter 11 (San Diego) will be hosting a great program titled "Eminent Domain Seminar: The Acquisition Process and Litigation Case Study." If you want an update on recent developments in eminent domain, or if you've ever wondered what a relocation appeal hearing or a condemnation trial looks like, this seminar is for you. There are a number of great speakers lined up for the full-day class.
My colleague Rick Rayl and I will be going toe-to-toe in a mock trial on the valuation of a gas station and the loss of business ...
Here's some news making headlines this week in the eminent domain community:
- The Base Year Transfer Rule Under Threat of Eminent Domain: A new published California Court of Appeal decision -- Duea v. County of San Diego -- came out yesterday addressing whether a property owner can transfer their base year value to a replacement property when the owner sells its property to a private developer under threat of eminent domain. The Court held that the owner had some procedural missteps which doomed the case, but also went on to hold that this type of transfer does not qualify for a base year ...
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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