When a governmental agency improperly denies a permit application for a new development, and the proposed development is thereby delayed, does this result in a regulatory taking? As we've seen in some prior cases, such improper governmental actions can trigger liability, but it is uncommon. A recent Court of Appeal decision, Bottini v. City of San Diego (Sept. 18, 2018), highlights just how difficult it is for a property owner to pursue a regulatory taking due to a delay caused by a city's improper denial of a development application.
Bottini concerns the ...
As we've reported in the past, temporary takings are compensable in California. But such claims are not easy to prove, particularly when you're dealing with the federal government imposing temporary regulations preventing use of property. A recent case, Reoforce v. United States, demonstrates some of the hurdles an impacted property owner may face.
In Reoforce, the plaintiff discovered a mineral deposit called pumicite on federal land in Kern County, California. Believing the deposit had potential value for paint and fiberglass applications, Reoforce submitted a mining ...
Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years I've been doing this), public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action. (See Code of Civil Procedure section 1245.010 et seq.) Often, this happens during the CEQA process, as agencies try to assess the ...
Given the maze of procedural and substantive hurdles involved, property owners rarely succeed with regulatory takings claims. Even when owners do win, it is yet more uncommon for courts to award damages, instead allowing the public agency to repeal the regulation. But securing a victory on liability and a damages award for a temporary regulatory taking, well, that is nearly uncharted territory (going into the realm of unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, and other mythical creatures); we've heard stories of such events, but it is rare to find reliable documentation.
That all changed ...
We've talked in the past about just how hard it is to state a regulatory takings claim under the Supreme Court's decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104. I'd go through the test and how hard it is again, but it's complicated, a lot of work and, quite frankly, I'm a bit tired today. So here's my lazy approach. Read one of our earlier posts on the subject:
- Sometimes Regulatory Takings Do Exist Under Penn Central;
- Takings Claims and the Morass that Surrounds Them; or
- Major Regulatory Takings Case Reversed by Ninth Circuit.
The bottom line is that the courts have ...
As we previewed in our recent "year in review" piece, the U.S. Supreme Court has some takings issues before it this term. One case, Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District, took center stage yesterday.
At issue in the case is whether the the "nexus" and "proportionality" tests that we have all come to know in the context of real property dedications also apply to other efforts to impose exactions relative to property-development efforts.
The case presents a new branch on the tree that arises from cases such as 1987's Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, in which ...
Yesterday, we wrote about the Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente decision. For more information on the decision, see the following:
- Man Bites Dog! California Property Owner Wins Regulatory Taking Case in the California Court of Appeal, a blog post by Gideon Kanner on Gideon's Trumpet;
- Either Reverse Your Unconstitutional Spot Zoning, Or Pay. Your Choice, by Robert Thomas on his inversecondemnation.com blog; and
- Eminent Domain: Winning Owner In Inverse Condemnation Battle Cannot Recoup Fees By Attorney Owner Or Reap A Fee Multiplier Request, a piece in ...
Last April, we reported on a bizarre case arising out of the City of San Clemente's attempt to down zone a piece of property. The trial court had concluded that the down zoning constituted a taking and ordered the City to rescind a decision supported by that down zoning. The City had denied an application to develop the property because the application did not conform to the current general plan and zoning ordinance (the City seems to have sidestepped the fact that the development applications included applications to amend the general plan and zoning).
In addition to a writ of mandate ...
We've covered in the past regulatory takings claims and the benchmark three-prong Penn Central test for analyzing potential liability. We've also noted the issues involved in consistently applying those factors, and the resulting unpredictibility in evaluating the merits of potential regulatory takings claims.
William Wade, Ph.D., a resource economist with the firm Energy and Water Economics, often writes about these issues, offering clearly articulated potential solutions to dealing with these Penn Central issues. And Mr. Wade has done it again, as his recent ...
When analyzing potential liability for a regulatory takings claim, most land use and eminent domain attorneys immediately look to the three-prong test set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City (1978) 438 U.S. 104. Those three factors include:
- the economic impact of the regulation;
- the extent to which the regulation has interfered with distinct investment-backed expectations; and
- the character of the government's regulation.
Unfortunately, it's much easier said than done. Practitioners and courts alike have struggled ...
We thought it was over in 2009 when the Ninth Circuit held that the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance constituted a taking.
We thought it was over in late 2010 when an en banc Ninth Circuit panel ruled the other way, holding that the property owner failed to establish the "investment-backed expectations" necessary to establish a takings claim under Penn Central.
Now, we're not sure if it's ever going to be over. Apparently, Dan Guggenheim has decided to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court, so there may yet be more drama for the long-playing battle between the Guggenheims and the ...
An interesting battle is raging in the Santa Ynez Valley. Mattei's Tavern, a "landmark" in Los Olivos for more than 100 years, is slated for a redevelopment plan by its owner. A local activist group, known as the Valley Alliance, wants to stop the owner's plans. And one arrow in their quiver has been to nominate the tavern for listing as a historical landmark.
According to an April 29 article by Kathy Cleary in the Santa Ynez Valley Journal Valley Alliance Historic Landmark Nomination: Eminent Domain Takeover?, the purpose of the nomination is to give the Historic Landmark Advisory ...
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