Thanks to all of you who were able to attend Nossaman’s Coastal Law Conference last week. If you missed the event, I provided an update on sea-level rise, managed retreat, and potential eminent domain / regulatory takings issues in California. Specifically, I touched on: ...
Infrastructure projects take years to develop: the environmental review, funding, design, procurement, and construction of a public project is time consuming in any state, but even more so in California given the strict regulations and oversight any public agency must comply with. During that lengthy process, private properties situated in the proposed project alignment remain in a state of flux. When those impacted properties are slated for development, what are the parties to do?
According to an article in the Morgan Hill Times, Council OKs new housing in one of two ...
Two of the more complicated issues eminent domain attorneys face are analyzing whether government conduct rises to the level of a taking, and whether the government engaged in precondemnation conduct that gives rise to damages apart from paying just compensation.
Earlier this week, an unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Dryden Oaks v. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, grappled with both issues. (See update below.)
In Dryden Oaks, a developer purchased property near the Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. The property was in an area governed by the San Diego ...
At some time or another, most of us have experienced sitting in our cars at a railroad crossing waiting for what seems like the longest freight train in the world go by. And it always seems to happen when you’re late for an appointment or for once trying to make it home in time for dinner. If you live or work in the San Gabriel Valley, sitting in traffic waiting for the freight-train to go by is likely a daily occurrence.
With vehicle and rail traffic projected to increase, in 1998, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCG) decided to do something about the safety and traffic ...
As cities become more dense and urbanized, it is common for infrastructure to get outdated or insufficient to handle increased demand. We see this with roads, highways, schools, and even utilities. When new infrastructure is needed, many times eminent domain becomes necessary to acquire property in the way of the proposed new project. But sometimes those properties are historical or, given their longstanding presence, have sentimental meaning to the community.
Such a situation is currently playing out in the City of Oakley. According to an article in the Mercury News, Oakley ...
Public projects take years of planning and environmental review usually involving outreach to neighboring property owners and other stakeholders. During this process, potential right of way impacts are identified and property owners (and their potential buyers or tenants) become aware of the planned project. As we have described in the past, this can result in a cloud of condemnation over the property, affecting the value of that property. Property owners often feel they should be compensated for this uncertainty. But it is difficult for owners to succeed on these claims. (Check ...
According to Jason Henry's article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, West Covina contests condemnation of properties at Westfield Mall, Lakes Drive, the City of West Covina plans to contest an eminent domain action filed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to acquire land near Westfield Mall needed for the expansion of the I-10 Freeway.
Caltrans' proposed acquisition will eliminate a California Pizza Kitchen, the former Bob's Big Boy building, an AT&T store, as well as a row of parking spaces along the I-10 near Lakes Drive. The City claims that Caltrans ...
Eminent domain cases typically revolve around a "date of value" – the date on which property is valued in determining the amount of just compensation the condemning agency must pay. That date is set by statute; typically, it is the date on which the agency deposits the amount of "probable compensation" to be awarded. But sometimes, the agency's activities, such as project planning and acquisition efforts, negatively affect the value of the property. In such circumstances, property owners may attempt to hold the agency responsible for such declines in value by claiming (1 ...
For those of you who have followed Nossaman's blog since the very early days, you'll recall our coverage of a significant regulatory takings case, Monks v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The 2008 California decision received much press coverage in that it was one of the very few instances where property owners overcame the myriad substantive and procedural obstacles and succeeded under a regulatory takings theory. While the Court found a taking occurred, the case was remanded back to the trial court to determine the appropriate remedy. Now, nearly five years later, the dispute has now ...
We've covered in the past the impacts property and business owners suffer when government agencies plan for public projects. We've also covered when agency planning crosses the line and results in precondemnation damages or a de facto taking. A recent unpublished Court of Appeal decision, Joffe v. City of Huntington Park, highlights (1) the types of impacts owners suffer and (2) the difficulty owners face in trying to recover for such impacts.
In Joffe, a related property owner and furniture manufacturing business claimed that the city repeatedly expressed a desire to ...
The use of eminent domain in a declining real estate market presents a number of unique issues. I often receive calls from property owners who are frustrated with the government's timing of condemnation proceedings, and want to know how they can get market-peak-values for their property.
This issue was the hot topic of a previous IRWA seminar I chaired, Property Acquisition, Appraisal, and Relocation in an Upside Down Market. And a recent blog post by the Weiss Serota Helfman law firm, Eminent Domain Valuation in a Falling Market Poses Questions for ...
We reported several months ago about the property owner impacted by the expansion of the Everglades National Park petitioning the US Supreme Court to determine how to treat the government's enactment of tougher zoning standards that decrease the value of property which the government may want to acquire in the future. The issue presented was whether the government's actions must be the primary cause of the precondemnation depression of the property's market value, or whether there must only be a nexus between the government's actions and the depressed market value.
This is an ...
Over the years, the approval process for development projects in California has become more burdensome, more difficult, and more time consuming. The project proponent -- whether a private developer or a public agency -- spends months, and usually years, addressing environmental issues, processing entitlements and, for bigger projects, often facing court challenges. But what does this have to do with eminent domain?
Well, property owners and business owners typically become aware of potential government projects very early in the planning process. And while the ...
The Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority ("ACE") is working on a $75 million project to improve rail service in the San Gabriel Valley. The project involves constructing a rail underpass on Baldwin Avenue in El Monte, and it is part of a larger, $1.1 billion project that includes 20 grade separations.
ACE has acquired nearly all of the right of way for the Baldwin Avenue underpass, but one owner, Fred Jast, has not moved. According to a recent San Gabriel Valley Tribune article by Rebecca Kimitch, "El Monte man fights eminent domain claim," Mr. Jast has been fighting with ACE for several years ...
When LifeChoices sought to expand its rehabilitation center in 2002, the City of San Jose rejected the proposal, citing its plans for a future Berryessa Bay Area Rapid Transit ("BART") station, which would require freeway interchange improvements on the property. According to John Woolfolk's October 23 Mercury News article, "San Jose to pay $2 million to acquire parcel and settle lawsuit," five years later LifeChoices' owner, John Licking, filed suit, challenging the City of San Jose's denial as constituting discrimination against the disabled.
Now, San Jose has agreed to pay ...
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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