Posts tagged Regulatory Takings.

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: ...

Posted in Events

Please join Nossaman Eminent Domain & Valuation Partner Rick Rayl at CLE International's 21st Anniversary Southern California Eminent Domain Conference.  The event will be held from Thursday, January 31st through Friday, February 1st at the DoubleTree Downtown in Los Angeles.  Rick will participate in the presentation, Case Law Update:  The Latest Developments, on January 31st at 10:45 a.m.  Additional topics covered during the conference will include: Government Regulation of Short-Term Vacation Rentals, Insights into Severance Damages, and California’s Wildfires and Potential Inverse ...

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Earlier this week, an unpublished California Court of Appeal decision, Dryden Oaks v. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, grappled with both issues.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 ...

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal.

The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an issue of first impression in California:  can Mello-Roos financing be used to fund an eminent domain action to acquire a utility company's assets?  In Golden State Water Company, the Casitas Municipal Water District wanted to acquire the assets of the Golden State Water Company for the purpose of taking over the provision of water to many residents in Ojai, California ...

Posted in Events

Over the past several months, the United States Supreme Court and the California Courts of Appeal have issued several significant regulatory takings opinions addressing the liability of government agencies for enacting regulations or otherwise conditioning proposed developments.  To really dig into these opinions and their importance, Law Seminars International will be putting on a one-hour telebriefing, Regulatory Takings Claims In California, on August 19 at 1 p.m. (PST).  I will be moderating the discussion with two other outstanding regulatory takings attorneys:  Robert ...

Posted in Court Decisions

It's not too often a property owner succeeds with an inverse condemnation/regulatory takings claim based on a general plan amendment or zone change.  The owner must generally demonstrate that the regulation either on its face, or when specifically applied to the owner's property, deprives the owner of the economically beneficial uses of the property.  The first attack (a "facial challenge") is difficult to prove, as it is uncommon that a general plan amendment/zone change is drafted in such a way that it -- on its face -- prevents all economic uses of the property.  The second attack (an ...

Posted in Court Decisions

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 ...

Posted in Court Decisions

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 ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In Lost Tree Village Corporation v. United States, the Federal Circuit addressed this question head on, concluding, to the surprise of no one, that the answer will largely depend upon the unique facts in each case. 

The question arose because the Army Corps of Engineers denied Lost Tree Village Corporation (Lost Tree), a commercial and real estate developer, a permit to fill wetlands on a 4.99 acre plat.  The 4.99 acre plat (Plat 57), along with one other plat (Plat 55) and some scattered wetlands, were holdovers from various properties totaling ...

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 ...

Earlier this week, I spent a day in Los Angeles at a seminar involving regulatory takings issues.  It featured a great panel of speakers on a variety of takings, eminent domain, and land use issues.  (In fairness, you should view my characterization of the panel's quality with some skepticism; I was Co-Chair of the seminar and therefore played a large role in assembling the panel.)

There were a number of quality take-aways from the day, but a few stood out for me. 

  1. Mark Alpert of Hart, King & Coldren spoke on a number of regulatory takings issues, focusing in particular on the ...

We're looking back on 2011's wild ride and looking forward to the twists and turns still in front of us in 2012.  We've summarized all of this into the 2011 version of our annual Eminent Domain Year in Review piece.

For those who don't want to take the time to read the actual article, here are a few of the highlights:

  • In January, Governor Brown proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies.  In June, he finally got legislation to accomplish that goal.  In August, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a legal challenge to the new law.  And on December 29, the Supreme Court upheld the law dissolving ...

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 ...

Anyone who's ever been involved in real estate development knows that as part of the permit approval process, developers are routinely required to make concessions to the government in order to move forward with proposed development plans.  And, if you're building near the coast, you usually need to jump through even more hoops (sometimes backwards and through fire) to please the Coastal Commission.  But when do the demanded concessions go too far?

We've covered in the past the "rough proportionality" and "nexus" requirements that development conditions must ...

Posted in Court Decisions

When dealing with regulatory takings claims, we've covered in the past the maze of procedural landmines that await a property owner.  We've once gone so far as to describe it as resembling "Alice's trip through Wonderland, with the parties falling in and out of state and then federal court (instead of a rabbit hole) based on procedural and substantive rules that often seem as logical as the Mad Hatter's recitals at the Tea Party."  Could one of those major obstacles disappear, allowing land owners a more direct shot at a regulatory takings claim in federal court?  The US Supreme Court could ...

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 ...

Posted in Court Decisions

We've been following the Ninth Circuit Guggenheim case for more than a year.  That Court's change in its holding between the initial decision by a three-judge panel and the subsequent en banc decision, coupled with the considerable attention the decision received, led many to think the case was ripe for Supreme Court review. 

Today, we learned that the Supreme Court denied the owner's Petition for Writ of Certiorari, meaning the en banc Court's decision will stand.  (As a reminder, that opinion held that the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance did not constitute a taking, despite the ...

We've been following the Guggenheim case for more than a year now, and in the last week or so, there have been a number of developments.  As a quick recap, this decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance - which had the effect of transferring the vast majority of a mobile home park's value from the park owner to the tenants - did not constitute a taking.  The decision followed an earlier decision by a different panel of the same court, in which the court held that the ordinance did qualify as a taking. 

Not surprisingly, the owner then sought ...

Posted in Court Decisions

We've covered the Guggenheim v. City of Goleta regulatory takings case pretty exhaustively, most recently noting there is a pending petition for Supreme Court review.  While we wait for the fateful decision as to whether the Supreme Court will take up the Guggenheim case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued another mobilehome rent control regulatory takings decision in Colony Cove Properties v. City of Carson.  Like the 9th Circuit's en banc decision in Guggenheim, the park owner's regulatory takings claim was unsuccessful.

The owner in Colony Cove

Posted in Court Decisions

The California Court of Appeal recently issued an interesting unpublished decision addressing a property owner's claim that a government entity's regulation of asbestos constituted a regulatory taking.  The owner's unsuccessful challenge presents a nice summary of what not to do when pursuing a regulatory takings claim, and just how difficult it is for an owner to succeed.

In Butte Equipment Rentals, Inc. v. California Air Resources Board, the property owner operated a rock mining and quarrying business.  The owner alleged that two regulations adopted by the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The Clean Water Act requires states to identify rivers and creeks that fall below specified water quality standards.  Those water bodies are thereafter designated as "impaired" by the Environmental Protection Agency, and certain standards are imposed to limit pollution and runoff. 

If a river or creek's designation results in a nearby property suffering a decrease in value, does the property owner have standing to seek removal of the designation?  In Barnum Timber Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held ...

Posted in Court Decisions

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 ...

We've reported on a number of rent control regulatory takings claims making their way through the court system, most notably the Guggenheim v. City of Goleta case.  Apparently, some cities and counties are fed up with the onslaught of challenges to their rent control ordinances, and they're looking for a way to recoup the attorneys' fees they expend in preserving the ordinances. 

According to an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Monning researching bill to address rent control lawsuits," Assemblyman Bill Monning looks to address this concern by considering a bill ...

Posted in Court Decisions

One of the cases we've been following the entire year is Guggenheim v. City of Goleta.  The case involves a challenge to the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance for mobile homes.  The owner claimed that the ordinance had the effect of transferring the vast majority (as much as 90 percent) of the property's value to the tenants, constituting a taking. 

Last September, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier District Court decision, holding that Goleta's ordinance constituted a taking, and it remanded the case for a trial on the amount of compensation the owner should be ...

We've reported in the past about some of the regulatory takings issues created as a result of the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority's ("RCA") efforts to conserve property pursuant to the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan ("MSHCP").  It now appears that those conservation efforts have created quite the turmoil with citizens in the City of Murrieta.

According to a recent North County Times article, "MURRIETA: Landowners frustrated with conservation board, city leaders who refuse to meet," about 100 members have organized a group called the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

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 ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Last fall, we told you about a key rent control / takings decision, Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, in which the Ninth Circuit held that a rent control ordinance consituted a taking.  In March, we reported that the Ninth Circuit had ordered an en banc hearing of the Guggenheim case

Yesterday, the Court held the en banc hearing, and while it may be some time before the Court issues its opinion, the hearing itself may provide some good insights about what may happen (and what it may mean in the larger context of regulatory takings claims).  

Very generally speaking, the Court was critical of ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection case received considerable attention both before the Supreme Court agreed to hear it, and following the very colorful oral argument before the Court last December. 

At issue was whether Florida's efforts to restore some of its beaches through depositing 75-feet of sand seaward of the high-tide line rose to the level of a taking due to the restoration work's causing former beach-front owners' property lines to be moved further away from the ocean water.  

What made the case even ...

Posted in Court Decisions

OK, before I get into this one, you should know that I've been sitting on this story for a week, trying to decide whether it warranted a blog post.  I still haven't quite figured out what happened, and I was just about to let it go, but then my colleague Brad Kuhn pointed out earlier today that the very fact that the whole thing is so odd makes it worthy of a discussion.  So here goes. 

Last week, the City of San Clemente appealed from an earlier ruling by an Orange County Superior Court judge that the City of San Clemente was liable for a taking that resulted when the City (apparently in secret) down ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Last week, my colleague Rick Rayl blogged about the Ninth Circuit's issuing an order granting an en banc hearing of the Guggenheim case involving the City of Goleta's mobile home park rent control ordinance.  If anyone is interested in a more in-depth analysis of the issues of that case, how the en banc process works, how politics come into play, and how the Ninth Circuit may ultimately come out on the regulatory takings issue, Rick and I prepared a more in-depth article that addresses those issues.  The article, "9th Circuit Revisits 2009 Trailer Park Opinion," was published in the Daily ...

Posted in Court Decisions

We reported earlier this week about the Ninth Circuit's March 12 order to hold an en banc hearing of its decision in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta.  The case involves a regulatory takings challenge to the City's rent control ordinance involving mobile home parks. 

On March 15, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District (San Diego) issued its opinion in MHC Financing Limited Partnership Two v. City of Santee (March 15, 2010, Case No. D053345).  The court rejected plaintiff's regulatory takings claim involving a City of Santee rent control ordinance, concluding that the as ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Last fall, we reported on the Ninth Circuit's decision in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, a regulatory takings case that generated considerable interest.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the City of Goleta's rent control ordinance constituted a taking and ordered the City to pay just compensation to the owner of a mobile home park. 

The Court concluded that the ordinance crossed the line because it had the effect of transferring as much as 90 percent of the property's value from the owner to the mobile home park's tenants.  The holding was significant not only because the ...

Posted in Right to Take

2009 has come and gone.  With it, we moved one more year past 2005's Kelo decision -- and a lot closer to what those of us who have worked in eminent domain for many years consider "normal."  Massive eminent domain reform efforts seem -- for now -- to be a thing of the past.

The California Legislature passed no substantive changes to California's eminent domain law, and the closest we came to a marquee eminent domain case last year was probably the Marina Towers decision, which was much discussed, but does not represent any sweeping changes to California law.

Still, there were a few notable ...

Earlier this month, I reported on a Florida case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionEarlier this week, I reported on some other property-rights issues currently in the news

Yesterday, one of my partners, Howard Coleman, took things a step further, attempting to tie recent property-rights issues into a big picture view of what it all may mean for California property owners.   

His piece, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Boundary Lines – Consequences of Climate Change, examines the Florida case ...

One of the big eminent domain stories of the last few weeks involved the oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in the Florida beach case.  That case involves whether a government program to add sand to parts of the Florida coastline, creating new public beaches in front of private property that had been beach front constitutes a taking.  For more information about that case, see my December 15 article, "Erosion Control, or Coney Island South?" published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal. 

Now, two other water-related takings issues are making news.  The first, as reported December 14 by ...

The Cato Institute's blog has an interesting post concerning the government's ability to induce local government agencies to enact tougher zoning standards that decrease the value of property which the government may want to acquire in the future. 

The post, titled "A Special Kind of Eminent Domain Abuse," deals specifically with the federal government's actions with respect to property it has contemplated acquiring for 30 years in order to expand the Everglades National Park.  The post  by Ilya Shapiro reports that in the case of 480.00 acres of Land v. United ...

Just over a year ago, on October 1, 2008, the California Court of Appeal issued a fairly rare ruling:  it found a public agency had committed a regulatory taking and remanded the matter back to the trial court to determine the amount of damages to be paid to the property owners.  Specifically, the Court held in Monks v. City of Ranchos Palos Verdes that the City of Ranchos Palos Verdes' rules preventing development in an area susceptible to landslides (the infamous Portuguese Bend landslide area) constituted a regulatory taking that was not justified by the city's power to regulate ...

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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