A new decision out of the Northern District of California applying the “final action” standards of Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco has come out – with the District Court concluding that even under Pakdel’s “relatively modest” standard, a landowner seeking to develop their property must still actually receive a final decision on the merits of their proposal before filing a takings claim in federal court. The new case is DiVittorio v. County of Santa Clara, and the opinion by the Hon. Beth Labson Freeman helps further clarify the steps a landowner must satisfy before availing themselves of the federal court system ...
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 ...
In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court issued Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172, a landmark decision (as Supreme Court decisions often are) that drastically slashed the number of federal takings claims. In Williamson County, the Supreme Court held that courts lack jurisdiction over federal regulatory takings claims unless a final decision has been issued and the property owner has exhausted all "adequate State procedures." The Supreme Court also clarified that exhaustion of adequate State procedures generally requires ...
Inverse condemnation claims can be tricky, particularly in the regulatory context. You don't want to file your claim too soon, as that will likely result in your claim being booted out of court on ripeness grounds. But you also don't want to file your claim too late, as that can result in your claim being barred by the applicable statute of limitations. It is a delicate balance, and one that can often defy logic. (For a real world example of this Catch 22, see Brad Kuhn's Blog Post.) Last week, in Rivera v. County of Solano, Case No. A133616, the California Court of Appeal ...
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 ...
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 ...
A May 14 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarifies the rules regarding when a plaintiff may sue for inverse condemnation in federal court. In Adams Bros. Farming v. County of Santa Barbara No. 09-55315 (May 14, 2010), the Court rejected an inverse condemnation claim brought against the County, where the County allegedly effected a taking by improperly designating part of the owner's property as wetlands.
The case involves a long, fairly tortured history that dates back to the late 1990's, when the County (apparently erroneously) designated about 95 acres of "Rancho ...
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