When the government requires a property owner to give up private property, the takings clause normally comes into play and the government is required to exercise its power of eminent domain. But is that always the case? According to a recent court of appeal opinion, People v. Gonzalez (Nov. 24, 2020, D077208), there are a number of circumstances in which the government can require a property owner to sell without triggering a taking of private property.
In Gonzalez, a property owner was charged with using his property without a permit or variance and maintaining an unauthorized ...
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 ...
Downzoning property is always a thorny issue: on the one hand, zoning changes are typical, "police power"-type governmental activities; on the other hand, they can significantly impact property values, and in some cases can result in governmental takings liability. When a property owner experiences a change in zoning, there are typically two theories that can be pursued: one is so-called "spot zoning," and the other is a regulatory taking.
Under the first theory, "spot zoning," a property owner can have a zoning designation invalidated if it can prove the government targeted the ...
Here are a few updates for right of way professionals:
- IRWA International Conference: The International Right of Way Association's (IRWA) 58th Annual International Education Conference will be taking place starting this weekend in Seattle. Nossaman's eminent domain attorneys will be there in full force: I know at least seven of us are attending, and we'll have representatives from our Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offices. For the first time ever, we'll also be hosting a booth at the Conference, and we have a number of great give-aways, so plan to stop by ...
The demise of redevelopment world tour continues! Gale's been speaking away up north at the IRWA, the Appraisal Institute, and various other organizations, and Rick and I have been trying to do our part to keep up down here in Southern California. So, here we go again -- this time down in San Diego, and we hope you'll join us. We promise to use some new materials and give some updates on the status of pending clean-up legislation and how the redevelopment agency winding up process is playing out in California.
The details: we'll be speaking to the San Diego Chapter of the International ...
Improving California's infrastructure continues to be a major focus across the state. We've been reporting for months the stream of funding that is making its way towards much needed transportation projects. This week California saw a major influx of additional Proposition 1B funding to the tune of $2.2 billion which will be spread across 146 highway, transit and rail projects.
- In Los Angeles, Caltrans reports that money is being spent on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on US 101, along with rehabilitation of the I-710, I-5, and SR-60 freeways.
- For the San Diego folks, check out ...
I live in Orange County. Every time I contemplate a trip to San Diego, I run the calculations:
- How bad is the I-5 freeway going to be;
- How badly do I need to be in San Diego; and
- Can I find a way to extend/change my schedule to avoid the worst of the traffic?
Granted, I engage in the same internal debate when I need to head towards Los Angeles, but at least going that direction, I have a number of route choices. Going to San Diego, it's basically the I-5 or stay home.
Caltrans is in the midst of a major planning process for possible expansion of the I-5 between La Jolla and Oceanside. The public ...
According to a San Diego Union Tribune article that was published over the weekend, the City of Encinitas has turned to the use of eminent domain to complete a $1.3 million drainage improvement project for an area impacted by flooding. The article, "Encinitas to seize land for drainage work," reports that the city has reached a deal with six of the seven impacted property owners. The hold-out property owner will face having a portion of its property condemned so the city can expand an already existing easement and install a drainage pipe under a horse trail.
The hold-out ...
According to a San Diego Union Tribune article,"City ready to acquire land to widen Plaza Boulevard," National City has adopted resolutions of necessity in order to use eminent domain for the widening of a 1.1-mile stretch of Plaza Boulevard. 37 properties are impacted, although the City has reached agreements with a majority of the property owners.
The expansion project will widen Plaza Boulevard from four to six lanes between Highland Avenue and Euclid Avenue, including a section under the 805 freeway. The City says widening its busiest commercial corridor will ...
We've previously reported on some of the major renewable energy projects currently underway, such as Southern California Edison's Tehachapi Renewable Energy Transmission Line Project and GE's plans to design the largest wind farm in the world. After a major planning effort, it appears that another renewable energy project -- the Sunrise Powerlink project -- may be moving forward as well.
According to a March 7 San Diego Union Tribune article by Onell Soto, the 123-mile, $1.88 billion Sunrise Powerlink project has obtained approval from the Public Utilities Commission ...
I mentioned in an article last week that many redevelopment agencies are facing budget issues; the city of Imperial Beach is facing a similar, but slightly different, problem: after investing over $8 million in bond money for redevelopment of the Miracle Shopping Center, the economic climate has made it impossible for the city to find an interested developer.
Nevertheless, the city decided to raise more funds, and purchase the shopping center anyway, hoping the city's ownership would make the site more attractive to developers. With city ownership now in ...
I previously reported on a political discussion taking place in a San Diego community, San Ysidro, with respect to whether the city should reinstitute its expired power of eminent domain. While San Ysidro contemplates this issue, another San Diego community -- this time Chula Vista -- is in the process of drafting its five-year redevelopment plan, which could include expansion.
Like San Ysidro, Chula Vista recognizes the public concern over the city's wielding its condemnation power, especially for redevelopment purposes. Chula Vista, therefore, has sought public ...
Government agencies often require developers of large projects to build the necessary infrastructure to accommodate those proposed projects. Examples include building a new roadway to reach the project, widening an existing roadway due to the project's adding extra trips to the daily traffic, and installing improvements for utilities and flood control, among other things. But how do developers acquire the right-of-way when the necessary property is privately owned?
The proposed Merriam Mountains residential development project in north Escondido is a ...
The City of San Ysidro, a community on the border of San Diego, is currently contemplating whether it should extend its eminent domain powers, which expired last year. The backlash from the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London appears to still be taking its toll, as the City's advisory committee, the San Ysidro Project Area Committee, is currently deadlocked on the topic.
Liam Dillon covers the story in a Voice of San Diego article, Masters of Their Domain, which provides some great examples of the positives and negatives of the City's use of eminent domain.
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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