Residential Real Estate Constitutional Law Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Update: California Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Today, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Property Reserve v. Superior Court case. Today was also the day the Court began showing live webcasts of oral arguments online, so I was able to not only hear...more

City of Perris v. Stamper Oral Arguments Are Next Week

If you are an eminent domain junkie like us, then you will appreciate knowing that the City of Perris v. Stamper case (S213468) will be heard by the California Supreme Court on May 5, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. As a...more

Landmark Discrimination Case: Fair Housing Act Thwarts NIMBYs - Avenue 6E Investments, LLC v. City of Yuma (March 25, 2016)

Why It Matters: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision in favor of the City of Yuma, Arizona, and concluded instead that there was sufficient evidence to present to a jury that the City had rejected the...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2016

Timely Topics - Has your nonprofit received a donation for a restricted purpose that has become impractical, impossible to achieve, wasteful or even unlawful? A donor may restrict a contribution to a charity for a...more

Homeowners Cannot Recover for Blocked Views of Hollywood Sign

One of the most valuable assets many homeowners enjoy is their property’s view. If the government undertakes an activity that eliminates or obstructs that view, is an owner entitled to relief? In Boxer v. City of Beverly...more

Texas Supreme Court: Improper Application of Project-Influence Rule Resulted in Harmful Error

The Texas Constitution provides that “[n]o person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made.” Tex. Const. art. I, § 17. The Texas Supreme Court has...more

Unraveling the Property Right of Access to Roadways

For owners, “access” to abutting or surrounding roadways is essential to their property. Without it a piece of property is “landlocked” and thus has little, if any, economic utility. Private property owners want good access...more

Property Reserve Case Set for Oral Argument

The California Supreme Court announced today that the Property Reserve case will be heard on May 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. (I’m assuming this is not an April Fool’s joke, since eminent domain attorneys have...more

Be Safe, Get Your Standing Evidence in Early

A Land Use Practitioner representing opposition intervenors in a quasi-judicial land use matter is best served to present any evidence of special damages during the quasi-judicial hearing in order to preserve standing for...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2016

A Rare Win for Former Redevelopment Agencies—State Collection Procedures Ruled Unconstitutional - City of Bellflower v. Michael Cohen, Director of the Department of Finance (245 Cal. App. 4th 438) - Why It Matters:...more

State Well Permit Prevails Over Local Zoning – Again

The state laws of Louisiana regulating oil and gas exploration and production will trump local regulations. See St. Tammany Parish Government v. State of Louisiana, Office of Conservation. (Forgive us for that word that...more

Regulatory Takings Cases and the Relevant Parcel: Murr v. Wisconsin

This summer, in Murr v. Wisconsin, the United States Supreme Court will make an important decision on property rights and regulatory takings under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. At issue...more

Maryland Court of Appeals Opens Door to New Class of Inverse Condemnation Claims

A property owner states a valid claim for inverse condemnation where the owner alleges that its property was taken by the government's failure to act in the face of an affirmative duty to act, the Maryland Court of Appeals...more

2,000sf Game Room, in Violation of Building Code, Not Protected By RLUIPA

Plaintiff Michael Salman wanted to hold Bible studies in his home and nothing, not even the prospects of a Phoenix municipal enforcement action, 60 days in jail, and $12,000 in fines would stop him. In 2007, Salman’s...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide "Critical Question" in Eminent Domain

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a critical question that will determine whether some landowners will receive compensation for regulations that restrict the uses of their land. The case, Murr v. Wisconsin, may...more

Will The Supreme Court Loosen The Reins On Regulatory Takings Claims?

It is an understatement to say that pursuing a claim against the government for a Fifth Amendment regulatory taking is difficult. The United States Supreme Court has described such claims as presenting “an especially steep...more

MPSC Approved Wolverine Pipe Line Project in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties

Wolverine Pipe Line Company received the administrative approval that is a prerequisite to it acquiring necessary property rights and constructing its project. On June 17, 2015, Wolverine Pipe Line Company filed anApplication...more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Are Groundwater Pumping Fees or Charges Subject to Proposition 218? California Supreme Court to Resolve Conflicting Precedent

In 2015 California’s Sixth and Second District Courts of Appeal issued conflicting opinions regarding whether groundwater extraction fees or charges are subject to Article 13D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218)....more

Possible Chicanery by DTE On Milford Bypass Loop Pipeline?

Has DTE withheld distribution of complete easements, including the exhibit containing the legal description of the encumbered property, in an attempt to hide the true impacts of the easements from homeowners? Last night, I...more

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

NC Court of Appeals rules Emerald Isle’s restriction on the use of privately owned oceanfront property is not a compensable...

What part of a beach in North Carolina is subject to public use and what part is private property was recently addressed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle (Nov. 17, 2015). This case...more

School district’s condemnation of a private road passes the test

The power of eminent domain allows a government or quasi-governmental entity to condemn (take) private property for a public use upon a showing of necessity. In exchange, the property owner must receive “just compensation”...more

Right of Entry Statutes Are Back in Business – For Now

For decades, California 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 acquiring the...more

Caltrans’ Highway 101 Overpass Condemnation Case Ends in Split Decision

For several years, we’ve been following an eminent domain lawsuit in Marin County involving Caltrans’ acquisition of 34 acres for a $29.7 million interchange project at the Redwood Sanitary Landfill, which would widen the...more

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