Residential Real Estate Constitutional Law Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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The Limits of CEQA Mitigation – Recent Judicial Applications of Nollan and Dolan

Perhaps foremost among the judicially recognized fundamental constraints on lead agencies’ power to impose various types of mitigation measures on project approvals in the CEQA process is the “doctrine of unconstitutional...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

Coastal Commission’s Public Access Easement Found to Be A Taking

In a published decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District rejected the California Coastal Commission’s (“Commission”) finding that there is no rational nexus or rough proportionality between...more

Coastal Commission Erred In Finding Property Owner Is Stuck With Unconstitutional Dedication Condition

In an opinion on rehearing, the Second District Court of Appeal overturned a California Coastal Commission decision that a condition of a county-issued coastal development permit could not be eliminated by a second coastal...more

City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

Editorial: Drowning in Place: Local Government Costs and Liabilities for Flooding Due to Sea-level Rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years. The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...more

Keeping its Options Open: Lodi Passes Resolution of Necessity as Negotiations Continue

As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

Motions in Limine May be Used in Eminent Domain Proceedings to Determine Party's Interest in Property

"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used...more

Governmental Power and Property Lines

On May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condos. Home Owners Ass’n, 2014 CO 37. Overturning the rulings of both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, the...more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...more

Entry Barred: California Precondemnation Entry Statutes Declared Unconstitutional in Some Circumstances

Provisions of California’s Eminent Domain law known as the “entry statutes” have for decades provided a mechanism for a condemnor, prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, to obtain a court order allowing it to enter...more

Legal Update: Government Precondemnation Entry and Inspection – A Review of Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2014)

There are four ways the government can enter onto private property: - It has permission of the property owner. - In an emergency (Tenth Amendment/police power). - It has a search warrant, based on...more

Trails-to-Rails-to-?: The Brandt Case and its Potential Impact on the Nation’s Trails

A recent Supreme Court case may have a far-reaching impact on many of the United States’ “rails-to-trails” biking and jogging paths. In March, the Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that rights of way granted to railroad...more

Arizona Supreme Court Holds That Property Owner Who Quarreled With Light Rail Construction Should Be Compensated For Lost Access

Late last week, the Arizona Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarified the rights of property owners who lose access to an abutting road and, in the process, reinforced the principle that both elimination and...more

New Hurdles for Public Agencies: Accessing Property May Now Require Eminent Domain Actions

For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. The ruling, if upheld, will create additional hurdles for public agencies and may have unintended...more

Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, 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 a condemnation action....more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

Rails-to-Trails Decision: Supreme Court Holds that Government Does Not Retain Reversionary Interest

The "Rails-to-Trails" program sounds like such a great idea in theory: take old, abandoned railroad right of way and turn it into public trails. Who would complain about that? Well, it turns out lots of people might...more

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