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Category Archives: Eminent Domain

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VT Governor Advocates Hiring Independent Appraiser For Pipeline Cases

Posted in Appraisers, Eminent Domain

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants the VT Department of Public Service to hire an independent property appraiser to participate in eminent domain proceedings for the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project. “I am concerned at the transparency and equity issues that have been raised by Vermont Gas’s negotiations with landowners,” Shumlin wrote in a letter Monday. “I… Continue Reading

Orlando Drops Taking Of Church Property.

Posted in Eminent Domain

The City of Orlando on Monday dropped its attempt to condemn a family-owned church to build a new Major League Soccer stadium.  The Church was the last holdout for the project.  Orlando will move the new stadium about a block west using property the city bought for $2 million. Orlando and the Church have had… Continue Reading

PA Considering Extending Time To Challenge Condemnations

Posted in Eminent Domain

PA law requires that challenges to condemnations must be filed within 30 days of service of the Declaration of Taking. The document that is filed challenging the taking is called “Preliminary Objections.” HB 2387, currently being considered in the PA House of Representatives, would increase the time for filing the Preliminary Objections to 90 days…. Continue Reading

PA Considering Amending Condemnation Fees And Expenses Reimbursement Statute

Posted in Eminent Domain

The PA Senate is considering a bill which would make minor changes to the PA eminent domain statute providing for reimbursement for professional fees and expenses. Generally, PA requires reimbursement for up to $4,000 for those fees and expenses. If enacted, SB 1096 clarifies that this payment is owed “per property, regardless of right, title… Continue Reading

Cal Court Strikes Pre-condemnation Entry Portion Of Eminent Domain Statute

Posted in Eminent Domain

A part of California’s statutory eminent domain law has been declared unconstitutional. The Third Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled in Property Reserve, Inc. v. Super. Ct. of San Joaquin County that pre-condemnation entry statues violate California’s version of the US Fifth Amendment’s taking clause – Article I, Section 19 of the California Constitution. This… Continue Reading

Orlando Takes Church Property For Soccer Stadium

Posted in Eminent Domain

The city of Orlando initiated eminent domain proceedings to take property owned by a church to build a new soccer stadium. A judge ruled in January that Orlando could take the property via its eminent domain powers. Orlando spokesperson Heather Fagan issued this statement:  ”We have spent the last year trying to work with the… Continue Reading

Kelo Properties Still Vacant

Posted in Eminent Domain

In 2005, the US Supreme Court issued one of its most controversial decisions. In Kelo v. City of New London, the Court held that it was not unconstitutional to use the power of eminent domain to take homes and other private property and transfer the property to private entities for economic development. It found that… Continue Reading

Judge Sets Value Of Flight 93 Memorial Property

Posted in Eminent Domain

A Federal Judge agreed with a federally appointed commission’s $1.5 million appraisal of what is now the Flight 93 National Memorial property. The property, located in Shanksville, PA, was condemned for the Memorial. The land’s former owner, Michael Svonavec, argued the 275-acre property was worth $23 million. It is not known whether Svonavec will appeal… Continue Reading

MD Threatens To Condemn House of Cards Property

Posted in Eminent Domain

The House of Cards producers are threatening to leave Maryland if they don’t get millions more dollars in tax credits. In response, members of the Maryland House of Delegates have threatened to condemn the sets, equipment and other property used for that show. The threat was proposed Thursday afternoon by Del. C. William Frick (D-Montgomery)… Continue Reading

Utah Passes Eminent Domain Bill

Posted in Eminent Domain

Utah recently passed an amendment to its eminent domain laws.  The Utah Senate unanimously approved HB 25 and now the bill awaits the Governor’s signature.  The legislation updates language in the state code dealing with eminent domain and also established news guidelines that allow property owners greater access and engagement in the process. The legislation… Continue Reading

HUD May Seek Court Guidance on Eminent Domain for Mortgages

Posted in Eminent Domain

National Mortgage News has reported that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stated at a Politico event that the legality of the use of eminent domain to force the sale of mortgages should be decided by the courts.  The American Land Title Association’s chief executive Michelle Korsmo criticized the remarks, stating “Waiting for these eminent domain proposals… Continue Reading

Philadelphia Mayor Signs Land Bank Bill

Posted in Eminent Domain, Redevelopment

Mayor Nutter recently signed the Land Bank law and predicted that the City could start selling the its vacant and tax-delinquent properties by the end of the year.  The bill creates a new entity to manage Philadelphia’s vacant land, acquire tax-delinquent properties and sell them. There is an estimated 9,500 city-owned vacant properties and 17,000… Continue Reading

Our Group Authors New Edition of Eminent Domain Treatise

Posted in Eminent Domain, Uncategorized

Our Eminent Domain Group has once again authored the leading Pennsylvania Eminent Domain treatise. Bisel has just published the 2014 Edition of Pennsylvania Eminent Domain which can be found at http://www.bisel.com/descriptions/bk60.htm. The treatise was originally published in 1964 and our group drafted supplements to that edition for over 15 years. Marc Needles, my partner and… Continue Reading

Philly Condemnation Attracting National Attention

Posted in Eminent Domain

The Philadelphia RDA has condemned property owned by a nationally recognized artist. This condemnation has received a great deal of attention including newspaper and radio coverage (I was interviewed by one station) and now by Forbes. The property owner, James Dupree, has been using this property as his studio. The property is one of 17… Continue Reading

PA Propose Bill To Change Eminent Domain Professional Fee Reimbursement Structure

Posted in Eminent Domain, Uncategorized

The Pennsylvania Eminent Code currently provides for reimbursement of up to $4,000 for “reasonable expenses actually incurred for appraisal, attorney and engineering fees.”  A recently introduced bill would amend that section to provide for reimbursement of up to $4,000 “per property.”  It would also limit the reimbursement to $1,000 “where the taking is for an… Continue Reading

Orlando May Use Eminent Domain For Soccer Arena

Posted in Eminent Domain

The Orlando City Council recently approved a resolution authorizing the use of eminent domain for 2 properties for a proposed soccer stadium. The City Council members voted to allow the initiation of eminent domain proceedings if needed for the stadium project proposed by the Orlando City Soccer Club in its bid to join Major League… Continue Reading

NJ Eminent Domain Bill Becomes Law

Posted in Eminent Domain

New Jersey Governor Chis Christie signed into law legislation somewhat restricting local governments’ use of eminent domain for private redevelopment. It also creates an alternative to condemnation for redevelopment projects. S-2447, passed 36-1, was expressly designed to codify New Jersey Supreme Court’s decisions holding that the prior statutory standard for “blight” — that the property… Continue Reading