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Category Archives: Eminent Domain

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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

HUD: Unclear If FHA Can Back Loans Issued After Eminent Domain Seizure

Posted in Eminent Domain

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development told Congress it could not  say if the Federal Housing Administration would insure new mortgages in communities including Richmond, California that propose to seize home loans through eminent domain. “Pending legal developments and possible further execution of the plans in question, HUD does not know whether any… Continue Reading

Kelo Property Still Vacant

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

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

New Jersey Passes Eminent Domain Legislation

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

The New Jersey legislature has passed 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 be in… Continue Reading

North Las Vegas Moves Closer To Using Eminent Domain To Seize Underwater Mortgages

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

The city of North Las Vegas has entered into an advisory agreement with Mortgage Resolution Partners. This entity promotes the concept of local governments using the power of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages from investors for the purpose of restructuring them. In response the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Association of Mortgage… Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee Approves Eminent Domain Bill

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation by voice vote prohibiting state and local governments that receive federal economic development funds from using eminent domain to transfer private property from one private owner to another for the purpose of economic development. The “Private Property Rights Protection Act” (H.R. 1944) is a direct, albeit delayed, response to… Continue Reading

FHA Considering Eminent Domain Policy

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

The Department of Housing and Urban Development may issue eminent domain related rules. At a recent House Financial Services subcommittee hearing, Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Edward Royce, R-Calif., noted counties in their states are considering using eminent domain to acquire private-label underwater mortgages. They also noted that FHA has barred Fannie Mae and Freddie… Continue Reading

Illinois Senate Approves Granting Eminent Domain Power To Casinos

Posted in Eminent Domain, PennDOT

The Illinois Senate recently approved a casino bill which would provide casinos with the power of eminent domain. If it passes, SB 1739 would amend the state’s Eminent Domain Act:   “The following provisions of law may include express grants of the power to acquire property by condemnation or eminent domain: Chicago Casino Development Authority… Continue Reading