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
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
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
In a dramatic change in eminent domain law, the PA Supreme Court has now opened the door, in certain circumstances, for the use of purchase offer amounts in valuing condemned properties. Prior to this decision, the general law in PA was that offers could only be used to establish demand for a particular use but… Continue Reading
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
Paula Konikoff, JD, MAI, chair of the Appraisal Institute’s Professional Standards and Guidance Committee recently discussed the 2014-15 USPAP updates, including the process the Appraisal Standards Board used to adopt the latest edition of USPAP, the new Report Options that will be part of the 2014-15 edition of USPAP, and other changes made that might… Continue Reading
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
The New Jersey General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill intending to “clarify” the use of eminent domain by a municipality and amending the due process provisions of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (LRHL) that fall within the area of eminent domain, according to the bill’s sponsors. Under the bill, A-3615, a municipality condemn properties… Continue Reading
The Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board recently adopted its final regulations regarding standards for developing and reporting an “evaluation appraisal.” The regulations state that, where permitted by federal law and policies, a state-licensed or certified appraiser performing an evaluation appraisal need not comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The new regulations state… Continue Reading
Forty-two U.S. appraisal firms announced March 18 that they now are operating as Valbridge Property Advisors. The new firm is comprised of independent, local-market valuation firms with each office run by the local practice leader who must hold an MAI designation of the Appraisal Institute. The new firm will specialize in office, industrial, retail, multifamily,… Continue Reading
Legislation was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to expand the ability of real estate sales professionals to provide Broker Price Opinions and Comparative Market Analyses outside of the real estate brokerage context. This legislation would amend the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act and the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act. A Comparative Market Analysis… Continue Reading
One of the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy is preparing to use eminent domain to take easements from oceanfront homeowners who are holding up a beach replenishment project, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. These homeowners won’t sign easements that would allow federal officials to carry out the work. Mantoloking saw every one of its… Continue Reading
The Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report proposing changes to current appraisal policy. Although it was primarily focused on reducing the government’s role in the nation’s housing finance system, it had appraisal related recommendations. For example, it recommended banning the use of distressed home sales as comparables which the BPC said was helping to decrease… Continue Reading
The Appraiser Qualification Board issued the Second Exposure Draft of Proposed Interpretation and Revision to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. The AQB is an independent board of The Appraisal Foundation and composed of at least five practicing appraisers who are appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for three-year terms. Under the provisions of… Continue Reading
The North Carolina House of Representatives has passed legislation to amend the state Constitution to limit certain eminent domain powers. House Bill 8 would specifically prohibit condemnation of private property except for a public use and provides for the payment of just compensation with right of trial by jury in all condemnation cases. The N.C.… Continue Reading
I am often asked whether governmental actions can cause a taking even if the government does not formally initiate an eminent domain case. These cases are known as "de facto" or "inverse condemnations" and are difficult to prove. However, establishing a de facto taking can have substantial benefits. The Commonwealth Court recently affirmed a… Continue Reading
PennDOT announced the award of the largest construction contract in agency history, a $212.3 million contract to improve Interstate 95 and its interchange at Cottman Avenue (Route 73) in Northeast Philadelphia. According to PennDOT, “This record-setting contract is for the second stage of our two-stage program” for this project. PennDOT awarded the low-bid $212,325,000 contract… Continue Reading
I am often asked whether governmental actions can cause a taking even if the government does not formally initiate an eminent domain case. These cases are known as “de facto” or inverse condemnations and are difficult to prove. However, establishing a de facto taking can have substantial benefits. We recently were successful in establishing a de facto taking… Continue Reading
PennDOT has shown signs that it is pursuing property acquisitions for Route 422 projects in Berks and Montgomery Counties (PA). PennDOT published a notice on September 3, 2011 in The Pottstown Mercury newspaper that it intends to acquire property in Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township for that portion of its 422 reconstruction project. Property owners are… Continue Reading
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled that PennDOT met its burden on a project in Lebanon Coundty enabling it to condemn agricultural lands.
Planning for the last phases of the Marshalls Creek Bypass Project – which PennDOT now calls the “Marshalls Creek Traffic Relief Project” – continues.
One of the new buzzwords these days is “infrastructure.” It is likely that Congress will enact an ambitious economic stimulus package soon after President-elect Obama is inaugurated. One important component will be funds that will be spent on “infrastructure” including roads and bridges. State officials are drawing up plans for bridge and road improvements in… Continue Reading
Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance Board rejected a four-year state transportation funding plan because it lacked funding for the Marshalls Creek Bypass.
Funds for widening Route 202 on the section of the highway that runs from near Route 29 to the Exton Bypass will be delayed until at least 2011.