The purpose of the Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Eminent Domain Blog is to provide the public with information about the practice of eminent domain law. We also hope to share relevant updates and legal developments affecting this area of the law.

  • CLARITY FOR NEW YORK TAKINGS LAW

    Determining whether or not a government regulation constitutes a “taking” for the purposes of the Fifth Amendment can be a complex endeavor.  The recent Second Department decision of Matter of New Creek Bluebelt, Phase 3 (Baycrest Manor Inc.), ___ A.D.3d ____, 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8042, (November 15, 2017), provides some guidance on three important regulatory takings issues. The underling case was not a regulatory taking per se.  Rather, the City of New York condemned property that was 100% wetlands.  Had the City not taken title, the owner could… read more

    Posted in Regulatory Taking, Subsequent Purchases, Wetlands
  • ANOTHER THING ABOUT MATTER OF TOWN OF OYSTER BAY v 55 MOTOR AVENUE COMPANY, LLC

    In our last posted blog, we criticized the Second Department’s decision in the above case for confusing what is necessary to prove a reasonable probability of rezoning and the ability to develop land pursuant to a special permit. But there is another problem with the Appellate Division’s decision.  It held that although three parcels were physically contiguous and had unity of ownership, parcel 3 could not be considered as having unity of use because the claimant had entered into a ground lease for parcel 3 seventeen months before the vesting… read more

    Posted in Highest and Best Use, Unity of Ownership, Valuation Free and Clear
  • THE APPELLATE DIVISION SHOULD GIVE DEFERENCE TO A CONDEMNATION COURT AND BE CORRECT ON THE LAW BEFORE MODIFYING AN AWARD

    It is well established that where the trial court’s findings of fact rest in large measure on considerations relating to the credibility of witnesses, deference is owed to the trial court’s credibility determinations.  Gerard v Cahill, 194 AD3d 813, 815 (2d Dept. 2017). In one condemnation case which arose as a result of a taking for the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, the trial court, Justice Wayne Saitta, heard the testimony of many expert witnesses including appraisers, zoning experts, cost estimators, hotel experts, and professional engineers, and determined that a… read more

    Posted in Deference to Trial Court, Special Permit, Zoning Change
  • Is the acquisition of private property for affordable housing a public use?

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to acquire privately owned residential buildings and convert them into affordable housing in an effort to reduce the City’s homeless problem. The City is currently paying property owners to house homeless people in apartments in the buildings that the City wants to acquire. The City’s plan is to acquire the buildings and transfer them to nonprofit companies that will convert all of the apartments in the buildings into affordable units. The homeless people will stay in the affordable units. If the… read more

    Posted in Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Public Purpose
  • THE ENTIRE FIRM IS ATTENDING THE EMINENT DOMAIN ALI-CLE CONFERENCE

      Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Conference to be held on January 25-27, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Every lawyer in the firm will be in attendance. Jonathan Houghton will be speaking on the Second Avenue Subway valuation issues in transportation corridor construction.  Michael Rikon will speak on cross-examination of experts: Preparation, Mistakes and Getting It Right. The faculty consists of over 50 speakers who are experts in the law of eminent domain from across… read more

    Posted in ALI-CLE Conference, Eminent Domain