Archive | 2017

THE TEXAS BULLET TRAIN

A private developer is attempting to develop a 240 mile bullet train line between Houston and Dallas.  The developer, Texas Central Partners, has entered into a joint venture with Japanese train operator JR Central to bring its bullet train technology to Texas.  While there appears to be support from officials in Houston and Dallas, there is strong opposition from communities and landowners in proximity to the train’s route. In preliminary litigation, the train company sought court orders allowing the company to enter private property to survey land. Under New York… read more

Posted in Bullet Train, Entry on Land
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MUIR V. WISCONSIN “PARCEL AS A WHOLE” DOCTRINE SCHEDULED FOR ORAL ARGUMENT

The United States Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument of the Muir case for March 20, 2017.  The case involved a regulatory taking claim which was premised on the adoption of a zoning ordinance which required a minimum “net project area.”  This resulted in the inability to develop or sell the contiguous parcel.  There were two parcels which although owned by the same owner and contiguous were purchased separately at different times for different purposes.  By itself the other lot would be grandfathered under the zoning law, but not when… read more

Posted in Inverse Condemnation, Regulatory Taking
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CAN GOVERNMENT DESIGNATE PROPERTY TO BE ACQUIRED AND RESTRICT FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS?

The North Carolina Supreme Court held that the filing of a map which designates property for future highway acquisition and prohibits development in the interim is a taking.  Kirby v North Carolina Dept. of Trans., 368 N.C. 847 (2016). The Court held, “upon NCDOT’s recording of the highway corridor maps at issue here, the Map Act restricted plaintiffs’ fundamental rights to improve, develop, and subdivide their property for an unlimited period of time.  These restraints, coupled with their indefinite nature, constitute a taking of plaintiffs’ elemental property rights by eminent… read more

Posted in Highest and Best Use, Inverse Condemnation, Zoning
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TRUMP REVIVES KEYSTONE AND DAKOTA PIPELINES

President Trump signed an Executive Order on January 24, 2017 reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects.  Former President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone 1,179 mile pipeline in 2015. When he signed the Order, Mr. Trump recited that the pipeline would bring 28,000 construction jobs.  But according to the New York Times, “studies showed that the pipeline would not have a momentous impact on jobs.”  New York Times, January 24, 2017.  The President also indicated that he would renegotiate the terms with the pipelines. The President also seemed… read more

Posted in Pipeline Takings
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CAN A PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION INSIST ON CONFIDENTIALITY AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?

Counsel for public benefit corporations often insist on the inclusion of a confidentiality provision in their settlement agreements.  Often claimants refuse to agree.  But many claimants are anxious to finally wind up their litigation and recover their award.  The issue is can a public benefit hide the payment of just compensation?  Isn’t the settlement something of great concern to the public, the press, legislative overseers and the bar in general?  An often overlooked consequence is that a claimant agreeing confidentiality may find unanticipated tax consequences.  See, for example, Amos v… read more

Posted in Confidentiality, Settlement Agreements
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