WE NEED THE GATEWAY TUNNEL AND PENN STATION REDEVELOPMENT NOW

The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan will be out in a few weeks and will call for $200 billion in taxpayer money to generate $1 trillion in private investment in over ten years. President Trump’s pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure was a top campaign promise, but has received little attention amidst the daily disasters of his administration.  Indeed, it may be the rare area that appears ripe for bipartisan support.  Not that there isn’t some concern that the plan to have private investment will come at the cost of… read more

Posted in Gateway Tunnel, Infrastructure Plan, Penn Station, Public Purpose
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ABOUT THE BORDER WALL THAT YOU WILL PAY FOR

We previously wrote about the physical wall that is to be constructed between the United States and Mexico.  The immediate construction was authorized by Presidential Order on January 25, 2017.  President Trump is asking Congress for $4.1 billion through next year to start construction.  The estimated cost to build the wall ranges from $20 billion to $70 billion. Building the structure will require acquiring private property through eminent domain.  This is not a popular idea anywhere, least of all in Texas.  According to the South Texas Property Rights Association which… read more

Posted in Attorneys' Fees, Border Wall, Landowner Lawsuits, Property Rights
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TIME FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO STOP ITS OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT IN EMINENT DOMAIN CASES

The Attorney General of the State of New York promotes himself as the “People’s Lawyer” which is the guardian of the legal rights of the citizens of New York.  I submit that property owners whose property is appropriated by the New York State Department of Transportation are within the ambit of protection. The Attorney General’s office defends the State when an appropriation claim is filed.  But as advocates for NYSDOT, it would appear that the legal rights of claimants mean nothing in the effort to keep compensation awards as low… read more

Posted in Bad Faith, Just Compensation, License Requirements, Prior Appraisals
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THAT PERMANENT EASEMENT IS REALLY A FEE TAKING IN DISGUISE

Often the State of New York will appropriate property for a highway project by utilizing three different types of takings, full fee takings, temporary easements and permanent easements.  Some appropriation maps will indicate all three types of takings.  The fee taking is valued on all damages which result, direct and any severance or consequential damages to the remainder. The temporary easement is valued at a rental value plus imputed expenses such as real estate taxes.  In addition, if the continued existence of the temporary easement causes damage to the remainder,… read more

Posted in Easements, Partial Takings
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“We’re Going to Build a Wall and Mexico is Going to Pay for It” – Not So, You are Going to Pay for It.

The immediate construction of a physical wall between Mexico and America was authorized by Presidential Executive Order on January 25, 2017, but there is no provision for funding from Mexico.  The President is asking congress for $4.1 billion through next year to begin construction of a wall, a project that may cost as much as $25 billion, plus annual repairs. A sea to sea barrier would require control of land along 2,000 miles.  This means that much land would have to be acquired by eminent domain.  As part of the… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Gateway Project, Uncategorized, Walls
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THE TEMPORARY EASEMENT – SOMETIMES NOT TEMPORARY DAMAGES

Temporary easements are commonly taken by the State for highway work and by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for railroad improvement. Often the temporary easement is taken in conjunction with permanent easements.  Sometimes they are labeled otherwise.  But if there is a court order granting the right to enter private property and occupy the property for a period of time, it is a taking under New York Law.  While a condemnor has the right of entry prior to acquisition, this is for the purpose of investigation.  New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure… read more

Posted in Damages, Right of Entry, Temporary Easement
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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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