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.

  • Special Benefits – Special Nonsense

    In a very comprehensive decision, the Honorable John J. Leo discussed, among many legal issues, special benefits.  The decision, Freudenberger v County of Suffolk, Index No. 606055/16 (Suff. Co. April 5, 2021), the Court awarded $172,302 in a taking by the County on Fire Island for the reconstruction of Fire Island’s barrier beach and dune network.  The intent of the project was to protect the sand dunes by taking easements to construct flood hazard risk reduction measures.  The County’s total appraised damages for the 2,558 square feet of property was… read more

    Posted in Condemnation, Fire Island, General Benefits, Special Benefits
  • An 800-Megawatt Surprise – Destroying a Community

    One of the nice things about writing a blog is that your readers send you ideas for your next article.  This one is a doozey. There is an 800-megawatt hydroelectric project for New York which is proposed by Premium Energy Holdings of California.  The proposal calls for the Ashokan Reservoir water and its existing dam to be used as a lower reservoir in a pumped storage power plant facility. The project’s preliminary permit application is before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The reservoir proposal has been called “devastating.”  Local officials,… read more

    Posted in Condemnation, FERC, Hydroelectric Power Plant, Reservoir
  • Valuing Real Estate During a Pandemic

    The Granular Approach Covid-19 has significantly impacted real estate valuations.  For example, under the comparable sales approach to valuation, valuators look at sales prices of similar properties in recent transactions, making adjustments for differences between those properties and the subject property.  As stated by Lisa Loychik of Cohen & Co. in a paper dated August 20, 2020, “It’s debatable whether pre-Covid-19 sales can be considered comparable with post-pandemic sales, though.  Valuators are looking beyond comparable sales and considering individual circumstances on a more granular level.  This approach acknowledges that generalities… read more

    Posted in Comparable Sales, Covid-19, Valuation
  • Wind Power Transmission Lines: Up in The Air

    Stopping the construction of wind generated energy is a growing trend in America. The Missouri legislature is considering a law that would outlaw utility companies taking land through eminent domain.  The Missouri House passed a bill 123-33 last week that would eliminate condemnation for a utility line.  The bill was specifically designed to block a project, “The Grain Belt Express.”  The project is a private venture that would take wind generated energy from Kansas and transmit it across Missouri.  The project will transport up to 4,000 megawatts of energy from… read more

    Posted in Eminent Domain, Utilities, Wind Generated Energy
  • The “Big Beautiful Wall” and Its Ugly Damages

    President Biden ordered a freeze on further wall construction and acquisitions until his administration can sort things out.  The Trump administration rushed through its fence wall building program by utilizing a section of the Real ID Act of 2005 that empowers the head of the Department of Homeland Security “to waive legal requirements” the Secretary “determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” at the border.  That allowed the former administration to suspend 84 separate laws and regulations and proceed without considering the damage it was causing… read more

    Posted in Border Wall, Consequential Damages, Direct Damages, Partial Takings

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