Author Archive | Michael Rikon

Paying Big Bucks in Colorado – No Sheep

The Town of Vail wants to protect its bighorn sheep.  It seems two were recently struck by vehicles. Meanwhile, the toney Vail resort wants to build workforce housing on land that it owns in East Vail, but the Town is not in favor. What to do?  Well, condemn the 23 acres to prevent any development.  This is not the first ski resort condemnation.  Telluride stopped development.  Telluride condemned 572 acres to block development of proposed luxury homes.  The Town offered the developer $26 million.  The developer wanted $51 million.  A… read more

Posted in Bighorn Sheep, Highest and Best Use, Vail
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Chaining Yourself to a Tree Just Won’t Work: Relocating Condemnees.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s announcement to construct two new toll roads as part of a $5 billion expansion of the turnpike system brought pledges of refusing to cooperate if the Authority is awarded the land.  Residents are considering chaining themselves to tress, bulldozers or simply refusing to leave. According to an article published in “The Noman Transcript,” Oklahoma: Before an eviction order, if a landowner does not cooperate with the court’s ruling, the OTA could seek an injunction to order the person from “interfering with their (OTA’s) property rights,” Gray… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eviction, Writ of Assistance
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Independent Appraiser Does Not Mean Biased Assessor

Matthew Clifford, Esq., an outstanding condemnation and tax cert lawyer, was enough to send a recent Putnam County Supreme Court decision, LAK 3, LLC v Board of Assessors, et ano of Town of Carmel, Index No. 501685/2019 Filed 02/14/2022. The case involved a tax reduction petition to reduce the assessment on 41 Averill Drive, a single-family residence near Lake Mahopac.  In 2017, the property had an assessed value of $1,011,000.  In 2018, the assessment was increased to $2,816,500.  In 2019, that assessed value was increased to $2,934,000.  The Petitioner retained… read more

Posted in Court Rules, Credibility, Independent Appraiser, Tax Assessment
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The Inconsistent Rulings of The Second Department: You Can Drive on the Beach – No You Can’t!

The Second Department handed down a decision dealing with driving on the beach in Southampton, Thomas v Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of Southampton, ____ AD3d ____ (February 9, 2022). The Southampton Village Code prohibited the driving on ocean beaches between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm during summer months.  However, the Village Code provides an exception to this general prohibition for a portion of the beach that includes the Thomas’s property, among others.  Plaintiffs alleged several causes of action including a per se unconstitutional taking. One fact stated by… read more

Posted in Access to Beach, Per Se Taking, Title to Beach
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The Appraisal Rule in an Eminent Domain Trial

New York is one of the three states in the union that does not allow a jury trial. When private property is taken for public use, the condemnor must “compensate the owner so that he (or she) may be put in the same relative position, insofar as this is possible, as if the taking had not occurred.”[1]  The award “must reflect the fair market value of the property in its highest and best use on the date of the taking, regardless of whether the property is being put to such… read more

Posted in Appraisal Rule, Condemnation Trial, Expert Testimony
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