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The Preeminent Domain

An Eminent Domain and Land Use Blog

Page: 5 of 6

Seizing Mortgages – The Impact on the Financial Markets

The Richmond eminent domain plan has attracted a great deal of attention since the city first introduced it. Many approved of its purpose: to help the poor fight to keep their heads above water when their homes were so far underwater. There are many, however, who do not share this sentiment. Banks and investors are concerned about the plan’s impact on the financial markets. Banks have alleged there could be financial losses exceeding $200 million. How could such financial losses... Read More ›
January 27, 2014

Suit Commenced Over Highland Wind Farm CPCN

The Town of Forest has sued the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW), asking the court to reverse the decision of the PSCW granting the Highland Wind Farm a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the development of a wind project in St. Croix County. In an earlier post I described the steps taken, and contemplated, by the Town of Forest in St. Croix County to fight the construction of the project. Last November, the town filed a... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
January 27, 2014

Iowa Ponders a Legislative Change

Three Iowa legislators plan to co-sponsor bills that some have suggested will “strengthen Iowans’ private property rights” by limiting the taking of private property through the use of eminent domain. Two new bills are reportedly in the works. The first would limit electric transmission line projects to those which provide a “significant portion” of the power transmitted to customers in Iowa, while the second would limit the use of eminent domain to “public use” purposes. The proposed legislation appears to... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
January 16, 2014

In Minnesota, a Legal Non-Conforming Use is Not Terminated by Issuing or Revoking a Conditional Use Permit

A permitted use is a use for a property that is intended and allowed as long as the landowner meets all of the other requirements of the particular zoning category.  A conditional use is a use for a property that is conditioned upon certain requirements.  In the latter, the landowner applies for a conditional use permit (“CUP”).  If the CUP is approved, it is granted subject to conditions, and those conditions become part of the CUP.  If those conditions are... Read More ›
Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin
January 8, 2014

Court Holds Condemnation is Not Mandatory

In Chojnacki v. Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (“WPS”), a Wisconsin Circuit Court case venued in Portage County, WPS negotiated an easement for a gas main on Mr. Chojnacki’s property. WPS simply negotiated a price for the easement rather than following Chapter 32 condemnation procedures.  Chojnacki sued, alleging he is entitled to more money for the easement, and WPS should have followed condemnation procedures by, among other things, having an appraisal completed, giving him the opportunity to have an appraisal done... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
January 7, 2014

New Wind Farm in Wisconsin?

In October, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin obtained a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to construct a wind farm in St. Croix County.  The Highland Wind Farm would be the first to be permitted following Wisconsin Act 40, a controversial state law passed in 2009.  Act 40 establishes a uniform set of permitting standards for wind projects.  Among other things, it increased wind turbine setback distances from residences to 1,250 feet (from 1,000... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
December 30, 2013

Wind Turbines and Property Values Revisited

A new study conducted by Professor Corey Lang, a University of Rhode Island assistant professor of Natural Resource Economics, is the most recent large-scale analysis of the potential effects of wind turbines on residential property values.  It analyzed the sale prices of 48,000 homes in Rhode Island over the last 15 years and compared homes near one of the state’s 12 wind turbines to homes far from the turbines.   His analysis showed that wind turbines may cause up to a... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
December 30, 2013

When it Comes to the Various Uses Under a Zoning Designation, One of These Things is Not Like the Other

The uses of the lands within a zoning designation generally fall into one of two categories:  permitted and conditional.  Most property owners do not give a second thought as to how the use of their property was approved so long as they get to use it the way they intended.  But, whether the use is permitted or conditional can affect the future value of the land. Local governments enact zoning ordinances in order to plan for the use of the... Read More ›
Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin
December 9, 2013

When is an Unconstitutional Condition of a Governmental Land Use Permit a Taking?

We all know that the Constitution prohibits the government from taking private property for public use without just compensation. Additionally, the government cannot coerce people into giving up their constitutional rights, such as conditioning a person’s receipt of a governmental benefit on the waiver of a constitutionally protected right.  At what point do unconstitutional conditions of a land use permit constitute a taking, and does it matter whether the permit is issued with conditions or denied because the developer refused... Read More ›
Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin
December 9, 2013