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The Preeminent Domain

An Eminent Domain and Land Use Blog

Page: 5 of 6

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

More Amicus Briefs Filed in Brandt

Another amicus brief has been filed in support of the landowner, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the 10th Circuit’s decision, this time by two public interest law firms.  The Pacific Legal Foundation and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence argue that the Tenth Circuit’s decision that the United States retained an “implied reversionary interest” in the 1875 Act right-of-way repudiated the common law rules of property ownership in favor of a per se rule.  “The Tenth Circuit’s repudiation of the... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
December 9, 2013

OCA/NFIB Amicus Brief Filed in Brandt Rails to Trails Case

The Owners Counsel of America (OCA) and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center filed their amicus brief in support of the landowner in Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173 (cert. granted October 1, 2013) arguing the United States Supreme Court should reverse a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which held the United States retained an implied reversionary interest in railroad rights-of-way. As described in an earlier post, this case involves the conversion of an abandoned... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
December 9, 2013