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The Preeminent Domain

An Eminent Domain and Land Use Blog

Page: 6 of 7

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

When Does a Condemning Authority Have to Condemn?

Chapter 32 of the Wisconsin Statutes grants the power of condemnation to governmental subdivisions, public utilities, school districts, a number of commissions, and a host of other entities.  It specifies precisely who may condemn, and specifies the purposes for which each condemning entity may exercise its power.  Chapter 32 has within its 29 pages virtually all of the rules that relate to the procedural and substantive aspects of eminent domain in Wisconsin.   But one thing it apparently does not do,... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
December 5, 2013

Seizing Mortgages – The Eminent Domain Power & Mortgage Foreclosures

Eminent domain power allows a governmental body to seize property for the greater public good. Foreclosure is a legal process where a lender attempts to recover the loan balance of a borrower by forcing the sale of the asset used as collateral for the loan. Two seemingly different concepts have been widely discussed in recent months. Why and how are they related? A few cities across the country have considered using the eminent domain power to fight the housing crisis.... Read More ›
November 26, 2013

When are “monetary exactions” as a Condition of a Land Use Permit Constitutional?

My first post regarding Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management Dist., ____ U.S. ____, 133 S.Ct. 2586, 186 L.Ed.2d 697 (2013), focuses on the first issue addressed by the Court:  the point at which an unconstitutional condition of a land use permit constitutes a taking and the effect of the manner in which the condition is imposed.  This post centers on the second issue addressed by the Court:  whether or not the essential nexus and rough proportionality requirements of... Read More ›
Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin
November 26, 2013

Wind Turbines and Property Values

Condemnation valuation litigation involving acquisitions for roads, electric transmission lines and natural gas or petroleum pipelines is commonplace.  Property valuation issues, particularly with respect to electric transmission lines, have been studied by accomplished and well-known experts in the fields of statistics and real estate appraisal for several decades and published in peer-reviewed, professional journals.  But until a few years ago, there hasn’t been a comprehensive, statistically rigorous study analyzing the impact of wind turbines on property values. The timing couldn’t... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
November 15, 2013