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Tiny Parcel to be Acquired by Eminent Domain in Walnut Creek, 3/28/11

By A.J. Hazarabedian

Is 96.1 square feet too small to initiate eminent domain proceedings?  Not according to the city of Walnut Creek.

The Mercury News article, Walnut Creek may go to court for access to tiny downtown parcel,” indicates that the city needs a 96.1 square foot easement for use as pedestrian right of way.  The property is part of a larger development, where Nieman Marcus is set to open.  Per the article, there is a short retaining wall and an elevated curb which have created “a tripping hazard” and the easement would be used to eliminate the hazard.

One of the owners of the property, Joseph Giordano, states that “he is willing to go to court over the dispute if certain requirements aren’t met by the city.”  It appears that Macerich, the owners of the shopping plaza, will be paying for the easement, as they are responsible for the “hazard.”

The article suggests the City’s involvement is related to their desire to have Neiman Marcus open so they can collect on the projected thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue.  If the easement is not acquired, the project could be delayed.

A.J. Hazarabedian Speaking at the LA County Bar Association 3/9/11

California Eminent Domain Law Group’s A.J. Hazarabedian will be speaking with Gideon Kanner at the Los Angeles County Bar Association on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in the La Brea/La Cienega Conference Room.

Mr. Hazarabedian and Professor Kanner will be discussing right to take challenges in eminent domain, providing their insights and experiences as they relate to recent developments in eminent domain law.

The event starts at 12pm, and will also be available as a webcast.  For more informaion, visit LACBA’s website by clicking here.

Redding May Use Eminent Domain to Make Way for New Courthouse, 3/3/11

By A.J. Hazarabedian

Building a new courthouse in the city of Redding will come at a cost to neighboring property owners. reports that the Redding Redevelopment Agency is considering the use of eminent domain to acquire three parcels to make room for the new Shasta Courthouse.  City documents describe the current court buildings as “overcrowded,” having “severe security problems” and “many physical deficiencies.”

The three parcels are owned by two property owners – neither of which has reached an agreement with the city.  According to the news article “Redding Considering Eminent Domain for Land Downtown,” one of the property owners has been offered $700,000 for her property, which she did not accept.  As explained in our California Eminent Domain Handbook, a property owner is not required to accept the condemning agency’s offer.  Rather, the property owner may make a counter-offer, or may assert a higher value for his or her property once an eminent domain action is filed in court.  In fact, property owners, tenants and business owners often receive higher, and in some cases, much higher compensation than the amount of the condemning agency’s offer by asserting a claim for greater compensation in the eminent domain proceeding.  This is, of course, not always the case and an experienced eminent domain attorney should be contacted to evaluate each case on its own merits.

In Redding, the article indicates that the city will begin eminent domain proceedings if an agreement between the city and the property owners cannot be reached.

COPYRIGHT © 2010 Arthur J. Hazarabedian, Esq.