BLOG: Condemnation Law

Willets Point Takings Abandoned by NYC at Eleventh Hour

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
3 May 2012
The City of New York has withdrawn its efforts to use eminent domain to acquire properties within a 62-acre “Iron Triangle” in the Willets Point section of Queens near Citi Field and downtown Flushing. The condemnations were scheduled to proceed to hearing next week, but the Bloomberg administration instead halted the takings of several private... Read More

Morristown's Speedwell Avenue Redevelopment Nears Approval

by: Joseph Grather
18 Apr 2012
(Photo courtesy Dean Marchetto/ Morristown’s Speedwell Avenue redevelopment project appears to be heading towards approval.  As reported by Maria Pfeifer in, the Planning Board directed special counsel to prepare a resolution approving Phase 1 on the redevelopment plan, which calls for construction of residential units along Speedwell Avenue and Early Street. One bone of contention... Read More

Appellate Court Reaffirms Bedrock Condemnation Principles in Dismissing Complaint

by: Joseph Grather
5 Apr 2012
This week, a New Jersey appellate court reversed a trial court judgment allowing a condemnation action to proceed in the face of the property owner’s objection that the government has failed to engage in bona fide negotiations pre-complaint.  New United Corp. v. Essex County Vo-Tech. There appears to have been a long-standing dispute, prior and... Read More

Real Estate Tax Appeal Evidence: Admissible in Eminent Domain Case?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
30 Mar 2012
A Kansas property owner recently challenged the $7.5 million award of court-appointed appraisers in an eminent domain matter, only to have the award reduced to $6.95 million at trial based on evidence of the property’s value from a prior tax appeal.  The owner, KC Mall Associates, filed a motion before the trial began to prevent... Read More

Greetings from Asbury Park! Courts Deny Property Owners' Request for Takings

by: Joseph Grather
27 Mar 2012
Photo courtesy of On March 26, 2012, the Appellate Division wrote another chapter in Asbury Park’s redevelopment book, where the final and unwritten chapter conjures images of the City’s ‘glory days’ pictured above. City of Asbury Park v. Springwood Lake, LLC.  Without recounting the entire Asbury Park redevelopment history, the short course in this case... Read More

Property Owners’ Prayers Answered by Supreme Court in Sackett Case

by: Joseph Grather
26 Mar 2012
Photo Courtesy: Property owners Michael and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho fought the law, and surprisingly, they won.  On March 21, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States – in a unanimous decision – sided with the property owners in determining that the property owners had the right to challenge an Environmental... Read More

New Jersey Farmer Growing More Dedicated in Fight Against Eminent Domain

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
12 Mar 2012
Today’s Daily Record featured this article by reporter Cara Townsend which highlighted Todd Kuehm, a fourth generation New Jersey farmer, and his fight against the Township of Montville’s use of eminent domain on his 28 acre farm. The article covers the history of the litigation from the Township adopting ordinances which denied him the ability to install a... Read More

House Passes Anti-Kelo Eminent Domain Bill

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
1 Mar 2012
The United States House of Representatives this week passed bipartisan legislation that proposes to withhold for two years all federal development funding to states or local governments that take private property for economic development.  The bill, labeled the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1443), also bars the federal government from using eminent domain for... Read More

Thomas Edison Battery Building Moving Towards Redevelopment

by: Joseph Grather
27 Feb 2012
The Thomas Edison Battery Building in downtown West Orange is moving closer to being redeveloped.  According to Karen Yi of the West Orange Patch, the Council passed two ordinances on first reading and a resolution authorizing issuance of bonds to pay for the municipality’s share of the development costs. Some residents voiced concerned about the... Read More

Eminent Domain Abuse Sign is Protected Speech

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
24 Feb 2012
The United States Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s decision which held that part of an ordinance adopted by St. Louis, Missouri, to force the removal of a sign protesting eminent domain violated the property owner’s First Amendment right to free speech.  In 2007, the property owner commissioned a 360-square-foot mural which proclaimed... Read More