Tag: National Eminent Domain

California Supreme Court Heard Oral Arguments for Right of Entry Statute Constitutionality

The California Supreme Court heard the oral arguments on the California Right of Entry statute. At present, the statute provides for immediate entry in order to survey and test properties.

A very difficult balancing test exists. On the one hand, individual protection and rights to property, contemplating compensation immediately upon entry is not a part of the statute. Yet, for the most part, the right of entries prior to the condemnation are needed in order to delineate the property and arrive at some concept of the cost of acquisition.

No one wants their property to be touched at any time. Yet, the balancing act of constitutionality probably favors the acquiring agencies unless damage is certain. When damage is certain, the result will likely be that the property entry must be made only after a deposit of funds and assurance of just compensation is provided. In the case in which property reserved is involved, one does not see the overwhelming private interest being harmed.


Hancock County, Ohio Flood Control Issues

Hancock County and the federal government cannot come to terms on the construction of flood control in the County. Apparently, the price of the project has now gone up, precipitating the federal government to state that there is no economic enhancement in the project.

Realistically, the State of Ohio desires the project to move forward so that the area is removed in order to construction a larger retention will provide fill for the future I-75/Ohio 15 interchange. This would provide the ODOT with a considerable cost savings. At the same time, the cost of the project has increased so dramatically so the government wonders whether a more reasonable project may be obtained without necessarily benefitting the Department of Transportation, but creating a more cost effective approach.

In the meantime, the owners about to be acquired for this project are left in this uncertain atmosphere of not knowing what to do. Development and normal business operations are inhibited if not prohibited.


“Corps reviewers found that the estimated cost of the Eagle Creek diversion channel, which had been set at $60.5 million, was too low, and increased the estimate to $80 million. The added expense reduced the benefit-to-cost ratio of the project enough that, as currently proposed, the corps no longer considers the plan economically feasible.

A plan proposed by Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik to the county commissioners in March would abandon the chief’s report and federal funding, and instead rely on local and state funding to build the channel.”




Delray District Meets Future Plans

Despite the grievances over the environmental issues in the Delray district, one should recognize that the City of Detroit has intended the area between the Detroit River and I-75 to be an industrial area since at least the passage of the major Master Plan in the early 1950’s.  The south (or perceived) east side of I-75 has always been contemplated to be totally industrial.  The question then is what happens on the west side of I-75 as the expressway traverses to the south?  That is a serious question which must be dealt with.

The Blade

Delray, which has shrunk from 23,000 residents decades ago to fewer than 3,000 today, is surrounded by the massive Marathon Petroleum Co. refinery, the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, steel mills, coal-fired power plants, a former coking facility, salt mines, and other industries that locals claim have forced out neighborhood residents.

Considered one of Michigan’s most polluted neighborhoods, Delray also is caught in a contentious battle to save its land from eminent domain for a new U.S.-Canada bridge. The structure is expected to help modernize international transportation across the river, but push more people out.

Ms. Leonard could have moved, but didn’t — not even after the U.S. Secret Service showed up on her property one day, asking about photographs she’d taken of heavy industry in her neighborhood.

Waldo Cancels A Virginia Visit

Outstanding Virginia eminent domain attorney, Joe Waldo, cancelled a scheduled meeting over a planned pipeline to traverse Floyd County, Virginia. 

It is noteworthy that the decision to cancel the meeting was because the pipeline route might be moved.  This is an interesting factor given that Mr. Waldo and the owners face the changing plans of oil companies who seek to find a path of least resistance to its projects.  Potentially they find owners who bow to the pipeline company’s wishes.


Due to the pipeline route being moved out of Floyd County, the meeting with Waldo will probably be moved to another location more appropriate to affected landowners.

The decision to cancel the local meeting was based on attendance at the landowners meeting Thursday night at Floyd Country Store. Approximately 40 people filled an upstairs room at the Store, but several people attending were from Montgomery and Roanoke counties.

The Fateful End of Citizens District Councils?

Citizens District Councils have been a basic part of almost every State’s blighted areas Rehabilitation Acts.  These Acts were initiated in the 1930’s and 1940’s to clear blight in major cities.  Michigan’s Act was enacted in 1945.

The whole notion of a Citizens District Council was one in which local community business people and residents were permitted to voice their feelings about a blight clearance project.  Frequently, our local governmental officials will take a position that unless the Citizens District Council supported a project, the project would not move forward.  At the same time, the elected officials’ desire to have a project created a Citizens District Council appointed by some local politicians so that the CDC would have individuals already in favor of the project.  The end result was that Citizens District Councils never provided the “grassroots” democratic action that was contemplated in the original enactment.


The councils are merely advisory, and staffed by volunteers–CDCs in Detroit haven’t received any public funding since the 1990s. They’re meant to empower citizens in designated “urban renewal zones” by providing them with a direct line to city government, and a voice in how local development progresses.

But last month—in one of his final acts as the city’s fully-empowered emergency manager–Kevyn Orr issued an order abolishing CDCs in Detroit.

CDCs “no longer align with the City’s urban renewal strategy, and, in some cases, present a barrier to the effective and efficient development of blighted areas of the City,” the order reads.

The move came as a surprise to many, and provoked mixed reactions from people involved in community-based development in Detroit.

American Transmission Company Moves Forward With Upper Peninsula Line

In January, 2014, the Public Service Commission granted authority to the American Transmission Company to build a 138 kilovolt (Kv) overhead transmission line from Holmes Township in Menominee County to the Old Mead Substation in Delta County.

The line is intended to improve electric reliability in the Upper Peninsula.

This line will substantially affect a large number of properties from Escanaba through Menominee.  Major residences, lodges and business may be affected by the line itself.  Each case stands on its own proposition but American Transmission seems to be preparing an offer based upon the partial taking affect only.

The good faith offers have been provided to property owners in the last few weeks.  This will require owners to seek counsel.  Without a doubt, American Transmission will aggressively pursue early acquisition.