BLOG: Condemnation Law

Redundant But True: Tenant's Relocation Claims Denied…For Failure to Relocate

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
15 Oct 2013
A New Jersey appellate court recently rejected a commercial tenant’s claims for relocation benefits and assistance arising out of a displacement caused by a redevelopment project in Wrightstown Borough, near the Fort Dix military establishment.   The claimant, Andrew Rosen, was the owner of Wright Cleaners, which had been operated at the same location since... Read More

Supreme Court to Take Another Look at Meaning of "In Need of Redevelopment"?

by: Joseph Grather
7 Oct 2013
Late last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court certified this question: “When designating private property as in need of redevelopment pursuant to sections 5(a), (b) and (d) of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law,  N.J.S.A.   40A:12A-1 to -73, must the municipality expressly find that the property is “blighted” pursuant to the Blighted Areas Clause of... Read More

Dune Replenishment Case Settled, So State Gives Green Light To Acquire Remaining Easements

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
25 Sep 2013
Today we may have learned why there has not been any noticeable progress in the government’s acquisition of approximately 1,000 dune easements in several municipalities on the Jersey Shore.  This afternoon, a settlement was reported between the Borough of Harvey Cedars and Mr. and Mrs. Karan, which resulted in the ruling this summer from the... Read More

Bipartisan Redevelopment Reform Becomes Law in New Jersey

by: Joseph Grather
11 Sep 2013
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law  bipartisan legislation (A-3615/S-2447) (full text here) this week that was intended to correct several due process and constitutional failures in the prior statute found by the New Jersey Courts in Harrison Redevelopment Agency v. DeRose, 398 N.J. Super. 361 (App. Div. 2008); and Gallenthin Realty Development v. Paulsboro, 191... Read More

Down-Zoning Invalidated by Appellate Division

by: Joseph Grather
10 Sep 2013
In Griepenburg v. Township of Ocean, decided August 29, 2013, the a New Jersey appellate court invalidated an Ocean Township zoning ordinance that down-zoned the plaintiffs’ thirty-one acre property from a mix of residential and commercial uses (including hotel) to one residential unit per twenty acres.  The Township’s offered justification for the ordinance was to... Read More

Cal App Ct Denies Pre-Condemnation Damages

by: Joseph Grather
27 Aug 2013
A California Court of Appeals panel recently reversed a trial court decision which was favorable to a property owner in Dep’t of Transportation v. McNamara.  The issue on appeal was limited to whether the property owners were entitled to pre-condemnation damages as a matter of law.  The trial court awarded the property owner pre-condemnation damages in... Read More

Underwater Mortgage Plan: Will it Sink or Swim?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
20 Aug 2013
It has been several months since we last reported on the scheme to use eminent domain to seize “underwater” mortgages in various places around the country.  It appeared that the idea died out earlier this year, but it has recently come back with a vengeance.  In recent weeks, several California cities have advanced efforts to... Read More

N.J. Supreme Court Opines on Prior Public Use Doctrine in Railroad Case

by: Joseph Grather
8 Aug 2013
On August 6, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its opinion in Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Intermodal Properties (available here).  The Court’s opinion was limited to analysis of two narrow issues; 1) whether the proposed use is incompatible with the public interest; and 2) whether the term “exigencies of business” limited the railroad... Read More

Property Owner is Injured But Has No Remedy at Law

by: Joseph Grather
1 Aug 2013
Berardi I (Tp of Pemberton v. Berardi, 378 N.J. Super 430 (App. Div. 2005)). On September 30, 2002, the Township of Pemberton commenced a condemnation action to acquire property owned by the Berardis within a designated redevelopment zone in the municipality.  Contemporaneous with the commencement of the action, the Berardis filed an applications with the... Read More

Property Owner's Challenge to Montclair Redevelopment Plan Denied

by: Joseph Grather
30 Jul 2013
On July 26, 2013, the Appellate Division issued an unpublished opinion in Grabowsky v Township of Montclair.  In May 2012, the Township adopted an ordinance amending a redevelopment plan to permit an assisted-living facility on the Church Street site.  Grabowsky filed an action challenging the ordinance adoption, which was rejected by the Law Division in... Read More