Posted by Kevin on March 07, 2002 at 10:18:35:
You should consult with an attorney experienced in land use and zoning law on this one. I think the issue is whether the city’s action constitutes a “taking” of your property. Perhaps Bill or John would like to weigh in on this one, but as I recall from law school, a “taking” occurs when the city deprives a property owner of economically viable use of his property. Your attorney could argue that the city’s exercise of eminent domain has done that because it has reduced the square footage of your tract such that you are no longer able to use the property as you intended. On the other hand, the city will argue that you still could construct a SFR and therefore you have not been deprived of ALL economically viable use. Like I said, you need an experienced land use attorney to look into this one.
Also, have him or her determine whether you would be immediately entitled to compensation if you apply for a building permit and are denied. I think the denial of your permit would trigger the taking, not the actual date on which the city exercises eminent domain. Check with your attorney on this.
NOTE: THE FOREGOING COMMENTS SHOULD NOT, IN ANY WAY, BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ONLY RELY ON THE OPINION OF AN EXPERIENCED, LOCAL ATTORNEY ADMITTED TO PRACTICE IN YOUR HOME STATE.