Archive | 2021

Prior Takings as Creating Collateral Estoppel – Not So Fast!

What happens when property was condemned and the condemnor raises its ugly head to condemn again at a later time?  It happened once upon a time in Queens.  In 1979, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) acquired an easement for the purpose of routing a New York City Subway tunnel through a portion of 26-29 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City.  The parcel was vacant land and consisted of 130,293 square feet.  The property was owned by Peerless Weighing and Vending Machine Corp.  Now, a separate blog can be written about Peerless. … read more

Posted in Collateral Estoppel, Highest and Best Use, Partial Takings
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Don’t Touch That Tree! Tree Mitigation Regulations May Constitute a Dolan Taking

Professor Robert Thomas in his indispensable blog “” reports that U.S. Court of Appeals’ Opinion in F.P. Development, LLC v Charter TWP of Canton, No. 20-1147 (Oct. 3, 2021) in which the Court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the property owner on its unconstitutional conditions taking claim. The Township had a tree ordinance which prohibits property owners from removing trees on their land without the Town’s permission, and also requires owners to either replace any trees removed or pay between $300 – $450 into the tree… read more

Posted in Dolan Taking, Tree Mitigation, Tree Regulation
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Don’t Trust Your Appraisal? Don’t Worry, Neither Does Your Appraiser.

How strong is the residential market? Well, according to people looking to buy and folks looking to sell, very strong.  In fact, many residential properties put on the market sell for more than the listing price.  Indeed, many times there are bidding wars.  All this is fine until the winner of the war applies for a mortgage. The gulf between contract prices and appraised values highlights the risks to buyers in the current market, especially those stretching their budgets to win a bidding war.  Mortgage lenders will typically lend only… read more

Posted in Appraisal, Bidding War, Fair Market Value
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Black Family Receives Back Land Stolen by Racism

On August 5, 2021, we wrote about “Bruce’s Beach” in Manhattan Beach, California. The blog stated that “It was a destination where black tourists could swim, dance, eat and rest. The City claimed that it needed the property for a public park, but left it undeveloped. Manhattan Beach has been grappling with the history of Bruce’s Beach for years. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to begin the process of transferring the property to the descendants of Charles and Willa Bruce.  Returning Bruce’s Beach to the family… read more

Posted in Bruce's Beach
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Recent Purchase Sinks a Tax Assessment Reduction Try

Thanks to Daniel Sciannemeo, MAI for providing a recent decision by the Honorable E. Loren Williams (Westchester Supreme Court) in Cedar Manor Acquisition LLC v The Assessor of the Town of Ossining.  (Index No. 62538/2020; Filed 9/28/21). In a well written decision, Justice Williams discussed the effort to reduce the taxes on property which was a nursing home business enterprise.  The property sold for $23,715,000 which included the purchase price of the real estate and the business enterprise.  The transfer tax form filed with the County Clerk indicated that the… read more

Posted in Burden of Proof, Real Estate Assessments, Recent Purchase Price
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