The Urban Lawyer

Exactions and Impact Fees: Caselaw Update

by Amy Brigham Boulris & Jennifer E. Fine

Amy Brigham Boulris is a shareholder with the law firm of Gunster in Miami, where she focuses on the defense of property rights in the context of eminent domain, inverse condemnation, Harris Act claims, property related civil rights claims, zoning proceedings, and related land use litigation, as well as to general civil appeals. Jennifer E. Fine is an associate in the firm’s Environmental & Land Use practice group. She focuses her practice on land use and zoning and currently represents developers before local government boards and regulatory agencies.

City of Perris v. Stamper, 376 P.3d 1221 (Cal. 2016)

THE CITY OF PERRIS CONDEMNED A 1.66-ACRE STRIP of defendants’ property, thereby dividing the property into two irregularly shaped parcels. The City claimed that the defendants would have been required to dedicate the strip to the City with no compensation had they sought to put the property to its highest and best use. The City offered to pay the defendants the undeveloped value of the property, relying on City of Porterville v. Young, 195 Cal. App. 3d 1260 (Cal. Ct. App. 1987), which held that when a city takes a portion of undeveloped property which it would have lawfully required the landowner to dedicate to the city as a condition of developing the remainder of the property, the owner is entitled to compensation based on the property’s undeveloped state rather than its highest and best use.

The trial court found that the City’s dedication requirement was lawful under Nollan and Dolan and that, based on Porterville, the defendants were entitled to a stipulated undeveloped value of the property. On appeal, the court agreed with the trial court on the applicability of Porterville, but held that the legality of the dedication requirement under Nollan and Dolan should have been decided by a jury, not a judge.

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