Condemnation & Eminent Domain
Condemnation involves the taking of private property for public purposes. Most often this is encountered in highway and road projects, but more often is a tool used by municipalities under the guidance of redevelopers to acquire property and redevelop it ultimately for private purposes, (the public purpose being the elimination of blighted or economically obsolete structures and developments).
We represent developers who are required to utilize this tool as part of a parcel assemblage and have successfully completed assemblages and eliminated the conflicting interests of land speculators who at times buy small portions of redevelopment areas for profit opportunities.
For owners, our representation ideally commences at the earliest stages of the process, often when highway redevelopment projects are announced. Our representation often includes active involvement with government leaders. Occasionally we are called upon to oppose redevelopment projects. Our successful results have included stopping projects involving the owners as partners and co-developers. In instances where these efforts fail, we aggressively represent owner’s interest in maximizing recovery of the full value of their property including the diminution in value resulting from partial takings.
Zoning – Municipalities
Our municipal law practice counsels municipalities regarding the interpretation of existing ordinances, the amendment of zoning and other ordinances, ordinance enforcement, and condemnation actions. We also help municipalities draft and implement development agreements that may include tax increment financing, transportation development districts, or redevelopment areas.
Zoning – Developers
For our developer clients, we can negotiate redevelopment agreements and other arrangements between the public and private sector tailored to aid the development process. We also assist private developers with zoning issues including zoning map and text amendments, conditional use permits, variances, special business licenses, subdivision approvals, and reclassifications of property for tax purposes.