No Offer Necessary For Subsurface Waterlines Or Sewers, But Obligation To Negotiate

Normally, a public agency must make an offer to the owner based on an appraisal prior to initiating negotiations for the acquisition of real property and prior to adopting a resolution of necessity. Often overlooked, however, is that the precondemnation offer is not required when an easement is being acquired for “the construction, reconstruction, alteration,…

If Access Will Be Restricted, Be Sure to Review the Plans

Where there is a proposed partial taking from a larger parcel, the proposed project plans should show any restriction of access to the remainder required by the project. Where access will either be taken (extinguished) or partially restricted, agency staff or counsel should be certain the description clearly describes the access taking and that the…

Early Negotiations

Government Code section 7267.2(a) states that “prior to adopting a resolution of necessity…and [before] initiating negotiations…” with the owner, the public entity must: (1) approve an appraisal; (2) make an offer to the owner no lower than the approved appraisal; and (3) include with the offer a summary of the basis for the offer.  That said,…

Acquisition of Properties Covered by Williamson Act Agricultural Preserve Contracts

California’s Williamson Act, also known as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (Gov. Code § 51200 et seq.), provides that “it is the policy of the state to avoid, whenever practicable, the location of any state or local public improvements and improvements of public utilities, and the acquisition of land therefore, in agricultural preserves.” …

Don’t Forget The Consistency Finding!

An often overlooked pre-condemnation requirement is that the project be reviewed for consistency with the general plan.  California Government Code section 65402 requires that a city, county or local agency may not acquire real property until the location, purpose, and extent of such acquisition have been submitted to and reported upon by the “planning agency”…