Sometimes neighbors get into disputes about rights along their boundaries. These can encompass all manner of issues, from determining the exact boundary (usually by survey); to quarrels about views, trees, and landscaping; to disagreement about access and easement rights; to debate over the use and ownership of encroaching structures.
The court of appeals recently considered whether spot zoning occurred in the City of San Clemente and thus entitled the property owner to compensation as a “constitutional taking” of property by the government.
While the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — and parallel California provisions — guarantees payment of just compensation when the government takes private property rights, that guarantee must be vigilantly protected by the property owner or it can be lost.
Two recent cases involving failed land development transactions produced two extremely different outcomes. And, on closer examination, it’s clear the results turned on the plaintiff’s ability to demonstrate lost profits.
When real estate negotiations turn hot, offers and counter-offers move quickly, often with more focus on the terms of the transactions than the legal niceties. That can be an expensive mistake, as one developer found recently when a ‘Final Proposal’ morphed into a binding deal.