Facts: A developer owns a vacant parcel of land next to a highway and submits a proposal for a development project to the city. The city has plans to reconstruct the highway, which requires the acquisition of a portion of the developer’s land. However, the city’s highway reconstruction project is postponed due to lack of funding. The city approves the developer’s proposal on the condition the developer reserves the land to be later used for the highway reconstruction project citing eminent domain. The developer refuses to change their plans.

Claim: The developer seeks money losses and to build on the entirety of their property, claiming the city’s condition to set aside a portion of their land to the highway reconstruction project is unlawful taking of their property since the city has not yet compensated them for the land.

Counterclaim: The city seeks to have the developer set aside a portion of their land for the future project, claiming the city is entitled to reserve and use the land for an impending highway reconstruction project since the power of eminent domain allows it to take private land for public use.

Holding: The California court of appeals holds the developer is entitled to money losses and has the right to build on the entirety of their property since the city’s condition of setting aside a part of the developer’s land without giving compensation results in an unlawful taking of the developer’s land. [Jefferson Street Ventures, LLC v. City of Indio (May 19, 2015) ____CA4th______]


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