Supreme Court of Virginia, Record No. 160305, March 2, 2017: Court picks which of 2 easement sections controls owner’s actions.
This decision resulted from a request for summary judgment as to whether a landowner had violated a conservation easement on its land. Each side in the dispute asserted that a different section of the easement controlled certain [...]
Supreme Judicial Court ME, 2017 ME 17, January 26, 2017: Maine landowner doesn’t have standing to seek enforcement of conservation easement on land of another.
This case interprets a Maine statute to decide whether an owner of land subject to a conservation easement has standing to ask the courts to enforce the restriction as to another parcel [...]
Massachusetts Appeals Court, No. 15-P-773, August 25, 2016: Concurring opinion calls for change of test whether government designation gives land Mass. constitutional protection.
At issue here was the whether the City of Westfield had taken steps sufficient to make a playground subject to the protections of Massachusetts’ Constitution Article 97, which protects various conservation and historic preservation [...]
Supreme Court of Oregon, 360 Or. 115, August 4, 2016: New owner can’t remove historic designation imposed during previous ownership under OR law.
The property in question, the Carman House, was built circa 1856. In 1992, when the property was owned by Richard Wilmot, the City of Lake Oswego placed a historic designation on the Carman House. [...]
Court of Appeals of Kentucky, No. 2015-CA-000499-MR, June 17, 2016: Ag conservation easement does not create public use protected from taking.
The issues in this case are (1) whether a taking of an easement on private land for a sewer line by the Water District is prohibited because of an agricultural conservation easement which the landowner previously [...]
Supreme Court of Montana, 2015 MT 265, No. DA 14-0798, September 8, 2015: Conservation restrictions created outside Montana conservation easement statute enforceable.
The basic issue in this case was whether in Montana an easement in gross (here, a restriction for the benefit of a person, rather than benefitting a piece of land (a “dominant estate”) that binds [...]
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Eight, No. B259672, September 9, 2015: Building and occupancy permits void after demolition in excess of permit.
In this mandamus action, demolition, building and occupancy permits issued by the City of Los Angeles were declared void because the entire structure was demolished, contrary to previously issued permits which required [...]
Supreme Court of Virginia, Record No. 141480,June 4, 2015: Accusation of conservation easement violation is not defamation in Virginia.
At issue was whether public accusations that a party violated a conservation easement is defamation in Virginia. The Plaintiffs, 3 Dog Farm, LC, and Happy Tails sought a special use permit to operate a boarding kennel of more [...]
Court of Appeals of Minnesota, Nos. A14-0464, 14-0481, A14-1224, A14-1225, April 6, 2015: Bible camp’s development not prohibited by conservation easement.
Two groups of realtors oppose Living Word Bible Camp’s (LWBC) plan to build a youth bible camp on a property of 283 acres, of which 84 acres is subject to a conservation easement owned by the [...]
Court of Appeals of Colorado, Div. 1, No. 13CA2204, February 26, 2015: Land Trust keeps conservation easement despite error naming grantor.
The Land Trust accepted and recorded a deed of conservation easement (“Conservation Deed”) from one Craig J. Walker, an individual who, as it turned out, had overlooked that he had previously granted and recorded a deed [...]
Idaho Supreme Court, No. 41663, 2015 Opinion No. 1, January 9, 2015: Statute of limitations on malpractice claim for lawyer’s failure to seek mortgage subordination before recording conservation easement runs from when IRS raised issue.
The Minnicks engaged the law firm Hawley Troxell as counsel for a real estate project. As part of the project the Minnicks [...]
Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, No. 1031, September Term, 2013, December 2, 2014: Conservation easement enforceable, civil penalty for violation valid.
The case concerns the validity and enforceability of a forest conservation easement (“FCE”) on a subdivision lot purchased by Appellant McClure and the authority of a County board to issue a corrective order and impose [...]
Mass. Appeals Court, 13-P-1050, November 10, 2014: Agricultural buy-local organization exempt from real estate tax.
On appeal from the state’s Appellate Tax Board, the court held that Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is entitled to exemption from local property tax on land it owns and occupies for its programs. At issue was whether the dominant purpose [...]
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPEAL OF: GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STEWARDSHIP FOUNDATION, INC.
North Carolina Court of Appeals, No. COA13-1447, August 19, 2014: property not wholly and exclusively used for educational or scientific purposes subject to property taxes
The court accepted findings of substantial retail and commercial activity on the property, including profit from retail sales in excess of [...]
Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, No. YOR-13-511, August 7, 2014: land fully devoted to conservation and free public access is tax exempt.
The Trust owns eleven contiguous parcels of land on and near Sawyer Mountain in Limington. Eight of the parcels are open space properties which are protected by conservation easements enforceable by third parties, including easements [...]
Appellate Court of Connecticut, Ac 35713, August 12, 2014: Attorney’s fees awarded to historic commission.
Sciame was ordered by the local Historic District Commission (Commission) to remove certain renovations on a property in a historic district. When he failed to comply, the commission sued. After a trial on the issues found for the commission, and trial and [...]
Conn. Appellate Court, AC 36326, July 8, 2014: Stone wall is “permanent structure”
At issue was whether a stone wall erected by Medina, the defendant, at a location where a restrictive covenant between private parties prohibited construction of any “permanent structure,” was a permanent structure in violation of the covenant. A lower court agreed with Medina that [...]
NJ Super. Ct Appellate Division, Nos. A-5541-11T1, A-6364-11T1, June 20, 2014: Hearing required to amend conservation easement.
As of this writing the opinion is not approved for publication.
In 2001 the Italian American Sportsmen’s Club, Inc. (“IASC”) and developer Crestwood obtained approvals from the New Jersey DEP, including a wetlands transition area waiver (“the 2001 TAW”), to subdivide [...]
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, No. 11432, May 15, 2014: Nonprofit’s forest conservation land entitled to property tax exemption.
New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. (NEFF) is a nonprofit corporation, whose purposes include to “create, foster, and support conservation, habitat, water resource, open space preservation, recreational, and other activities” by “promoting, supporting, and practicing forest management policies and techniques [...]
Iowa Court of Appeals, Nos. 3-1154/13-0328, March 26, 2014: Certiorari exclusive remedy for project permit approval in historic district.
A permit (COA) is required for certain exterior construction in the historic districts of the unincorporated villages known as Amana Colonies. The permit decision is made by the Amana Colonies Land Use District Board of Trustees (Board). The [...]