Partita Partners LLC v. United States

U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, 15-cv-2561 (PKC), Oct. 25, 2016: Façade easement protection of entire exterior must be absolute.

At issue was whether a historic preservation easement on a building in a historic district could qualify for a federal charitable tax deduction even if the easement holder could grant an exception to the prohibition against alteration [...]

In re: The Application of Living Word Bible Camp

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 [...]

Whitehouse Hotel Limited Partnership V. Commissioner (Whitehouse IV)

US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, No. 13-60131, June 11, 2014: Reliance on qualified appraisal and accountant advice can be good faith basis to avoid tax penalty, but tax court’s valuation decision upheld.

This decision is the fourth in this historic preservation façade easement tax case. The case began when Whitehouse made a charitable contribution of a [...]

Friedberg v. Commissioner (Friedberg II)

U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2013-224, September 23, 2013: Appraisal deemed “qualified” on reconsideration, based on Scheidelman II decision.

 This case is a reconsideration of the Tax Court’s decision in Friedberg v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2011- 238 (Friedberg I) in light of the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Scheidelman v. Commissioner, 682 [...]

Kelley v. Cambridge Historical Commission

Massachusetts Appeals Court, No. 12-P-1309, Aug. 21, 2013: No standing to enforce perpetual restriction or challenge historical certificate of appropriateness.

Four individuals living in the vicinity of St. James Episcopal parish church (but not abutters), challenged actions by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) and the Cambridge Historical Commission (CHC) in connection with a commercial development on church [...]

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District

U.S. Supreme Court,No. 11-1447, June 25, 2013: Denial of land use permit for refusal of mitigation may be taking.

The following excerpts marked “Headnotes” are from the syllabus or headnotes prepared by the SCOTUS Reporter of Decisions, which are not part of the opinion of the Court. The excerpts marked “Majority Opinion” are from the Court’s opinion [...]

White v. Hartigan

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 464 Mass. 400, February 8, 2013: Upland boundary of beach parcel or easement does not move with landward erosion of shoreline.

The Nortons (plaintiffs and appellants) claimed that their fractional interest in a beach on Martha’s Vineyard conveyed rights in a moveable beach parcel that shifts upland with the northerly migration of the [...]

Rothman v. Commissioner (reconsideration; Rothman II)

US Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2012-218, July 31, 2012: On reconsideration, appraisal still not “qualified” due to deficient information, despite 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Scheidelman II decision.

This Tax Court Memo decision is a reconsideration of Rothman v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2012-163 (Rothman I), following the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit’s decision in Scheidelman v. [...]

Scheidelman v. Commissioner (Scheidelman II)

US Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, Nos. 10-3587-ag(L), 10-5316-ag(XAP), June 15, 2012: Mandatory cash contribution with qualified historic preservation easement or conservation easement is deductible; appraisal that states method and basis of valuation is “qualified” even if unpersuasive.

In the case of Scheidelman and Perry v. Commissioner, the Tax Court (T.C. Memo, no. 15171-08, decided, July 14, [...]

Killorin v Zoning Board of Appeals of Andover

Mass. Appeals Court, No. 10-P-1665, October 14, 2011: Holds the enforceability beyond 30 years of land use restrictions set by a government agency, such as incident to the grant of a zoning special permit, is not limited by state statute that limits enforceability of restrictions on their face unlimited as to time.

The Massachusetts statute, M. G.L. [...]

Schrimsher v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

2011 TC Memo 71, March 28, 2011: Upholds IRS disallowance of façade easement tax deduction because the “Preservation and Conservation Easement Agreement” between the taxpayer and the donee did not satisfy the Internal Revenue Code requirement for a contemporaneous written acknowledgment of the gift from the donee — it did not state whether the donee provided [...]

The Iron Quarter, LLC, v Mims

US Dist Ct, W.D. KY, Louisville Div., No. 3:10-CV-539-H, Jan. 12, 2011: Holds a suit to allow demolition of landmark buildings may proceed because owner either (1) properly appealed the denial of its demolition request under County ordinance or (2) was not required to exhaust administrative remedies. Denies the County’s motion to dismiss. “At some point [...]

Building Industry Association v County of Stanislaus

Court of Appeals of California, Fifth District, No. F058826, Filed November 29, 2010: Upholds the facial validity of the County’s Farmland Mitigation Program provision that conversion of farmland to residential development requires the grant of an agricultural conservation easement over an equivalent area of comparable farmland, with some exceptions.

Stanislaus County adopted the Farmland Mitigation Program (FMP) [...]

ROLFS v COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

United States Tax Court, 135 T.C. No. 24, Nov. 4, 2010: Affirms, based on a quid pro quo benefit that exceeded the donation, the IRS denial of a charitable deduction by Petitioner Rolfs for his gift to the local fire department of a house (but not the land on which it was located) for the express [...]

Stitzel v State of Maryland

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, No. 1017, October 5, 2010: Sets aside the conveyance of a portion of land encumbered an agricultural preservation easement that was deeded without the prior approval of the easement holder; affirms that conveyance requires such prior approval.

In 1999, owner Stitzel entered into an Agricultural Land Preservation District Agreement with the [...]

Whitehouse Hotel v Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Whitehouse II)

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, No. 09-60085, August 10, 2010: Decides several issue about the deductibility and appraisal of a façade easement’s affect on the value of a building owned in common with the building being protected, vacating the Tax Court’s 2008 decision and remanding for further proceedings.

Taxpayer Whitehouse (“W”) owned the contiguous Maison [...]

Ohio Turnpike Commission v Spellman Outdoor Advertising Services

Ohio Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeals No. E-09-038, April 16, 2010

Holds that land deriving title from grantor of restrictive covenant to a state agency is not subject to the covenant because the deeds subsequent to the recording of the covenant did not mention the covenant and the owner had no actual knowledge of it. The [...]

Township Of Bethlehem v New Jersey Agriculture Development Committee

Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division, Docket No. A-1253-08T2, March 15, 2010

In an unpublished opinion the court held the New Jersey Agriculture Development Committee’s (SADC) denial of the Township’s application for reimbursement of a portion of the price paid to buy a certain farm property with the intention to preserve most of it as farmland [...]

Troha v United States

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania, C.A. No. 05-191 Erie, February 25, 2010.

The District Court granted summary judgment for the US against plaintiffs who own land that abuts or is traversed by a recreational trail in Elk and Cameron Counties, PA, who claim that by virtue of the operation of the National Trails System Act, 16 [...]

Maryland County Policy Allows Wetland Mitigation on Agricultural Preservation Easements

Howard County, Maryland, Agricultural Land Preservation Board approved a policy February 16, 2010, to allow, under certain conditions, properties encumbered by an agricultural land preservation easement to establish wetland mitigation for nontidal wetlands that were, or will be, lost due to regulated urban or agricultural activities. “To avoid incursions onto productive land, wetland restoration and/or [...]