US Court of Appeals, First Circuit, No. 15-2270, September 23, 2016: Upholds NPS disapproval of Long Wharf restaurant use.
On appeal the court upheld the District Court decision in Boston Redevelopment Authority v. National Park Service (BRA I) 125 F.Supp.3d 325 (2015) in favor of the National Park Service (NPS), forbidding the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) from using [...]
U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2016-1, January 4, 2016: No preservation easement tax deduction unless appraisal filed with tax return.
Gemperle, the taxpayer (petitioner), claimed a federal income tax deduction for 2007 and 2008 for the contribution of a historic preservation easement on the façade of a Chicago home. Contrary to the requirements of the Internal Revenue [...]
US District Court, S.D. California, No. 12cv3055-LAB (MDD), September 8, 2015: Non-economic value of conservation easement excluded in valuation of taking.
This decision is about excluding evidence in a trial to determine how much the United States must compensate the County of San Diego for taking a small parcel of land subject to a conservation easement. The [...]
US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, No. 13-2650, June 18, 2014: evidence supports Tax Court; easement had no value for charitable contribution purposes.
The IRS denied Scheidelman a charitable deduction for a façade easement on a property in a New York City historic district. The Tax Court sided with the IRS in Scheidelman v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. [...]
Texas Court of Appeals, 4th Dist., No. 04-13-00221-CV, March 19, 2014: No abuse of discretion if board relies on non-expert opinion of neighbors in demolition decision.
Reilly sought a permit from the City historic preservation officer to demolish a house in a historic district in San Antonio. When the permit was denied, Reilly appealed to the Board [...]
US District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania, No. 3:11cv514, August 27, 2013: Conservation easement’s prohibition of industrial or commercial activity unambiguously bans fracking.
At issue was whether the wording of a conservation easement was ambiguous regarding prohibition of surface activity by plaintiff Stockport Mountain (Stockport) for natural gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Defendant Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Inc. (Norcross) brought a [...]
Dist. Court, D. Idaho, No. CIV. 1:10-186 WBS, July 8, 2013: Conservation easement deduction fraud penalty dismissed, other issues go to trial.
This decision is on motions for summary judgment (to decide the issues in question without proceeding to a trial about them) in the dispute between the IRS and the Peskys about whether, in light of [...]
Supreme Court of New Jersey,No. A-116 September Term 2010 065540, April 4, 2013: Inspection under wetlands permit on conservation easement constitutionally permitted.
The Hubers’ residence includes land subject to a wetlands permit under New Jersey’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (FWPA; N.J.S.A. 13:9B-1 to -30) and a deed restriction/conservation easement to their Township. After a neighbor complained about [...]
U.S. Dist. Court, D. Idaho, No. Civ. 1:10-186 WBS, January 7, 2013: Refuses to dismiss IRS claim for 75% penalty for conservation easement tax fraud.
The Peskys were denied a charitable deduction from income tax for the grant of a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on land owned by the Peskys, and the IRS imposed [...]
District Court, E.D. Virginia, No. 4:12cv111, November 21, 2012: Complaint of plaintiff in ADA historic property claim need not show remedy is readily achievable.
The historic preservation issue in this case is whether, at time of filing a claim in court under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for removal of architectural barriers at a historically significant [...]
US Dist. Court, Dist. of Columbia, No. 10-1513(RBW), October 2, 2012: Advocacy nonprofits denied standing to challenge delisting of district from National Register.
The Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Friends of Blair Mountain, Inc., West Virginia Labor History Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (“Plaintiffs”) sought to [...]
US Dist. Court, ED New York, No. 10-CV-692, September 21, 2012: NY Town denial of cell tower siting permit on aesthetic grounds upheld.
The Defendant Town of Islip, through its Planning Board (“the Board”) denied a request by plaintiff T-Mobile Northeast LLC (“T-Mobile”) for a special use permit to construct a 120-foot monopole cell tower within a [...]
U.S. Dist. Court, D. New Hampshire, Civil No. 11-cv-436-PB, August 31, 2012: Efforts by owner to look into conflict between ADA compliance and property’s historic significance are relevant to owner’s invocation of ADA’s historic significance exception.
This case concerns the allowable scope of discovery by the plaintiffs in a claim under Title III of the Americans with [...]
United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, No. 11-9006, August 16, 2012: Upholds Tax Court’s value of conservation easement & use of evidence.
In the Tax Court case (Trout Ranch I, T.C. Memo. 2010-283; No. 14374-08, December 27, 2010. http://preservationlawdigest.com/2010/12/30/trout-ranch-llc-v-commissioner/), the taxpayer argued that only the comparable sales appraisal method could be used because data on sales [...]
US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, No. 11-50333, May 31, 2012: Time gap between historic building demolition order and demolition raises question of fact requiring trial, not summary judgment, on 4th amendment claim of unreasonable seizures and 14th Amendment procedural due process claim.
In 2008 the City of San Antonio demolished a building of some historic value. [...]
U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo, 2012-126, May 1, 2012: Tax Court finds taxpayers’ appraisals not credible to rebut IRS appraisal, resulting in zero value for tax deduction purposes to historic preservation easement to NAT. Deductions were allowed for “required” cash contributions and accuracy-related penalties were disallowed.
The unit owners of a condominium building (Cobblestone) in a New [...]
United States Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2012-72, March 19, 2012: Where taxpayer presented credible evidence that reserved rights were not inconsistent with conservation purposes and IRS presented none to contrary, taxpayer satisfies burden of proof despite sparse record; state law determines whether unrecorded baseline documents may be incorporated by reference in conservation easement; appraisal revised by [...]
US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, No. 11-2078, February 8, 2012: Upholds the Tax Court decision that value of house donated to fire department on condition it be destroyed did not exceed the fair market value of the benefit the taxpayer received in return by house’s destruction.
The opinion upholds the decision of the Tax Court in [...]
Dist. Court, D. Idaho, CIV. 1:10-186 WBS, August 29, 2011: Orders production of landowner’s attorneys’ documents related to appraisal of conservation easement value, in suit by landowner against US.
The Peskys donated a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy in 2002. The IRS refused their claim for a qualified conservation contribution tax deduction and assessed a deficiency. [...]