Friday, June 26, 2009
Richard B. Collins (Colorado) has posted Telluride's Tale of Eminent Domain, Home Rule, and Retroactivity on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Telluride, Colorado, won an eminent domain battle with San Diego billionaire Neal Blue, but only after paying his price and his attorney's fees. The town passed a condemnation ordinance by popular initiative to take 572 acres adjacent to the town. The landowner obtained a state statute intended to forbid the town's action. The trial judge held the statute invalid under Colorado's constitutional home rule amendment. Town officials negotiated a compromise with the landowner, but its voters rejected it. The valuation trial was moved to a neighboring county much more favorable to the landowner, and the jury gave him his full price. The owner then appealed to the state supreme court based on the state statute. But that court affirmed, holding that Telluride's right to home rule overrode the statute. The case presented interesting issues of home rule, eminent domain, retroactivity, and venue that are analyzed in the article.
[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]