Contributed By Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP
The likelihood of a condemnation or taking in connection with most commercial properties is very remote, with two exceptions, both related to transit. If a commercial property is close to a freeway, there may be plans to create or modify entrance and exit ramps or widen streets. This could affect lot size or setback requirements. In the latter case, the owner may be granted relief, with existing improvements being a “permitted nonconforming use.” Nevertheless, the taking can effect what can be rebuilt on the site, due to lot size reductions. If the property is near a transit-oriented development, the municipality could potentially condemn an older property and take possession to allow for disposition to enable construction of more dense redevelopment with greater public benefit.