Real Estate Law Update, Summer 2010
IN THIS ISSUE:
Reliance on a written permit and considerable expenditures, alone, are insufficient to create a vested right in a construction project according to a recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision.
Supreme Court Holds DNR Without Authority to Intervene in Local Zoning Decisions in Lower St. Croix River Area
The Minnesota Supreme Court has decided two recent cases that will remove a layer of governmental review from zoning requests by property owners in the Lower St. Croix River valley. continue
Contractors Beware EPA Lead Paint Renovation Rule Now in Effect
Contractors in Minnesota and throughout the United States that perform repairs or renovations that disturb lead-based paint (such as sanding, cutting and demolishing) in homes, schools and child-care facilities constructed before 1978 are now subject to new EPA regulations mandating certain “lead-safe practices.” continue
The piece touched on dealing with “as-is” clauses in real estate transactions, how the seller cannot shield itself in certain circumstances, and how to avoid liability.
The Minnesota Tax Court saw a huge influx of tax appeal petitions this year. Nearly 3,500 petitions came from just Hennepin County and Ramsey County. The Tax Appeal Team, Gary Van Cleve, Rob Stefonowicz and Mike Mergens filed $150,000,000 worth of appeals for the pay 2010 year.
On behalf of the owner of a large apartment complex, Mike Mergens reached a multi-year settlement of a property tax appeal resulting in an annual reduction in the assessed value of approximately $2 million.
James Susag passed the Civil Trial Specialist exam, joining Gary Van Cleve, to become the second member of the Real Estate Litigation group who is now recognized as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA). Through testing, peer review from lawyers and judges, and documenting experience, the MSBA Legal Specialist Certification Program measures a lawyer's expertise in the specialty area. Although many lawyers limit their practice areas, only lawyers who successfully complete the application process and continue to meet all program standards may call themselves MSBA Certified Legal Specialists. The Certified Legal Specialist designation is one way for the public to identify those attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in their specialty area and to find an attorney whose qualifications match their legal needs.
Through a proper application of complex statutory scheme on taxation of railroad property and valuation principles, Mike Mergens obtained a multi-year settlement of property tax appeals challenging the assessed value and classification of industrial property that includes railroad operating property and non-operating property that resulted in an annual reduction of more than $6 million.
A property owner/developer facing nearly $2 million in special assessment fees and a condemnation claim recently relied on Gary Van Cleve and Rob Stefonowicz to represent him in the resulting complex and multi-tiered disputes. A single, encompassing settlement was reached that awarded our client more than $5.6 million in cash and lucrative development benefits for the property at issue.
Gary Van Cleve completed a 30-hour mediation training course which qualifies him as a mediator. Gary is now available for mediating disputes in the real estate and land use areas and is listed on the Minnesota State Court System’s statewide list of qualified neutrals.
The Larkin Hoffman Real Estate Litigation practice group combines experience in real estate, land use, construction and environmental matters with expertise in litigation, dispute resolution and appellate advocacy. Specialty areas include eminent domain actions; property tax assessment and special assessment appeals; landlord-tenant disputes; and liens and mortgages.
The Real Estate Litigation team handles any dispute concerning the ownership, improvements, dimensions, use or value of real estate. Our experienced trial lawyers represent property owners, buyers, sellers, lenders, landlords, tenants and business entities in a wide variety of real estate disputes. These disputes include boundary and easement disputes, condemnation and eminent domain, construction and design defects, environmental disputes, foreclosures, green/sustainable development disputes, land use disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, liens, property tax appeals, special assessments, transactional disputes and telecommunications, as well as other disputed matters related to or involving real property.
Gary A. Van Cleve, Chair
Michael J. Mergens
Julie N. Nagorski
Jessica B. Rivas
Erin M. Carlson, Paralegal