Description: Action to determine just compensation for partial taking to construct dune for storm protection.
Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Karan
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/08/2013 Opinion Download Opinion issued. The Borough of Harvey Cedars exercised its power of eminent domain to acquire a portion of the Karans’ property to construct a dune that connected to a dune running the length of Long Beach Island in New Jersey. The trial court permitted the Karans to present evidence regarding the diminution in their property’s value due to the obstruction of the ocean view from their home, but did not permit the Borough to introduce evidence that the dune enhanced the value of the property by protecting it from damage from storms and ocean surges. The trial court determined, and the Appellate Division affirmed, that such protection was a “general benefit” that protected all property owners in the Borough and should not be factor in determining just compensation. The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed, stating that just compensation “must be based on a consideration of all relevant, reasonably calculable, and non-conjectural factors that either decrease or increase the value of the remaining property.… A formula—as used by the trial court and Appellate Division—that does not permit consideration of the quantifiable benefits of a public project that increase the value of the remaining property in a partial-takings case will lead to a compensation award that does not reflect the owner’s true loss.” The Supreme Court ordered a new trial to determine the fair market value of just compensation. The homeowners later accepted $1 in a settlement.