Thursday, December 09, 2004

Two of the classic cases in eminent domain jurisprudence are Hadacheck v. Sebastian and Penn Central RR v. City of New York. In Hadacheck a guy running a brick factory on the outskirts of L.A. was forced to shut it down as the city grew toward him. He got no compensation--because nuisance regulation isn't considered a taking--even though he was there first, and even though his property lost 87% of its value. In Penn Central, the railroad was prevented from putting a 50-story office building on top of Grand Central Station because of historical preservation regulation, and one of the questions was whether transferable development rights (TDRs) could be adequate compensation for a taking. TDRs basically allow you to transfer your right to build to another property you own, allowing you to build higher than you otherwise would on a different property. Also, Baba O'Reilly is the song by The Who commonly known as Teenage Wasteland.

Why do I tell you all of this? Well, because we know by now that one of my classic study avoidance tools is song adaptation...

Out here in Grand Cent.
We fought for more rent
We'd get it back with a big building
But we had to fight
They said it's a blight
TDR's our consolation

Don't sue
They'll get you too
They’re only taking my land

City took my land
No bricks like I planned
Put out the fire
For neighbors on my doorstep
The court said OK
Took seven-eighths away
Cause I am a nuisance
I don't even get, like, 4 cents

Taking my land
They're only taking my land
They're all takings!

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