5th Amendment Gives Lessors Compensable Interest In Real Property

Friday, May 25, 2018 9:55 am
June 2018 - Volume 46 Number 6

The Court of Appeals of Kansas reversed and remanded a district court decision that a property owner who was leasing the property did not have rights under the Fifth Amendment for just compensation from the city.

Facts: George R. Isely, as Trustee of the Mildred L. Isely, et al. (Isely) brought an inverse condemnation action against the City of Wichita (the City) regarding land he owned and leased to Starr Holdings, LLC (Starr). Starr had signed a “Public Street And Utility Easement,” which “purports to grant the City a permanent right-of-way and easement for the purpose of construction and maintenance of a roadway and utilities along and under” the land.

The City constructed acceleration, deceleration and turn lane improvements to two streets bordering the north and west sides of the land; the easement covered approximately 8,000 square feet of the land. The City did not state a limit on the easement’s duration.

Isely did not authorize or consent to Starr’s authorizing the City’s easement. And the 99-year lease (due to expire in 2058) didn’t allow or prohibit Starr to do so.

The City did not pay Isely or Starr for the easemen[..]