Northjersey.com/news reports that the Karan case has settled for $1 which the borough of Harvey Cedars will pay the owners for the taking of an easement on which to build a protective dune which the government intends to act as a barrier protecting shorefront homes from hurricanes — Karen Sudol and Stephanie Akin, $1 Settlement in Jersey Shore Dune Case Clears Way for Officials ton Take More Shoreline, Sep. 25, 2013. Click here for the full story.
Originally, the trial court awarded $375,000 relying on prior law which held that only special, not general benefits could be offset against just compensation, and these benefits, ruled the trial court, were general because they benefitted all beachfront owners in the community, not just the Karans.
But on appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court changed the law and held that from now on not just special benefits, but also general benefits may be offset against the just compensation payable to condemnees in partial takings. For our take on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision, click here.
The interesting wrinkle is that some shoreline homeowners have built their own protective dunes at their own expense. It now remains to be seen how the court’s ruling in the Karan case will affect to them, if at all, because, having built their own protective dunes, they won’t receive any benefit from the government-built dunes.