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Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48569869) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
The best argument you could probably make is that the value of the buildings and the ability to collect rents would be enhanced by the L.A. ordinance, and correspondingly the government wouldn't have "taken" anything. But here were talking about a general ordinance, and L.A. would have to show that that enhancement would be experienced by virtually all the owners.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48569855) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
Yes, all buildings must be in compliance "with the sprinkler provisions applicable at the time the alteration permit was issued". So if the permit was issued in 1965, then the 1965 building codes apply until the building is altered (which requires a new permit). That permits continued use of the building as before, and is not a taking.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48569839) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
But here we're talking about disallowing the owners of buildings to lease/rent their space out because of new regulations/codes, which is the only economical use that can be made for those buildings. The state can't just attach an intent/purpose of serving the public good and escape the takings clause. (Mugler is an old case from 1887, where the owner still had a viable economic use of the property (other than a brewery), and correspondingly it doesn't control for the proposed L.A. ordinance.)

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48569731) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

The CO detector law requires a $20 battery operated CO detector. (Look under "COSTS".) That is insignificant. What LA wants to do is require supports to be reinforced or replaced which will cost thousands to do.

The Sprinkler system law "requires sprinklers to be installed in accordance with the sprinkler provisions applicable at the time the alteration permit was issued". In other words, property owners who don't alter their properties are exempt.

For these two laws, neither is a "taking" of existing property rights under the Fifth Amendment.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 2) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48568879) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

You make the common mistake of thinking that property is the land or building. It's the rights *associated with* the land or building. When the state takes away the owner's ability to use those rights, then the Fifth Amendment requires just compensation. Who gets to use land or improvements thereupon does not matter; the fact that the building doesn't become a public one has zero relevance.

New laws will apply to new buildings or to improvements made to old ones (for permits to issue). There are lots and lots of old structures that remain the same because they haven't been improved. Unless the state wants to compensate the owner, it has no power to force the owner to act. If you look at those new laws in detail, you'll find that they do not impact the present owner's rights to use the property as they were before.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567971) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
These property owners aren't negligent. They're in compliance with the existing building codes. They have property rights, including the right to use their property in ways that were lawful at the time the buildings were constructed. Take away those rights, and the Fifth Amendment says they have to be fairly compensated. The purpose behind that taking is irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 2) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567819) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
It doesn't matter who owns the building. It only matters (for application of the Fifth Amendment) that the government pay for what it takes. If the government wants to change the rights of a homeowner to use his property, it gets to do that, so long as it pays for what it took.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567793) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

Buildings are not condemned all the time because of new building codes. They are condemned because the become unsafe under the existing ones.

I didn't say the City didn't have a stake in this. What I said is that its proposed solution (merely changing the building code) won't work. California politicians are infamous for waving magic wands (new laws) that turn out to be worth less than a straw found in a disposable cup in the gutter.

If the City wants to require a building upgrade AND pay for that upgrade, it can do it. If it wants it for free, then up to the Supreme Court we'll go. (If it makes it that far.)

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567737) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
Hey, I'm not telling you how to fix the problem of unsafe properties. I'm just telling you what won't work (as per the present L.A. government.) Calling a stupid politician stupid doesn't require me to find a better one to replace him...

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567685) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings
No, the really sad part is that you don't see that the City isn't enforcing building codes. They're passing new ones, and that is a "taking" of the property owner's rights. The building owners already complied with the law that existed at the time the buildings were built. If the City wants safer buildings, they get to pay for it one way or another.

Comment: Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (Score 1) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567655) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

The government has to give the property owner fair compensation if they use eminent domain. Here's a link at the top of the Google search: http://www.eminentdomainlaw.ne...

The fact that they do it through regulation rather than a transfer of title makes no difference.

Comment: Another "taking" by the California government... (Score 2, Insightful) 178

by American Patent Guy (#48567135) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

Folks: the U.S. government (or any part thereof) can't just march in and force property owners to change their property. Government has to compensate the owners for any taking of a property-owner's rights. If the City of L.A. wants to march in and say "you don't get to use your office building because it isn't earthquake-proof", then the City has to buy the property at fair market value.

Are all politicians in California really this dumb? All they have to do is compile a list of buildings that the City deems to be unsafe, and the owners will be sufficiently encouraged to make the upgrades (or lose their present tenants.) No subsidies, no tax breaks, no cost to the city.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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