A state appeals court has blocked the Department of Water Resources from accessing private lands in the Delta to conduct studies for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin tunnels.
Such access amounts to a “taking” under eminent domain law, the court found. That taking requires formal condemnation procedures which would offer certain protections for landowners.
“Because the right to exclude the government from obtaining and possessing an interest in private property is one of a property owner’s most cherished rights, a private property owner should not be required to lease portions of his land rent free to the government,” two of the three justices agreed.