Environment roundup

  • Clarifying Penn Central: does a government taking property violate Fifth Amendment when it groups together commonly owned parcels in such a way as to avoid an obligation to provide just compensation? [Ilya Shapiro, Ilya Somin on Supreme Court case of Murr v. Wisconsin]
  • How to win NYC real estate cleverest-deal-of-year award: sacrifice floor space to outwit regulation [Alex Tabarrok]
  • Desert delirium: “Phoenix has the cheapest water in the country” [Coyote]
  • If you ban low-quality housing you might discover it was the only housing low-income people could afford [Emily Washington, Market Urbanism]
  • Who’s cheering on/gloating over climate-speech subpoenas? Media Matters, of course, and some others too;
  • “Exhibiting Bias: how politics hijacks science at some museums” [John Tierney, City Journal]
  • Hadn’t realized Karen Hinton, of Chevron-Ecuador suit PR fame, was (now-exiting) flack for NYC Mayor De Blasio [New York Post; Jack Fowler/NRO]


  • I have to wonder if by combining the two lots did the value of the combined lots increase to more that the individual lots’ value added together?

    Our County has combined adjacent lots owned by the same owner at the request of some School Districts. The combined lots have a higher value that the sum of the individual lots, thus allowing the districts to tax the lots at the higher value.

    I’m an officer of a veteran’s club that is trying to buy an adjacent lot to increase our parking area. The owner is willing to sell, but, found out that three of his lots have been combined, without his knowledge. The County is willing to break up the lots to their original configuration, but, the School District is contesting it. Veteran’s organizations pay no property taxes, so if we buy the lot that brings down the overall value of the remaining lots and the District loses tax money.

  • Re Murr… I do understand their problem and sympathize, but the doctrine of merger of commonly owned abutting lots is pretty widely known here in New York, and people will “checkerboard” ownership of lots to avoid just that. Perhaps these people should have taken some steps to protect their property.

  • @ Mike. People even go so far as to set up a separate corporation or trust to own the adjacent lot so it is not commonly owned.