A MUNICIPALITY WAS NOT REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE A UTILITY COMPANY FOR COST OF RELOCATING PIPES, MAINS, AND CONDUTTS FROM BEDS OF CITY STREETS WHICH WERE CLOSED FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL USE ON THEORY OF CONDEMNATION, IN VIEW OF FACT CITY MADE NO ATTEMPT TO APPROPRIATE THE UTILITY'S PROPERTY

THE NEW YORK COURT OF APPEALS REAFFIRMED THE COMMON LAW RULE THAT A CITY NEED NOT PAY COMPENSATION TO A PUBLIC UTILITY WHICH OWNS STRUCTURES LOCATED BENEATH CITY STREETS WHEN SUCH STRUCTURES ARE CONDEMNED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSE, BECAUSE THE OWNERS OF SUCH STRUCTURES HAVE ONLY A PRIVILEGE AND NOT A VESTED PROPERTY RIGHT IN THE USE OF THE SUBSURFACE OF THE STREET. THE CONSOLIDATED EDISON COMPANY OF NEW YORK SOUGHT COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM REMOVAL AND RELOCATION OF PIPES FROM THE STREETS IN CONDEMNED AREAS WHICH AROSE OUT OF A DECISION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK TO CONDEMN: (1) AN AREA OF SEVERAL BLOCKS IN LOWER MANHATTAN FOR URBAN RENEWAL PURPOSES, AND (2) TWO BLOCKS IN THE SOUTH BRONX FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING A PUBLIC SCHOOL. THE COURT FELT THAT THE CITY SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO RECOMPENSE THE COMPANY FOR THE LOSS OF A PRIVILEGE WHICH IT OBTAINED WITHOUT PAYING THE CITY FOR ITS USE. THE COMPANY HAS NO VESTED PROPERTY RIGHT TO THE USE OF ANY PARTICULAR STREET, BUT MUST ASSUME THE RISK OF HAVING TO RELOCATE AS PART OF ITS GENERAL RIGHT TO USE THE STREETS. THE COURT OBSERVED THAT THE COMMON LAW RULE IS NOT ABROGATED BY THE STATUTORY DEFINITION OF REAL PROPERTY, BECAUSE THE BURDEN AND EXPENSE TRADITIONALLY IMPOSED ON THE PUBLIC UTILITY TO REMOVE AND RELOCATE ITS PROPERTY MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO THE TAXPAYER ABSENT THE EXPRESS DIRECTION OF THE LEGISLATURE.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No 100, MemORANDUM 205, PP 4-5
  • Publication Date: 1969-9

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00238749
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 12 1970 12:00AM