Kansas Supreme Court
City of Wichita v. Denton and Clear Channel
Sedgwick district court – affirmed
No. 97,952 – January 4, 2013
FACTS: City of Wichita filed action under Kansas Eminent Domain Procedure Act (EDPA) to condemn tract of land for highway purposes. Defendants included Denton as owner of fee title, and Clear Channel as lessee on property for operation of billboard. Appraisers valued tract at $1,075,600, with no compensation given for billboard structure and no consideration as to advertising income produced by Clear Channel’s leasehold. Clear Channel appealed appraiser’s award, and requested jury trial to determine total damages for the condemned property. District court affirmed the award as just compensation for taking the entire tract, ruled the billboard was personal property for which no compensation was required, and granted summary judgment to City. Clear Channel appealed, alleging error in district court’s judgment that billboard structure was noncompensable personal property, and district court’s related order granting City’s motion in limine order to exclude Clear Channel’s expert testimony based on advertising income as irrelevant to issue of just compensation.
ISSUES: (1) Character of billboard structure; (2) evidence of advertising income; and (3) unit rule
HELD: Appeal involves valuation stage of EDPA two-stage (valuation and apportionment) approach to compensation for taking where property consists of fee ownership and leasehold. District court correctly granted City’s motion for partial summary judgment and motion in limine excluding evidence of value of billboard structure because undisputed facts in this case demonstrate that billboard was personal property noncompensable in eminent domain proceeding.
District court did not err in granting City’s motion for partial summary judgment and motion in limine excluding evidence of advertising income generated by billboard structure on condemned real estate because this evidence represented business profits rather than rental income, and was irrelevant for determining value under any authorized valuation method.
No violation of unit rule in this case. District court correctly excluded evidence of value of billboard as personalty, correctly excluded evidence of advertising income produced by the billboard, and Clear Channel presented no other admissible evidence regarding value of its leasehold or the tract as a whole.
STATUTES: K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 26-504, -508(a); K.S.A. 26-501 et seq., -502, -502(3)(a), -508, -513, -513(a), -513(b), -513(d)(1), -513(e), -517; and K.S.A. 60-401(b), -402, -407(f)