Air rights

Air rights are the property interest in the "space" above the earth's surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and develop the space above the land without interference by others.

This legal concept is encoded in the Latin phrase Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos ("Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell."), which appears in medieval Roman law and is credited to 13th-century glossator Accursius; it was notably popularized in common law in Commentaries on the Laws of England (1766) by William Blackstone; see origins of phrase for details.

Air rights 318 Third Ave
An example of air rights in use: a high-rise building extends over a four-story building in Manhattan

Air travel

Property rights defined by points on the ground were once believed to extend indefinitely upward. This notion remained unchallenged before air travel became popular in the early 20th century. To promote air transport, legislators established a public easement for transit at high altitudes, regardless of real estate ownership.[1] Both the public easement in the space at these higher altitudes and landowner rights to the exclusive use of the airspace at lower altitudes have been well documented by the U.S. judiciary.

New technologies have again raised questions about ownership of "space" and the upward bounds of national sovereignty. With the advent of space travel above earth's atmosphere, the height at which national sovereignty extends and therefore nations can regulate transit is often debated.

United States

Building cantilever New York
A building is cantilevered over two other buildings in New York City

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority to regulate all "Navigable airspace", exclusively determining the rules and requirements for its use.[2] Specifically, the Federal Aviation Act provides that: "The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States" and "A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit through the navigable airspace."[3] The "navigable airspace" in which the public has a right of transit has been defined as "the airspace at or above the minimum altitudes of flight that includes the airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft."[4] However, this does not authorize the United States Government to operate aircraft with impunity in regards to "substantial impairment" of private property, which constitutes a governmental taking requiring just compensation.

The exact altitude(s) at which the airspace over private land can become subject to "substantial impairment" is often debated. Case law in the past has used the height of 500 ft (150 m) in urban or suburban areas,[5] and 360 ft (110 m) above the surface or tallest structure in rural areas[6] as the demarcation of where impairment of property rights can occur. At those times this constituted the limits of "navigable airspace". However, the bulk of more recent decisions, which take precedent, hold that taking can occur regardless of if the flight occurred within navigable airspace or not and only impairment of property need be considered.[7] This is especially important as some aircraft (manned and unmanned) now have no minimum flight altitudes making virtually all airspace "navigable".

The FAA is required to pay financial compensation to property owners when their property interests are taken for overflights (when federal government is the taking party [8]). Compensated landowners may then be required to waive any putative damages for interference with "air rights" in order to avoid lawsuits from future owners' nuisance claims against low flying aircraft. This is called a navigation or navigational easement. Congress has provided authority for the FAA to provide funds to purchase these easements near airports to accommodate planes taking off and landing.[9]

The low cost of unmanned aerial vehicles (also called drones) in the 2000s re-raised legal questions regarding whose permission is required to fly at low altitudes; the landowner, the FAA or both.[10] There has never been a direct challenge to the federal governments vesting of the right for citizens to travel though navigable airspace. As such, the status quo is only permission from the FAA (through regulation) is required. However, existing property rights over private property still allow for civil claims of taking when property use is "substantially impaired" by the use of the airspace.[11] The FAA has also reiterated that it has sole authority to regulate this right. [12]

Railroads and air rights

Railroads were the first companies to realize the potential of making money from their air rights. A good example of this is Grand Central Terminal in New York City, where William J. Wilgus, chief engineer of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, devised a plan to earn profit from air rights. At first, the railroad simply constructed a platform above the rail yards to allow for the development of buildings overhead. By 1954, the railroad began to realize it could sell more air rights and Grand Central Terminal was proposed to be replaced by a 50-story tower. This is how the Pan Am Building came to be built next to the station, after public protest regarding the demolition of Grand Central Terminal.[13] This approach has been used in Chicago since the construction of the Prudential Building in 1955 above active railroad tracks of the Illinois Central Railroad.[14] In 2017, to the west of the Chicago River, River Point and 150 North Riverside were built above tracks leading to the Amtrak station.

Building on platforms over railroad tracks is still potentially very profitable. In the mid-2000s, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) attempted to sell air rights to the New York Jets so that they could build the West Side Stadium over Manhattan's West Side Yard, near Penn Station, as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment. The Hudson Yards mega-development was eventually built over the rail yard. In Brooklyn, the Barclays Center and Pacific Park have been constructed over Atlantic Yards.

Roads and air rights

Similar to railroads, builders of highways have proposed selling their air rights; Boston did this in connection with the Big Dig.[15]

The city of Los Angeles funded a $100,000 feasibility study RFP in January 2007 to explore building a freeway cap park in Hollywood. The park would be built above US highway 101 and contain 24 acres (97,000 m2) of new parkland.[16]

Air rights in development

The owner of the land has the exclusive development rights in the 'space' above his lands. Under common law, building a 'hangover' that breaks the vertical plane of a neighbor's property is a trespass and the property owner has the right to remove the offending structure. The airspace is property and retains developmental rights which can be sold or transferred. Thus in a dense downtown area, each building in the area may have the right to thirty-five stories of airspace above his own property. In one possible scenario, owners of an older building of only three stories high could make a great deal of money by selling their building and allowing a thirty-five-story skyscraper to be built in its place. In a different scenario, a skyscraper developer may purchase the unused airspace from an adjacent landowner in order to develop a broader building. In November 2005, Christ Church in New York sold its vertical development rights for a record $430 per square foot, making more than $30 million on the sale for the right to build in the space over its building.[17]

See also



  1. ^ Paris Convention of 1919 (Convention for the Regulation of Aerial Navigation, Oct. 13, 1919, 11 L.N.T.S. 173) and the Pan American Convention on Commercial Aviation, U.S.-Cuba, Feb. 20, 1928, see 47 Stat. 1901)
  2. ^ 49 U.S.C. 180, 49 U.S.C.A. 18, § 40103 "use of airspace"
  3. ^ "49 U.S.C. 40103(a)(1)". Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  4. ^ Pub.L. No. 85-726
  5. ^ Lacey v. United States 595 F.2d 614 (Fed. Cir. 1979)
  6. ^ Causby v U.S. 75 F.262 Ct.Cl (1948)
  7. ^ Branning v. United States 654 F.2d 88 (Fed. Cir. 1981) Held a taking occurred from air travel inside of navigable airspace (600') The present case is a case, as the court foresaw in Aaron v. United States, 160 Ct.Cl. at 301, 311 F.2d at 801, in which "the unavoidable damage [reduction of the highest and best use] to a person's property occasioned by [the noise created during] travel in the navigable air space [is] so severe as to amount to a practical destruction of it." This is a case of first impression in which the court may consider the altitude of the flights over the property, but must give primary consideration to the effect of aircraft noise where the Government itself has adopted and published standards of compatibility of use of the subjacent property. Since the subjacent property owner has suffered a diminution of the value of the property in this case, there has been a taking of an easement over and through the airspace subjacent the property of the plaintiff. It is abundantly clear that under the law established by Causby, Griggs, and Aaron a taking has occurred in this case.
  8. ^ Griggs v. Allegheny County, 369 U.S. 84 It is argued that though there was a "taking," someone other than respondent was the taker—the airlines or the C. A. A. acting as an authorized representative of the United States. We think, however, that respondent, which was the promoter, owner, and lessor[2] of the airport, was in these circumstances the one who took the air easement in the constitutional sense.
  9. ^ 49 U.S.C § 40110
  10. ^
  11. ^ Branning v. United States, 654 F.2d 88, 97-98 (Ct. Cl. 1981, Aaron v. United States, 311 F.2d 798, 801 Ct. Cl. (1963); Brown v United States 3 F.3d 1100 Ct Cl. (1996).
  12. ^ "FAA press release".
  13. ^ Gray, Christopher (October 11, 1998). "Grand Central Terminal; The 23-Story, Beaux-Arts 1913 Tower That Wasn't". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  14. ^ Fuller, Ernest (December 9, 1955). "Dedicate New Prudential 41 Story Building". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  15. ^ McCown, James (September 4, 2002). "Boston Air Rights". Architecture Week. 113 (4).
  16. ^ » Community-Wide Hollywood Central Park Meeting
  17. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (November 30, 2005). "$430 a Square Foot, for Air? Only in New York Real Estate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.

External links

Transferable Development Rights (TDR)

383 Madison Avenue

383 Madison Avenue is an office building owned and occupied by JP Morgan Chase in New York City on a full block bound by Madison Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue between East 46th and 47th Streets. Formerly known as the Bear Stearns Building, it housed the world headquarters of the now-defunct Bear Stearns from the building's completion until Bear's collapse and sale to JPMorgan Chase in 2008. The building now houses the New York offices for J.P. Morgan's investment banking division, which formerly occupied 277 Park Avenue. Both 383 Madison and 277 Park are adjacent to JPMorgan Chase's world headquarters at 270 Park Avenue.

A night time photograph of the building taken at a steep angle from its base appears on the cover of William D. Cohan's book, House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (2009).

500 West Madison

500 West Madison is a 42 story, 588-foot (180 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. Located between Clinton and Canal Streets on Madison Street, the structure was designed by the architecture firm Murphy/Jahn in a late modernist style. The building, previously named the Northwestern Atrium Center and Citigroup Center, was constructed between 1984 and 1987 on the air rights obtained by the destruction of the head house of the 1911 North Western Station. The building contains retail and offices, and is connected to the platforms of Ogilvie Transportation Center.


53 West 53, also known as the MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction by the real estate companies Hines, Pontiac Land Group and Goldman Sachs, located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City adjacent to The Museum of Modern Art. The building had been in development since 2006, and construction began in late 2014. It was officially topped out in August 2018. As of 2019, 53 West 53 is the seventh-tallest building in the city.

601 West 29th Street

601 West 29th Street is a building under construction in Manhattan developed by Douglaston and designed by the architectural firm FXCollaborative. The building is built on infill and will be adjacent to the High Line and the Hudson Yards development. Douglaston purchased air rights from the nearby Chelsea Piers to construct the building, and is coordinating with the Long Island-based developer as 601 West 29th neighbors their construction site at 606 West 30th Street. Permits indicate that the building will rise roughly 700 feet. New permits were filed in September 2018, indicating that the building will have 931 units.The site formerly included a studio used by the artist Jeff Koons.

Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower (also known as the Nordstrom Tower) is a supertall mixed-use commercial/residential project being developed by the Extell Development Company and Shanghai Municipal Investment Group in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. The building will rise 1,550 feet (472 m) to the roof. Upon completion, Central Park Tower will become the second-tallest skyscraper in the United States and the Western Hemisphere and the tallest by roof height of a building outside of Asia, surpassing the Willis Tower by around 95 feet.

Chicago Union Station

Chicago Union Station is a major railroad station that opened in 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, replacing an earlier station built in 1881. It is the only remaining intercity rail terminal in Chicago, and is the city's primary terminal for commuter trains. The station stands on the west side of the Chicago River between West Adams Street and West Jackson Boulevard, just outside the Chicago Loop. Including approach and storage tracks, it covers about nine and a half city blocks — mostly underground, buried beneath streets and skyscrapers. The station serves as Amtrak's flagship station in the Midwest, and is also the downtown terminus for six Metra commuter lines.

Chicago Union Station is the fourth-busiest rail terminal in the United States, after Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station and Jamaica station in New York City. It is Amtrak's overall fourth-busiest station, and the busiest outside of its Northeast Corridor. It handles about 140,000 passengers on an average weekday (130,000 Metra riders and 10,000 Amtrak riders) and is one of Chicago's most iconic structures, reflecting the city's strong architectural heritage and historic achievements. It has Bedford limestone Beaux-Arts facades, massive Corinthian columns, marble floors, and a Great Hall, all highlighted by brass lamps. In 2011, its lighting system was replaced with more energy-efficient light bulbs and motion sensors, reducing the station's annual carbon emissions by 4 million tons. Custom steel lighting covers were added to top these safety/light towers, helping them blend in with the overall neoclassical style of the station.Chicago Union Station was designated as one of America's "Great Places" in 2012 by the American Planning Association (APA). The program recognized the station as a "Great Public Space" for promoting social activity and reflecting local culture and history. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, Union Station was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois).


An easement is a nonpossessory right to use and/or enter onto the real property of another without possessing it. It is "best typified in the right of way which one landowner, A, may enjoy over the land of another, B". It is similar to real covenants and equitable servitudes; in the United States, the Restatement (Third) of Property takes steps to merge these concepts as servitudes.Easements are helpful for providing pathways across two or more pieces of property, allowing individuals to access other properties or a resource, for example to fish in a privately owned pond or to have access to a public beach. An easement is considered as a property right in itself at common law and is still treated as a type of property in most jurisdictions.

The rights of an easement holder vary substantially among jurisdictions. Historically, the common law courts would enforce only four types of easement:

Right-of-way (easements of way)

Easements of support (pertaining to excavations)

Easements of "light and air"

Rights pertaining to artificial waterwaysModern courts recognize more varieties of easements, but these original categories still form the foundation of easement law.

Hynes Convention Center station

Hynes Convention Center is an underground light rail station on the MBTA Green Line, located at the intersection of Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue at the Hynes Convention Center, located in the western end of the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It was opened by the Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) in 1914 as a transfer station between east-west streetcars running in the Boylston Street Subway to the Tremont Street Subway, and north-south streetcars on Massachusetts Avenue. The surface cars were replaced by buses in the mid-20th century; Hynes is still a transfer location to the key route 1 bus and two other MBTA bus routes.

The subway station is not currently wheelchair accessible, although a renovation to the station is planned around 2019 as part of air rights development over the adjacent Massachusetts Turnpike. Like all MBTA bus stops, the surface-level stop is fully accessible.

Main Event

Main Event (previously known as Event TV or Main Attraction) is Australia's only pay-per-view channel. It transmits through Foxtel and Optus Television, who jointly own the channel. It broadcasts major sporting and entertainment events such as boxing, professional wrestling, mixed martial arts and concerts.The channel has broadcast the Anthony "The Man" Mundine vs. Danny Green boxing fight and has broadcast nearly every World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-view since 2000 (There was a contract negotiation period that prevented the WWE from showing WWE pay-per-views between January 2003 and August 2003). Since May 2006 it has also been broadcasting Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pay-per-views, and since 2007, the Ultimate Fighting Championship started screening their PPV's. It also broadcast WWE's weekly programming (for free) over a 2-week period during 2006 while Fox8 was screening a marathon of The Simpsons. The channel would similarly do the same in early 2015 when Fox8 broadcast every episode of The Simpsons.

In previous years, Main Event has also broadcast large concerts for artists such as Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé Knowles. In November 2008, the channel broadcast a live concert at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne from Dutch violinist, conductor and composer, André Rieu.

During the Australian Football League's 2007-2011 broadcast rights period, Friday Night Football matches as well as selected games played on Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon were shown on Main Event to Fox Sports (Australia) subscribers in New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory. Viewers in Victoria, in contrast, did not receive any National Rugby League matches live on this channel, even if their local team the Melbourne Storm was playing.

The AFL arrangement ceased as of season 2012, as free-to-air rights holder the Seven Network were permitted to screen these games to northern states on its digital terrestrial multichannel, 7mate.On 3 September 2013, Main Event launched a HD simulcast. This came following the closure of Foxtel 3D due to an insufficient amount of 3D content being produced, while the majority of premium pay-per-view content shown on Main Event is produced and acquired in HD.

Manchester Arena

The Manchester Arena, formerly known as the MEN Arena along with other names, is an indoor arena in Manchester, England, immediately north of the city centre and partly above Manchester Victoria station in air rights space.

The arena has the highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, and second largest in the European Union with a capacity of 21,000 and is one of the world's busiest indoor arenas, hosting music and sporting events such as boxing and swimming. The arena was a key part of Manchester's bids to host the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000 and was eventually used for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The arena was temporarily closed following a terrorist attack by a suicide bomber on 22 May 2017, in which a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured 500 more at the end of an Ariana Grande concert during her Dangerous Woman Tour. Shows that were scheduled to be at the arena were either moved to alternative venues, or cancelled completely. The arena reopened on 9 September for a special benefit concert headlined by Manchester-born singer Noel Gallagher.

Massachusetts Turnpike

The Massachusetts Turnpike (colloquially "Mass Pike" or "the Pike") is a toll road in the U.S. state of Massachusetts that is maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The turnpike begins at the New York state line in West Stockbridge, linking with the Berkshire Connector portion of the New York State Thruway. Spanning 138 miles (222 km) along an east–west axis, it is entirely concurrent with the portion of Interstate 90 (I-90) that lies within the state. The turnpike is the longest Interstate Highway in Massachusetts, while I-90 in full (which begins nationally in Seattle, Washington) is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States.

The turnpike opened in 1957, and it was designated as part of the Interstate Highway System in 1959. The original western terminus of the turnpike was located at Route 102 in West Stockbridge before I-90 had been completed in New York state. The turnpike intersects with several Interstate Highways as it traverses the state, including I-91 in West Springfield; I-291 in Chicopee; I-84 in Sturbridge; the junction of I-290 and I-395 in Auburn; and I-495 in Hopkinton. The turnpike originally ended at Route 128 (now concurrent with I-95) in Weston; it was extended to Allston in 1964, and to the Central Artery (now designated as I-93, US 1, and Route 3) in Downtown Boston in 1965. The "Big Dig" megaproject provided for the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel, which has carried the turnpike to its current eastern terminus at Route 1A beyond Logan International Airport since 2003. As an Interstate Highway, the turnpike is supplemented by I-190 and I-290 as auxiliary Interstate Highways.

The turnpike was maintained by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority until the department was replaced by the Highway Division of MassDOT in 2009. The implementation and removal of tolls in some stretches of the turnpike have been controversial; presently, travel between most, but not all, exits requires payment. The Fast Lane electronic toll collection system was introduced alongside cash payment in 1998; it was later folded into the E-ZPass branding in 2012. The original toll booths were demolished and replaced by toll gantries with the transition to open road tolling in 2016, which replaced cash payment with "pay-by-plate" billing.

Newtonville, Massachusetts

Newtonville is a village of Newton, Massachusetts.

One Vanderbilt

One Vanderbilt (also One Vanderbilt Place) is a skyscraper under construction at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Proposed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and developer SL Green Realty as part of a planned Midtown East rezoning, the tower will stand next to Grand Central Terminal.

A groundbreaking ceremony for One Vanderbilt was held in October 2016. When completed in 2020, the 67-floor, 1,600,000-square-foot (150,000 m2) skyscraper's roof will be 1,301 feet (397 m) high and its spire will be 1,401 feet (427 m), making it the city's fourth-tallest building after the completion of Central Park Tower and 111 West 57th Street.

Penn Central Transportation Company

The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Port Authority Bus Terminal

The Port Authority Bus Terminal (colloquially known as the Port Authority and in initials as PABT) is the main gateway for interstate buses into Manhattan in New York City. It is owned and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The bus terminal is located in Midtown at 625 Eighth Avenue between 40th Street and 42nd Street, one block east of the Lincoln Tunnel and one block west of Times Square. It is one of three bus terminals operated by the PANYNJ, the others being the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Upper Manhattan and the Journal Square Transportation Center in Jersey City.

The PABT serves as a terminus and departure point for commuter routes, as well as for long-distance intercity routes, and is a major transit hub for New Jerseyans. The terminal is the largest in the United States and the busiest in the world by volume of traffic, serving about 8,000 buses and 225,000 people on an average weekday and more than 65 million people a year. It has 223 departure gates and 1,250 car parking spaces, as well as commercial and retail space. In 2011, there were more than 2.263 million bus departures from the terminal.The PABT, opened in 1950 between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 40th and 41st Streets, was built to consolidate the many different private terminals spread across Midtown Manhattan. A second wing, extending to 42nd Street, was added in 1979. Since then, the terminal has reached peak hour capacity, leading to congestion and overflow on local streets. It does not allow for layover parking; hence, buses are required to use local streets or lots, or return through the tunnel empty. The PANYNJ has been unsuccessful in its attempts to expand passenger facilities through public private partnership, and in 2011 it delayed construction of a bus depot annex, citing budgetary constraints. In June 2013, it commissioned an 18-month study that would consider options for reconfiguration, expansion, and replacement of the terminal.

St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church (Bronx, New York)

St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church is a parish located in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York. The parish was created in 1939 by Francis Spellman, then the Archbishop of New York, as the successor to the St. Gabriel’s Church on East 37th Street in Manhattan, which was razed in 1937 to accommodate the construction of the Queens-Midtown tunnel. The pews, altars and statues of the original church were relocated to the new structure, and many of the church’s Irish-American congregants also moved to the Bronx to be near their parish. The Right Reverend Francis W. Walsh, pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, New York, and president of the College of New Rochelle, was named pastor – a post he held until his retirement in 1969.

The St. Gabriel's complex encompasses a church, elementary school and rectory. In 2004, St. Gabriel’s was at the center of a zoning debate when a real estate developer unsuccessfully attempted to pay $7.2 million to build a new church and rectory and to renovate the church's school in exchange for the sale of air rights to build a 30-story condominium on the site of the rectory.

Title (property)

In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership. Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. Title is distinct from possession, a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, possession and title may each be transferred independently of the other. For real property, land registration and recording provide public notice of ownership information.

In United States law, typically evidence of title is established through title reports written up by title insurance companies, which show the history of title (property abstract and chain of title) as determined by the recorded public record deeds; the title report will also show applicable encumbrances such as easements, liens, or covenants. In exchange for insurance premiums, the title insurance company conducts a title search through public records and provides assurance of good title, reimbursing the insured if a dispute over the title arises. In the case of vehicle ownership, a simple vehicle title document may be issued by a governmental agency.

The main rights in the title bundle are usually:

Exclusive possession

Exclusive use and enclosure


Conveyance, including by bequest

Access easement


PartitionThe rights in real property may be separated further, examples including:

Water rights, including riparian rights and runoff rights

In some U.S. states, water rights are completely separate from land—see prior appropriation water rights

Mineral rights

Easement to neighboring property, for utility lines, etc.

Tenancy or tenure in improvements

Timber rights

Farming rights

Grazing rights

Hunting rights

Air rights

Development rights to erect improvements under various restrictions

Appearance rights, often subjected to local zoning ordinances and deed restrictionsPossession is the actual holding of a thing, whether or not one has any right to do so. The right of possession is the legitimacy of possession (with or without actual possession), the evidence for which is such that the law will uphold it unless a better claim is proven. The right of property is that right which, if all relevant facts were known (and allowed), would defeat all other claims. Each of these may be in a different person.

For example, suppose A steals from B, what B had previously bought in good faith from C, which C had earlier stolen from D, which had been an heirloom of D's family for generations, but had originally been stolen centuries earlier (though this fact is now forgotten by all) from E. Here A has the possession, B has an apparent right of possession (as evidenced by the purchase), D has the absolute right of possession (being the best claim that can be proven), and the heirs of E, if they knew it, have the right of property, which they cannot prove. Good title consists in uniting these three (possession, right of possession, and right of property) in the same person(s).

The extinguishing of ancient, forgotten, or unasserted claims, such as E's in the example above, was the original purpose of statutes of limitations. Otherwise, title to property would always be uncertain.

Transferable development rights

Transferable development rights (TDR) is a method for controlling land use to complement land-use planning and zoning for more effective urban growth management and land conservation. The TDR process can be considered a tool for controlling urban sprawl by concentrating development. TDR is a legal mechanism offered in some local government jurisdictions as a form of development control. TDR are also a way to avoid constitutional takings issues caused by rezoning areas that would otherwise eliminate a significant amount of value from the property. The procedure offers landowners financial incentives or bonuses for the conservation and maintenance of the environmental, heritage or agricultural values of their land. TDR is based on the concept that with land ownership comes the right of use of land, or land development. These land-based development rights can in some jurisdictions be used, unused, sold, or otherwise transferred by the owner of a parcel. Developers can purchase the development rights of certain parcels within a designated "sending district" and transfer the rights to another "receiving district" to increase the density of their new development. Sending districts are commonly made up of areas with desirable traits that are at risk of being developed such as agricultural lands or wilderness areas, but may also be newly designated historic sites. Receiving districts are typically are located urban areas that are ripe for development. Alternatively, parcels with buildings that do not use all of their available size have "excess" developable capacity that can be conveyed to other parcels, possibly adjoining the first parcels. A widely-noted example of districted TDRs is the Montgomery County, Maryland Agricultural Reserve. TDR programs have been implemented in over 200 U.S. communities, in several states, including Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington. New York City has limits to the air rights of each building, but those are freely transferable. Receiving districts are generally areas more suited for higher density developments and sending districts are areas with environmental, heritage or agricultural values that the county, city or town wishes to preserve.One of the most famous examples of a TDR is in the Penn Central case. The court held that the historic preservation commission did not deny the owners of Penn Station all economic value by denying them the right to build an office building above the station because their "air rights" were able to be used as a TDR to build higher than the conventional zoning allowed on their other properties.TDR credit banks can be used to store development rights that have been purchased if there is not yet a receiving area development identified. This mechanism is used when the time of the sale in the sending area is not concurrent with a development in the receiving area. It is also useful in communities that have the opportunity to purchase the rights from an area of high conservation interest but do not have a development that can receive higher density at the time. TDR credit banks should be operated by a third party organization that is empowered to negotiate the sale of development rights such as a non-profit organization or an agency operating within the community.

West Side Yard

The West Side Yard (officially the John D. Caemmerer West Side Yard) is a rail yard owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. Used to store commuter rail trains operated by the Long Island Rail Road, the 26.17-acre (10.59 ha) yard sits between West 30th Street, West 33rd Street, 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue.

The yard includes storage tracks, a six-track indoor shop for light maintenance, a 12-car long platform for car cleaning, and lockers and a break room for employees. The yard sits at the north end of the High Line, a former elevated rail line used for freight service that has been converted into a park, and south of the truck marshalling yard used by the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It also sits above the 34th Street–Hudson Yards subway station, which opened in 2015.

Before the yard opened in 1987, trains arriving at Penn Station during the morning rush hour had to deadhead back to Long Island for midday storage. The West Side Yard also increased the LIRR's peak period capacity at Penn Station.

By owner
By nature
(key work)

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