Clark Hill PLC is an entrepreneurial full-service law firm serving clients in all areas of  real estate, business legal services, litigation, and personal legal services. For more information on Clark Hill's practice areas, professionals, and office locations, please visit clarkhill.com








Stephon B. Bagne

Member, Clark Hill PLC

Phone: (313) 965-8897

Fax: (313) 309-6897

Email: sbagne@clarkhill.com


Stephon B. Bagne’s expertise in representing property owners in condemnation cases is widely recognized. Stephon has represented all types of property owners in a variety of situations including vacant and improved property, partial and total takings, easement and fee acquisitions, involving commercial and residential properties. He has won jury trials in courts throughout the State of Michigan and successfully defended those verdicts before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Stephon has prevailed in challenges of the necessity of takings and negotiated less onerous acquisitions in partial taking matters. He regularly speaks and writes about eminent domain and other real estate law issues for a variety of professional organizations. For a more complete bio, please click here.





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New Airport Takings in Nile

City of Niles is acquiring avigation easements to support its airport.

The City of Niles has issued the first phase of good faith offers to acquire avigation easements from adjacent owners. “Avigation” means navigation of aircraft.

I have extensive experience representing property owners in avigation easements. Perhaps the most dramatic example occurred in Lenawee County. In those cases, the County sought easements that placed homes in a runway protection zone. After two jury trials and four appeals, the courts upheld verdicts requiring the County to acquire the houses, which created a public right of way for aircraft to travel within three to twenty-one feet above the owners’ houses. 

A number of articles and blog posts discuss airport condemnation issues:

The takings in Niles may not be as dramatic as those in Lenawee County because the RPZs do not appear to be as substantial. However, the have real impacts on properties and the attitude that an avigation easement only entails “air rights” does not truly evaluate those impacts. For example, takings that eliminate vegetation can result in real impacts, particularly for residential properties. Furthermore, the easement sought by Niles appears to include a unique and legally questionable provision that could have significant impacts on the properties.

I am forming a group of owners for coordinated representation, which is beneficial for all.

If you have any issues relating to local airports or eminent domain, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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