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People generally don’t anticipate that their property will be affected by eminent domain. It seems like something that happens to others and that you read about in the news. For this reason, many landowners are shocked when they hear of plans for a project that requires part or all of their land. Whether you own residential, commercial, or farm land, any type of condemnation action can have a great effect on the value of your property and your future.
It’s never possible to predict when an eminent domain action may affect you. However, you should be aware of the types of projects that may result in the condemnation of your property. For a project to allow the government to take private land, it must be for public use; some common reasons for eminent domain include the following:
Public works – Public works projects are generally intended to improve the community and benefit residents of the area, so these will qualify for “public use.” Some common public works projects that may encroach on private land include highways, bridges, hospitals, schools, police stations, fire stations, mass transit, libraries, parks, and more.
Utilities – Utility companies must have working wires, lines, or pipes so they can provide services to all their customers. Utilities often seek to obtain easements on private lands so they can use a portion of the land to lay underground pipes or install poles for wires. The easement is often ongoing so the utility company can legally access its property for inspection, maintenance, or repairs.
Commercial developments – In the case Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that some commercial developments could be considered to be for public use if they bring jobs, tax revenue, or other benefits to the community. While some states limit this ruling, some people do lose their land to make way for new commercial developments.
Blight – Some neighborhoods may become so rundown that most of the buildings are vacant, inviting crime and lowering all property values in the area. In such cases, a government may decide it is for the public’s benefit to seize properties, tear down structures, and start over.
The specific issues involved in your eminent domain case and the approach that will be most effective will depend on many factors, including the type of project in question. No matter what the specifics of your condemnation case, you can rest assured that the skilled attorneys at Sever Storey will be able to assist you. We are committed to standing up for the rights of landowners in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and other states. Please call our offices at 1-888-318-3761 for a free case evaluation today.
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