The following is a case study of an agricultural taking. The eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey represented the landowners in this case. This case study is intended to provide an example of the positive value a condemnation attorney can add to a landowners case when faced with eminent domain.
Agricultural Case Study
Case Instituted: 2010
Case Completed: 2012
In this case, the piece of property at issue was an irregularly shaped parcel totalling over 500 acres and consisting predominantly of agricultural land with approximately one acre devoted to the home site. Interstate 69 passed through the Eastern portion of the property taking a total of 78.281 acres of permanent right-of-way and 1.968 acres of temporary right-of-way, ultimately severing the property and creating six separate parcels or residues.
The State’s initial offer was for total compensation of $1,422,350.00. This offer was comprised of $642,000.00 for the acquisition of the land and improvements and $739,850.00 for loss in value to the residue (the land remaining). The Court Appointed Appraisers found compensation in the amount of $1,467,182.00, with a similar breakdown.
We were able to nearly double the State’s initial offer in total compensation using different valuation strategies. The State did not necessarily fail to account for any particular aspect of valuation; however our methods provided a more complete analysis.
Part of the process was simply finding the most appropriate comps for the property. This alone resulted in a sizeable increase in value related to the acquisition of the land and improvements. Additionally, certain comps have to be adjusted based on market trends. In this case, there had been a trend of increasing prices for agricultural land in the area of the taking. Our analysis fully considered this trend in reaching a valuation of the land and improvements.
Additionally, we used studies on field shape and angulation, particularly useful to situations like the one here, to determine the true impacts of placing a road through the middle of a parcel. These studies provide the groundwork for valuing the damage of impacts like the creation of a landlocked parcel or non-traditional field shapes and dimensions. Here Interstate 69 created one landlocked parcel and cut through the entire parcel on a diagonal. This resulted in substantial irregularity in field shape. The State’s methods significantly undervalued these impacts. Our approach fully considered these impacts and resulted in a larger and more complete award for the client.
The case was resolved for total compensation of $2,700,000.00. This was comprised of approximately $900,000.00 for the acquisition of the land and improvements and $1,600,000.00 for loss in value to the residue.
For more information about the eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey, or if you are involved in your own eminent domain dispute, please contact our office at any time at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at https://landownerattorneys.com/.
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