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If you live in even a moderately populated part of the United States, you have probably come to accept highway expansions as an inevitable part of life. Frustratingly, these “improvements” often seem to cause significant traffic problems and delays while they are in progress only to provide a seemingly minimal benefit upon completion.
For some landowners, however, the inevitable march of progress when it comes our highways and byways is more than an annoyance—it results in a real-world loss in the value of their properties. This can occur in many ways:
Fortunately, in some cases, the law entitles landowners to compensation for the loss of their property values. Whether this is the case in any given scenario depends on numerous complicated factors, so those who believe that a highway improvement project could reduce the value of their lands should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
The power that allows the government to take private property for a public purpose is known as eminent domain. To exercise eminent domain, however, the government must provide landowners with just compensation for the property it takes. In cases in which a highway expansion project requires a government agency to fully take a parcel of land, the landowner is typically entitled to the fair market value of the land. In cases where a highway expansion project only requires part of the property, the landowner is generally entitled to compensation for the piece of property taken.
But what about cases in which a taking has not occurred but a property’s value was nonetheless damaged by a nearby project? Whether the law entitles a landowner to compensation in instances like this is less clear. In many cases, the laws of the state in which the highway improvement project is taking place will dictate the outcome. As a result, landowners who believe that a highway expansion project will hurt their property values must immediately speak to an attorney familiar with eminent domain law in their states.
If you are a property owner and are concerned that highway improvements or other public works projects are damaging the value of your home, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Sever Storey, we are committed to ensuring that landowners obtain just compensation for any complete or partial taking of their land through eminent domain. We have offices in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky, and we serve clients facing eminent domain actions of all kinds throughout the United States. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced eminent domain lawyers, call Sever Storey today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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