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For better or for worse, the car is king in the United States. It’s how the vast majority of Americans get from point A to point B and, as such, is a central fixture in most of our lives. With all of the driving that we do every day, parking our cars when we get to where we’re going is an enormously valuable, although often overlooked, part of our driving culture. As such, when the government takes a business’s parking lot for public use, it can cause significant damage to the business.
The lowly parking lot is more than just a place to store cars for various periods of time. For most businesses, a parking lot is the main means of ingress and egress for all of the business’s customers, which makes it essential to the viability of the business. A successful business in most places in the United States, especially in suburban or rural locations, must provide ample free parking for customers. After all, customers don’t want to worry about finding a place to park every time they patronize your business. They want to get in and out of your business as quickly and easily as possible, and a parking lot is an easy way to make that possible for them. Thus, a parking lot is a good investment for businesses, and losing a parking lot (or even a portion thereof), can significantly damage the long-term viability of your business.
Severance damages compensate a property owner for the loss in value of a portion of land and for the decrease in value to the remaining property that the government takes for public use by condemnation under its eminent domain rights. Therefore, severance damages refer to the money awarded to a property owner not for the value of the property the government takes (a parking lot, in this example), but for the lost market value of the remainder of the land (the store or restaurant, for example, that lost its parking lot to eminent domain, and its profitability with it).
Parking is critical for the ability to use most commercial properties as intended. When eminent domain takes away parking, the remaining property may not support the businesses that remain there. This depresses the value of the remainder of the property beyond the loss of value of the area used for parking. The amount of severance damages must take into consideration the difference between the fair market value of the remainder of the property before the taking and the fair market value of the remaining property after the taking.
The governmental entity often dramatically understates the value of the taken land to the remaining land. To ensure that you receive just compensation, including severance damages from the loss of a parking lot, contact the eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey today by calling (888) 318-3761 or writing to us through our online contact form.
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