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Forsyth Co. family nets $3M in Map Act case

The Map Act may be gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has agreed to another big-dollar settlement with a family whose land rights were frozen under the act, this time agreeing to pay $3 million to a family in Forsyth County, the family’s attorneys report.

George Autry, Stephanie Autry, and Jeremy Hopkins of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog in Raleigh report that their clients’ land was reserved under the Map Act in 2008 in preparation to build the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway through the property. The clients, the Westmoreland family, owned 77 acres. After the North Carolina Supreme Court declared the Map Act, under which the DOT reserved property for future highway construction without paying for it, unconstitutional in 2016, the DOT ultimately took roughly 22.57 acres of the property for the beltway, .339 acres for a temporary construction easement, and .044 acres for a permanent utility easement. 

The DOT initially offered the family $1,268,200, less than half of the ultimate settlement amount.

The taking cuts the property into two pieces and prohibits access to the new, raised highway, which cuts through the property, Hopkins said. About 11 acres of the Westmorelands’ property is landlocked and the remaining land sits next to the highway, with no ability to buffer its noise or visual impact.

“These changes drastically reduced the desirability of this property for residential use and development and severely impacted the market value of the property,” Hopkins said.

Follow Bill Cresenzo on Twitter @bcresenzonclw


Amount: $3 million

Injuries alleged: Condemnation of 22.57 acres, plus easements, from a 77-acre tract, plus restrictions on development potential stemming from the Map Act

Case name: Michael Wade Westmoreland, Alice Westmoreland, Ryan Westmoreland, and Neil Westmoreland v. North Carolina Department of Transportation

Court: Wake County Superior Court

Case number: 16-CVS-3610

Highest offer: $1,268,200

Attorneys for defendants: George Autry, Stephanie Autry, and Jeremy Hopkins of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog in Raleigh



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