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Tag Archives: Eminent Domain

DOT to pay $205,000 for .1 acre taken for road upgrade (access required)


The North Carolina Department of Transportation will be paying top dollar for a very small patch of land it took from a Fuquay-Varina church there. The church will receive $205,000 for less than one tenth of an acre taken to improve the road that runs past the church. “That’s the amazing thing, that such a small amount of permanent taking could affect it so much,” said attorney Paul “Skip” Stam of Stam & Danchi in Apex. “It just shows that it’s not the acreage that’s determinative, it’s what acre it is and what are they actually doing with it.”

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Real Property – Eminent Domain – Sufficient Notice – Beach Nourishment – Civil Practice – Preliminary Injunction — Municipal (access required)

Fisher v. Town of Nags Head Plaintiffs, owners of oceanfront properties, sought to preliminarily enjoin a beach nourishment project because the defendant-town did not intend to pay plaintiffs for the easement that the town would need to add sand (and value) to plaintiffs’ properties. The issue of just compensation is one for the condemnation proceeding and not for preliminary injunction. The other issue raised by plaintiffs – that the town’s notice was inadequate – is rejected in part because the notice was sufficient to allow plaintiffs to file suit before the deadline set out in the notice.

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Real Property – Eminent Domain — Civil Practice – Class Action – Certification Denied – Winston-Salem Northern Beltway – Map Act (access required)

Beroth Oil Co. v. North Carolina Department of Transportation In preparation for a proposed northern beltway around Winston-Salem, the N.C. Department of Transportation has placed many tracts of land in regulatory limbo – the DOT is not yet buying most of the land, but it is restricting the owners’ ability to use the land. Given the uniqueness of land and the variety of uses to which the affected owners have put or may wish to put their land, the owners do not form a class within the meaning of N.C. R. Civ. P. 23.

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More time, more money   (access required)

William Sanders was not yet 60 years old when the state Department of Transportation first identified his 700 acres as being in the path of the planned Fayetteville outer loop highway. This November, his lawyers, George and Stephanie Autry (pictured), finally settled the state’s claim on his property for an unprecedented $15.8 million. Sanders is now 78. Though he received a fair price, Sanders suffered from the passage of time. For close to 20 years he was deprived of the use and enjoyment of his property, prohibited by state law from selling, developing or disposing of it as he wished.

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Water authority wanted a do-over on property seizure, but didn’t get it  (access required)

There are no refunds in condemnation actions. That’s the hard lesson the Onslow County Water and Sewer Authority learned recently when it tried to back out of a deal for some 350 acres needed to expand a wastewater treatment facility. In April 2008, the authority condemned four tracts of land just outside of Richlands, owned by the Rogers and Boggs families. The authority appraised the tracts as farmland, and deposited $1.9 million as just compensation. Shortly after, the owners discovered that two of the tracts had significant limestone deposits underneath, and brought in a geologist to take samples.

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When prayer alone doesn’t work, hire a lawyer (access required)

It’s been more than five years since Sedgefield Baptist Church first learned that a six-lane roadway might be passing through its sanctuary. That’s when the North Carolina Department of Transportation first approached the church on High Point Road in Greensboro and told its elders about plans to widen the road. The DOT offered $950,000 for the church to move on — fair market value, it said, according to its appraisal. The church, which had been there since the 1950s, said no thanks. The DOT moved on to other projects, but last year it returned with an updated appraisal and the news that the church would have to vacate by October 2011. This time the offer was $960,250.

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