I-69 Expansion Project Section Six Landowner Rights
Landowners along the State Road 37 corridor from Martinsville to Indianapolis have questions about their rights now that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has brought the Interstate 69 expansion to their front and back doors in some cases.
INDOT has held several public meetings regarding construction of section six of the I-69 expansion. These initial meetings were held to provide information to the public about the preliminary route selected — the State Road 37 corridor. After the preliminary route was chosen, environmental impact studies were ordered to assess how the expansion of the interstate would affect wildlife, air quality, wetlands, water quality, and more. These studies are expected to be completed sometime during the first half of 2017.
Regardless of the type of property they own, landowners have rights and unique concerns when facing condemnation proceedings.
Residential Property Owner Rights
One of the most important rights that a residential landowner has in a condemnation proceeding is the right to receive just compensation for the property that is being taken. The governmental entity that is taking the land will have an appraisal of the property prepared and use that information to formulate an offer for the landowner. On the surface, this sounds like a logical approach. However, there are many reasons a landowner shouldn’t just accept the appraisal at face-value. The appraiser may fail to take into consideration residue damages. These damages can occur when only a piece of the property is being taken and affects the value of the property that remains. An unsuspecting landowner who doesn’t have legal representation may not be aware of all the factors used in calculating the amount of just compensation and accept an offer lower than they may have received had they hired counsel.
Business Owner Property Rights
Valuing commercial land can be complex. It is extremely important that business owners seek legal counsel – even if just for a second opinion—before accepting a condemnation offer from the government. An experienced eminent domain attorney is familiar with various valuation, zoning and access issues that businesses may face in a partial land taking. Change to commercial accesses and drives can significantly impact the flow of customers into and out of a business, which can negatively affect commercial land values. Similarly, a loss or relocation of signage due to a land taking can also serve as a detriment to commercial land values.
Farm Property Owner Rights
Agricultural property, while used for business purposes, has different considerations than regular commercial property in condemnation proceedings. Factors including access, potential flooding issues, livestock regulations, and available crop land all contribute to residue damages that impact the overall value of property.
Special-Use Property Owner Rights
Individuals who own property that is zoned for special use like churches, fisheries/hatcheries, golf courses, wineries and other unique purposes need to be aware of their rights as landowners. Calculating property values and just compensation for these types of properties can be particularly challenging. For this reason, it is important that individuals who own these types of properties talk with an experienced eminent domain attorney who has experience with condemnation proceedings of special-use properties in order to best protect their rights.
Whether you own residential property, commercial property, agricultural property, or a special-use property, if the government is taking your land for a public project you should protect your rights by speaking with an experienced eminent domain attorney to learn about your legal rights and options and ensure that you are receiving fair compensation for your land that is being taken. Contact us to talk with an attorney now.