Indiana Zoned Property Eminent Domain Lawyer - Cohen & Malad, LLP 

Special-Use Property or Specially-Zoned Property Eminent Domain

Indiana Special Use Property Condemnation Attorneys

A special use property refers to a property that is only appropriate for one use or for a very limited use. Special use properties are generally those properties that are rare and pose problems locating comparable sales for appraisal valuation purposes. Special use properties generally fall within some type of special zoning classification or have a variance or special exception from the local zoning ordinances. These types of properties can create particularly difficult and complex appraisal problems, for which many real estate appraisers may not be competent.

Because comparable sales are difficult or sometimes impossible to locate, the sales comparison approach for property valuation is not applicable for special use properties. Although most real estate appraisers are generally aware of this, the government or condemning agency’s appraiser will almost always find a way to justify using the sales comparison approach to support his or her opinion of value.  That valuation will undoubtedly overlook unique features of your property and be seriously insufficient. The government’s appraisers usually miss the boat entirely with special-use property appraisals.  Due to the uniqueness of the property and the appraisal problem, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney if you own a special use property or specially-zoned property that is being taken or affected by an eminent domain action.

There are many types of special use properties.  They may include, but are not limited to:

  • coal mines, whether active or permitted/proposed, and royalty agreements
  • oil and gas leases and royalty agreements
  • churches or worship centers
  • libraries
  • cemeteries
  • billboards
  • fisheries/hatcheries
  • landfills or recycling centers
  • quarries – limestone, sandstone, gravel
  • golf courses
  • mobile home parks
  • casinos
  • marinas
  • wineries/vineyards
  • theatres
  • stadiums

If you own a special use property or a specially-zoned property and are subject to eminent domain action or if the government has begun the condemnation process on your property, contact us. Our eminent domain attorneys can give you a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal rights and options.