In this blog series, we aim to get back to basics – that is, to explain some foundational concepts about what we do here at Hansen, Howell & Wilkie.
Today, let’s look at the term “eminent domain.” What does that mean? Continue reading “Back to Basics: What is Eminent Domain?”
After years of planning, protests, legal challenges, budget overruns, and delays, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was cancelled. On July 5, 2020, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy made a joint announcement, stating the move “was a necessary decision given the legal uncertainties facing the project.” While many landowners in the path of the pipeline celebrated, those whose property was acquired as part of the project are left wondering: what happens now? Continue reading “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: What Happens Next?”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation continues to monitor their cash reserves in light of the funding shortfalls that caused them to suspend preliminary engineering on more than 900 projects last year. According to the DOT, if a project was already under construction, or if construction was set to start before August 2020, then the timeline for that project has not been affected. If you would like to download an updated list of projects that continue to be affected by cash constraints, click here. As of February 18, 2020, there are more than 40 pages of projects listed.
Citing the costs of cleaning up after several natural disasters, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) acknowledges that funding shortages will delay hundreds of infrastructure projects statewide. In fact, according to an Aug. 30th memo from NCDOT COO Bobby Lewis, preliminary engineering is being suspended on nearly 1000 projects.
Read more at the Triangle Business Journal by clicking here.
The way that billboards are treated in potential eminent domain cases may change soon. House Bill 645 was recently approved by the North Carolina Senate, and some opponents say the bill goes too far. The Bill, which is supported by N.C. Outdoor Advertising Association, relaxes restrictions on moving billboards when the owner of the land no longer wants the sign, or when the land is being acquired through eminent domain. But some localities, as well as Scenic North Carolina, and the Sierra Club, oppose the Bill’s language.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline might have gotten a favorable ruling out of the Fourth Circuit earlier this week regarding the use of eminent domain, but the road has been very rocky for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Work has started and stopped due to lawsuits; permits have been issued, challenged, and revoked; and the projected cost has gone from original estimates of $4B to more than $7B. Dominion now estimates that full service won’t begin until 2021 – a year behind schedule.
Read more here: https://www.wfae.org/post/atlantic-coast-pipeline-delayed-cost-rises-75b#stream/0
A recent article that appeared online via the Mooresville Citizen covered a public meeting hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation regarding the Oates Road widening project. NCDOT hosts such meetings all over the state, nearly year round, ostensibly giving the public the opportunity to view maps, ask questions, and learn how a specific transportation project might affect their property.
Continue reading ““I thought they just took it.””
It appears that another natural gas pipeline crossing through Virginia – no, not the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but the Mountain Valley Pipeline – has hit a surprise hurdle.
The landscape of eminent domain law in North Carolina saw changes both big and small in 2016. The NC Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision in the Kirby case, marking a monumental shift towards protecting property owners’ rights. As a response, the North Carolina legislature tried their best to contain the damage and limit compensation to those affected landowners. The repercussions of these changes will ripple in the State for years to come. Continue reading “Eminent Domain Year-In-Review”
On Jan. 14th, 2015 State Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-117th Dist.) filed a bill proposing an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution in order to address concerns about the condemnation of private property within the state. House Bill 3 proposes to amend section 19 of the Constitution to explicitly state that (1) eminent domain should be used only to take private property for public use; (2) just compensation shall be paid whenever private property is taken; and (3) a landowner has a right to a jury trial in a condemnation matter. Rep. McGrady recently told the Hendersonville Lightning that “[a]mong state constitutions, only North Carolina does not expressly state that a government must pay for the private property it takes.” Indeed, even the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Continue reading “House Bill 3: Explicit Protections for Landowners”