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 North Carolina House recently passed House Bill 3, which proposes amending our State Constitution and changing the language in certain statutes concerning eminent domain.
HB3 would amend Article I of the North Carolina constitution to add Section 38, entitled “Eminent Domain”: Private Property shall not be taken by eminent domain except for a public use. Just compensation shall be paid and shall be determined by a jury at the request of any party.” Continue reading “House Bill 3: Protecting the Landowner?”
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”
The US Senate recently passed a House-drafted bill that provides a temporary fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund problems. The bill moves $11 billion from other sources over to the fund to prevent a 28% reduction in spending during peak construction time. The fix is far from permanent, but will allow the feds to continue to make payments to state agencies and others – for now. Several of the large transportation projects currently underway in North Carolina receive federal dollars, including the Monroe Bypass, I-540 / Outer Loop in Wake County, and the Durham East End Connector.
On March 10, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court released their decision in the case of Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust, et al. v. United States, holding that when a railroad abandons their right of way under an 1875 law, the property owner holding title to the land within the right of way acquires full rights to the land. Continue reading “Recent US Supreme Court Decision May Lead to Federal Government Paying for Rails-to-Trails Land”
House Bill 272, which was referred to the Transportation Committee on April 18th, proposes to change the statute addressing the payment of costs by the Department of Transportation in a condemnation lawsuit. The fourth version of the bill would amend NC General Statute Sec. 113-136 to require interest on the judgment awarded to the landower to be paid from the date of taking (when the suit is filed) until the date the judgment is paid, rather than until the date of judgment. In theory, this would encourage the DOT to pay the judgment as soon as possible to avoid interest accruing. Continue reading “NC House Bill 272 proposes to change costs paid by the DOT”
In March, North Carolina legislators introduced a bill to remove restrictions placed on considering the so-called I-540 “Red Route” through Garner. House Bill 10 was subsequently amended, and the third version (referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House as of March 12, 2013) would also remove authorization for three major projects from the Turnpike Authority. Those major projects are (1) the Garden Parkway (also known as the Gaston East West Connector); the Cape Fear Skyway; and the Mid-Currituck Bridge. The bill does not propose to terminate the projects; however, it does mean those projects will now have to compete with other Department of Transportation projects for scarce funding.