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Thread: Property owner in bulldozer's path gets silent treatment

  1. #1
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Property owner in bulldozer's path gets silent treatment

    A property owner whose two parcels are slated to be cut in two, leaving three remnants, by a state highway widening and relocation project was visited two full years ago by an appraiser, who said highway reps would be visiting soon to negotiate. No more, however, and the silence has been deafening.

    Meanwhile owners to both east and west have been entertaining (if that's the right word) offers, settling, etc very actively. Subject owner's parcel is likely the most valuable by far of all those in the project path.

    Is not the subject owner being denied due process by the silence? Should he lawyer up and go after them?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Hold your horses before going all Barton Dawes on them
    There could be multiple legit or non-so-legit reasons for the delay, impossible to tell. If the earthmovers are appearing on the horizon, then yes something is wrong. Nobody gets on the property until the process is completed. I don't see too much harm in asking what is the plan, showing an interest probably won't signal fear or desperation (not knowing whether the owner wants to sell or trying to resist). In any case, lawyer should already be in hand and the Killdozer warmed up in case it all goes to hell. And talk to your friendly local civil engineer about working on a site plan for the property. ED on an in-progress multimillion-dollar mixed-use development with special housing for orphans and nuns is more expensive than ED on the same plot as unimproved land.

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Many times ROW acquisition is complicated, so you get the easy parts first, then work on the final piece. If you know that someone if going to either A.) Ask for some crazy price, or B.) Fight it through the legal system you work the system by showing that you have everything BUT this one parcel. It looks much better on paper when everything is set to go except one guy who doesn't want to sell for fair value.

    With that said, I am not a lawyer and should probably not answer that question....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    If that's a GDOT project, considering a lot of the internal problems they've been dealing with for the last few years, the project in question may well be on hold...
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Bubba,

    There is a map on the wall of the county seat govt offices building of the project's path that was hung there in 1999. Back then they were sending the archeologists through making sure no Native American sites would be disturbed.

    This year they have been demolishing acquired residences across the river from the most eminent leg of the project.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    Many times ROW acquisition is complicated, so you get the easy parts first, then work on the final piece. If you know that someone if going to either A.) Ask for some crazy price, or B.) Fight it through the legal system you work the system by showing that you have everything BUT this one parcel. It looks much better on paper when everything is set to go except one guy who doesn't want to sell for fair value.
    That would be my guess too. For federally-funded acquisitions, there is a formal process that includes several notices that must be delivered to property owners before an offer is even made. I doubt anything coercive is taking place, and asking DOT (or FHWA) for information about their needs for the parcel would not hurt.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    This year they have been demolishing acquired residences across the river from the most eminent leg of the project.
    Ah, gotcha - I suggest having the property owner get in touch with the GDOT District Engineer to inquire as to the status of their property.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Ah, gotcha - I suggest having the property owner get in touch with the GDOT District Engineer to inquire as to the status of their property.
    Demolishing houses doesn't necessarily mean imminent construction. Once the aquisition is completed many places will knock down the house since it is just going to decay or be an attractive nuisance when it isn't occupied/maintained.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post
    Demolishing houses doesn't necessarily mean imminent construction. Once the aquisition is completed many places will knock down the house since it is just going to decay or be an attractive nuisance when it isn't occupied/maintained.
    Exactly. The house that I grew up in passed out of the family and was eventually acquired by the county for the purpose of straightening the road. The first thing the county did was take down the old house. That was perhaps 5 years ago. Unfortunately, the funds for the project haven't yet been found, so the land just sits there.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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