Eminent Domain Takings For Public Use
If you have been notified that the government wants to take your property under eminent domain, one of your first questions may be, “Does the government have the right to do this?” Unfortunately, in many cases, the answer is “yes.”
Government agencies or private developers can exercise the power of eminent domain to take your property if it is necessary for public use. Public use can be defined broadly to encompass projects related to safety, health, government interest or convenience.
Some traditional examples of eminent domain takings for public use include:
- Police stations
- Fire stations
- Public parks
- New roads
- Road widening
- Public utilities, such as gas, electricity, telephone or cable services
- Water treatment facilities
- Military bases or other national defense buildings
The taking of blighted property, abandoned property, and property in an environmentally contaminated area can also fall under the power of eminent domain.
Eminent Domain Takings Abuse
The courts have allowed for a rather broad definition of “public use” – including eminent domain takings of private property for redevelopment. In some cases, property has been taken to allow for the construction of private commercial development as a means of increasing the community’s tax base.
As a result of such rulings, many states have passed legislation curbing the use of eminent domain and narrowing the definitions for “public use.”
North Carolina Eminent Domain Lawyers
You don’t have to feel like you are powerless if the government notifies you that it wants to take your property under the power of eminent domain. Even if the government tries to tell you that the property will be used for “public use,” a closer examination of the project may reveal that it does not constitute such use under the law.