Condemnation for highway construction
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) could try to condemn your property for any of the following:
- Road widening
- Road improvements
- Highway or interstate construction
- Railroad construction
- Installation of utilities
In order for the NCDOT or any other government agency to condemn your property, the property has to be deemed “necessary” and the project must be for “public use.”
While most road projects will likely be considered to be for public use, not all of your property may be considered necessary for the completion of the project. For example, a simple road widening may only require condemnation of a 20-foot portion of your land. On the other hand, the construction of a new interstate might require the condemnation of your land and your house.
Depending on what is considered “necessary,” the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) or other government agency may initiate a complete taking (condemning all of your property), a partial taking (condemning only the portion necessary for the project), or a temporary taking (using the property for a short period of time while completing the project then returning the property).
A right of way, or easement, may also be claimed for purposes such as the installation of drainage or electrical lines. In such a case, the property owner may use the property freely but gives up ownership of that portion and cannot interfere with the items within the easement.
Just compensation for highway condemnation
When the government takes your property under eminent domain, just compensation must be provided. If a complete taking is initiated by the NCDOT or other government agency, just compensation should be the fair market value of your property.
In the case of a partial taking, just compensation should reflect the fair market value of the portion of land taken, in addition to any depreciation in value caused to the remaining portion of land.
Compensation may be provided in a temporary taking if the property owner suffers any losses, such as damage to the property.