May 2011 Archives

Franklin to Condemn Property on Hillsboro Road and Mack Hatcher

Condemnation is a constant fear for many homeowners and businesses in Franklin and Brentwood. Williamson County's growth leads to bigger, wider roads. The Tennessean reports that the City of Franklin has approved plans to condemn property along Hillsboro Road Mack Hatcher Road in Williamson County so that it can be widened.

Our condemnation and eminent domain attorneys make sure the government abides by the Constitution by paying the landowner "just compensation." Unfortunately, the condemning authorities often overlook the true amount of damages done by taking property.

Price per square foot is one measure of damage that must be paid to the landowner. And it must be fair. Appraisers usually rely upon what they call "comparable sales" in determining the value of land taken. What's "comparable" though? Is flat land worth more that hillside land? Land that can be developed more easily is certainly better than land that can't be built on.

This issue recently came up in a case we tried. See this post about the case. Usually the government will find an expert appraiser to produce comps that yield a lower result. We work with independent appraisers to find the true value.

But what else is there? In road widening cases there are also proximity damages, the loss in value to the rest of the property as a result of a busy road moving closer to your front door. These are called incidental damages and are often over looked by hired gun experts. It cannot be "just compensation" without money to compensate each and every type of damage.

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