$497,000 Settlement – Eminent Domain
In 2014, as part of a highway-building project in a rural county in Eastern North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Transportation took roughly 4 acres of a twenty-acre parcel along the frontage of a county road. The DOT took a family home and a mobile home on the property and controlled access to the property so that the remainder of the property (the remaining 16 acres) was significantly damaged and reduced in value. The landowner felt DOT’s appraiser significantly undervalued the home on the property because of the lack of viable sales in the area and undervalued the property due to the lack of zoning for the rural property. Further, the damages to the remainder of the property were not adequately assessed.
The DOT had stalled at the offer of approximately $384,000. At mediation, a Riddle & Brantley attorney was able to use owner opinion testimony and information from a local broker to increase the DOT’s offer to $497,000 and secure two additional parcels of land. These additional parcels gave the landowner access from the roadway again, thereby increasing the value of the remaining 16 acres by several thousand dollars.