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Judges Find in Favor of Property Owners in North Carolina Map Act Lawsuit

February 26th, 2015

Landowners are getting some relief in North Carolina today after the state’s Court of Appeals ruled the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) could not use the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act to indefinitely tie up a property owner’s land.

The Map Act allows the state to determine if a piece of property is in an area that may one day be used as a highway corridor and then restrict the development of the property until it is ready for their use. The law makes it easier for the state to purchase and clear land once they are ready to begin construction.

The problem is, it can take years—even decades—for the state to break ground on a project, leaving landowners unable to develop or potentially sell the property. One particular North Carolina Map Act lawsuit challenged the state’s use of the law and a decision was reached in the favor of landowners.

An article from the Greensboro News & Record reports a committee of judges ruled the state places property in eminent domain the moment land is designated as within a potential highway corridor, not when the purchase of the land is completed. This means property owners must be compensated for their land when it is mapped into a corridor, not when a project is developed by the state at a later date.

David Henson, a North Carolina land condemnation lawyer with HensonFuerst, discusses the ruling in a video posted to our firm’s YouTube channel. He says the victim in this case isn’t the only North Carolina citizen who was not fairly compensated for their property by the state and suggests speaking with our legal team if you’re the victim of North Carolina inverse land condemnation.