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Durham Homeowners May Be Displaced by New Highway

September 21st, 2012

According to an article on WRAL.com, North Carolina is moving ahead with plans to build a long-awaited highway known as the East End Connector…and it will be built right on top of 150 parcels of land, which will include demolishing 21 homes and 15 businesses.

Jim Lindsley, who owns a waterproofing business, will see a third of his property shaved off by an expanded cloverleaf right-of-way. He says he wishes the DOT would have considered alternative ideas.

“I don’t have a problem with the greater good,” Lindsley said. “My biggest concern is that they’re not going to make an offer that will enable us to make the transition.”

And that’s the problem with Eminent Domain cases like this. People buy property, build homes and businesses, and then have their dreams pulled out from under them…or, rather, bulldozed and crushed.

DOT engineer Wally Bowman says property owners are impacted with every major road project and that he can’t “make everybody 100 percent happy.”

“We’re trying to do the best we can,” he said, urging property owners to be patient.

“We can’t settle with everybody at the same time,” he said. “We’re going to offer you what the fair market of what your property is today.”

Hmmmm…and that’s the problem. DOT is starting out with the presumption that they can’t make everybody happy. PLUS, we highly recommend that every  property owner affected by the new highway contact an attorney who can represent their interests, someone who will be on their side throughout the long, painful, emotional process of negotiating fair value for the home or business. The DOT won’t do that.

It’s important to note that property owners should call an attorney as soon as possible–before talking with DOT. In fact, as eminent domain lawyers, we recommend that our clients NEVER speak with government or corporate representatives alone. What you may think is a casual conversation to “feel out” what the DOT is offering could end up becoming an official offer-and-acceptance contract.

To learn more about Eminent Domain and Land Condemnation, watch our video:

It is also important to know that you don’t have to have your house demolished in order to be compensated by the DOT. Even if the highway doesn’t touch your property, but it ruins the value of your home or business, you may still be entitled to compensation through a legal process known as Inverse Condemnation. We also have a video about Inverse Condemnation:

Either way, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are deadlines for filing a lawsuit on your behalf. For more information and an immediate consultation appointment, please call the eminent domain attorneys at HensonFuerst at 1-800-4-LAWMED. You can learn more about eminent domain on our website at www.lawmed.com/landcondemnation. HensonFuerst will fight for you.