Controversial Monroe Bypass Leaves Property Owners with Questions, Concerns of Lost Value

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The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm Will Host a Series of Meetings, Beginning Thurs, 8/14/14, to Explain Property Owners’ Rights and Possible “Second Check”

Monroe Bypass Project Map

“We hate it when we see property owners get less money than they should, simply because they didn’t know the full extent of their rights,” said Stan Abrams, an attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm.

The Monroe Bypass, a highly controversial $800 million toll road designed to divert traffic from US 74, is currently slated to move forward after decades of shifting plans and delays, including recent lawsuits. For hundreds of property owners along the proposed 19.7 mile toll road, the postponements have created anxiety over the timeline and the offers they will receive for their homes and businesses.

The offers some of these property owners receive from state officials may amount to far less than what their property is worth. Rather than accepting these offers, owners may want to exercise often-misunderstood rights, including the possibility of negotiating for a “second check.”

A series of seminars starting on Thursday evening, August 14th, at 7PM at the Quality Inn and Suites in Matthews, NC will explore property owners’ rights at no cost to participants (more below).

Troubled History
The massive project has been panned by environmental advocates and some elected officials. According to the Charlotte Observer (May 16, 2014), the Mayor Pro Tem and Town Council of Stallings, NC officially opposed the creation of the bypass due to its extremely high cost and impact on the community.

The Southern Environmental Law Center has also raised concerns and even won lawsuits regarding the project’s ill effect on wetlands and water quality (Charlotte Observer, May 27, 2014).

Property owners in towns, like Stallings, who are in the path of the toll road, will soon receive offers from state officials for their properties. According to Jason Campbell, an attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm and former NCDOT attorney, property owners should be careful -- a project that’s taken decades to get underway can spare a few moments to ensure citizens get a fair shake.

“Homeowners receive a very official offer and think that is the ‘law’ for what they are able to receive,” Campbell said. “If an offer has been made, there may be a more complete and satisfactory offer to be gained through reappraisal and negotiations.”

“Second Check”
By North Carolina law, property owners whose land or businesses are targeted for acquisition ultimately receive an offer from the state. If the owner chooses not to accept the offer and take no further steps, the state will still acquire the land and deposit the amount of the original offer with the county clerk for the owner.

The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm’s “second check” approach comes in after officials make their initial offer. The property owner is free to pursue a better, fairer arrangement without losing the first, in most cases.

If continued negotiations do not change the offer, the owner still has the first offer. But if continued negotiations are successful, the property owner will receive a “second” check in addition to the first offer.

“We hate it when we see property owners get less money than they should, simply because they didn’t know the full extent of their rights,” said Stan Abrams, an attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm.

The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will host a series of free informational sessions beginning on Thursday, August 14th to answer property and business owners’ key questions. Those questions typically include:

  • How will the value of my property be calculated?
  • Can I assume the offer for my property is fair?
  • How is fair-market value determined?
  • What if I lease space? Will there be allowances to move my business?
  • Should I get my own appraisal?

The other free seminars in the series will occur on September 4th, September 25th and October 16th at 7PM at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, 2505 W. Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC 28110.

For more information about the meetings, please call the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm at 1-877-393-4990.

About NC Eminent Domain Law Firm:
A division of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm is dedicated solely to representing property owners throughout North Carolina, who may be impacted by eminent domain law. The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm is led by attorneys Stan Abrams and Jason Campbell, both of whom previously worked as Assistant Attorney Generals for the North Carolina Department of Justice in the Transportation Section, where they litigated condemnation cases for the NCDOT. They have over 20 years of combined experience working exclusively on eminent domain cases. The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has the legal resources of 33 attorneys and is based in Durham, North Carolina, with offices throughout the state to serve its clients.

Contact Information:
Stan Abrams
NC Eminent Domain Law Firm
280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, North Carolina 27701

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Stan Abrams
since: 07/2012
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