Long-Delayed U.S. 64 Bypass Leaves Property Owners With Questions, Concerns of Lost Value

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The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will host a meeting for property owners on Thursday, May 19th to explain property owners’ rights and possible “second check”

“If an offer has been made, there may be a more complete and satisfactory offer to be gained through reappraisal and negotiations," said NC Eminent Domain Attorney Jason Campbell.

The U.S. 64 Bypass, a $220-million road project affecting more than 300 property owners, is finally slated to move forward after years of shifting plans and delays.

However, the offers that some property owners receive from state officials may amount to far less than what their property is worth, according to former NCDOT attorneys at the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm. Rather than accept these offers, owners may want to exercise often-misunderstood rights, including the ability to negotiate for a “second check.”

A seminar on Thursday evening, May 19th, at 7PM at the Hampton Inn Asheboro will explore property owners’ rights at no cost to participants (more below).

Lengthy Limbo
As reported by the Asheboro Courier-Tribune (2/23/16), the U.S. 64 Bypass has led to much anxiety for homeowners left in a lengthy limbo for many years as the project took shape and the cost ballooned to $224 million.

"In the case of the U.S. 64 Bypass, we’ve seen home, property and business owners left wondering if they will lose part or all of their property to this project,” said Jason Campbell, an attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm and former NCDOT attorney. “With a final plan in place, it is time for these owners to get a fair price for their hard-earned homes and businesses.”

In Winston-Salem, the NC Court of Appeals recently found that an indefinite reservation of property by the NCDOT to be essentially the same as seizing land without paying for it. The court restricted the NCDOT’s power allowing property owners to have a better position in negotiating for the fair value of their land, according to the Raleigh News & Observer (2/17/15).

Asheboro property owners in the path of the U.S. 64 Bypass will soon receive purchase offers from state officials. According to Campbell, property owners should be careful – a project that’s taken so long 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 takes 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.

This is where the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm’s “second check” approach comes in. In most cases, the property owner is then free to pursue a better, fairer arrangement, without losing the first offer.

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, also a former NCDOT attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm.

The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will host a free informational session on Thursday, May 19th 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?

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

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 Attorneys General 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 38 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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