October 12, 2018
By: Bill Zimmerman
Brendan Lynch weighed in on issues and considerations surrounding eminent domain in this GrowthSpotter feature story about Palm Parkway. Below are some quotes from Brendan. To read the article in full, click here.
“In general, a buyer that is under contract for a piece of land that becomes affected by eminent-domain notice before closing has three options: Call the deal off, purchase it because of value the buyer might still see in it, or purchase it and fight to ward off the eminent domain taking of the property,” said attorney Brendan Lynch, shareholder with Lowndes, who added that the last strategy is only successful about three times out of 100.
“While any vacant land owner facing loss to eminent domain is likely to examine the highest and best use of the property, those with development plans have a better chance of collecting higher damages based on unfulfilled potential,” said Lynch.
“Every step along the way, you have a better case. If you have what are referred to as bubble plans, meaning something that is drawn up, that’s one thing. If it’s presented for approval, even better; if you have some construction, even better. If you have done nothing to the land, you would still make the argument that the highest and best use would be worth X regardless of what type of development that might involve.”
“With numerous roadway projects under construction and more in the planning stages, state and local officials tend to do all they can to avoid eminent domain, but some taking of property becomes unavoidable. They’re always trying to plan around things they already own, but there’s going to be a need as things approach more toward agricultural areas. It’s going to happen again.”