NCDOT Must Pay When it Files a Transportation Corridor Protection Map

On June 10, 2016 the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the case of Kirby v. North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The North Carolina Supreme Court unanimously determined that when the NCDOT records a corridor protection map and invokes the Map Act’s restrictions on property, the NCDOT has effectively taken property rights, thereby exercising the government’s power of eminent domain. In essence, the Court turned the NCDOT’s argument that the Map Act’s purpose was to control its future acquisition costs against the agency’s position. The Court concluded that because of the restrictions placed on affected property by the Map Act, which prevents any improvements or development within the protected corridor, the recording of the corridor protection map constitutes a taking of the private property rights of the owners. The owners therefore are entitled to just compensation. Just compensation is the difference in the value of the property immediately before the Transportation Corridor Protection Map is filed and the value of the property after the Transportation Corridor Protection Map is filed.

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