West Fayetteville Bypass Project, Phase II – Fayette County, GA

West Fayetteville Bypass Project

The highly contested project involves the construction of a new 2-lane road extending from Sandy Creek Road to the intersection of Ga. Highway 92 and Westbridge Road, approximately 4 miles in length.  The project is designed to reduce congestion within the City of Fayetteville by providing an alternate North South Route, and to create connectivity between State Route 85 south (near Harp Road) and SR 92 north at Westbridge Road.

Phase I begins at Cleveland Elementary on Lester Road, proceeds north across SR 54, and ends at Sandy Creek Road between the Hospital and Hood Road.  Phase III runs from the southern end of Phase I on Lester Road to Harp Road.

Residents of the City of Fayetteville have strongly opposed the project since its inception claiming that the road is unnecessary and that the use of existing roads is a better alternative to constructing a new road.   Issues have been raised by residents at almost every county board of commissioners meetings this year regarding the project.  Newly elected county commissioners Steve Brown and Allen McCarty oppose the project and have voted against measures that support the progression of the project.

Although the project is progressing on schedule, County Commissioner Allen McCarty recently made a statement in support of providing property owners with compensation higher than fair market value to help them cover the costs of their mortgages in a depressed economy.    One property owner claims they will be $20,000 in the hole based upon the offer made by the county.   “The county should not consider taking a person’s property if we can’t make them whole,” McCarty said.. “… How do they pay a mortgage on a house they no longer own?”

This issue will be addressed Wednesday, May 4th at the commission’s 3:30 p.m. workshop meeting at the county’s Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville.  We tip our hats to Commissioner McCarty for his attempt at providing property owners with additional compensation.  After all, these property owners would not be selling their property at a loss in today’s market if the government wasn’t forcing a sale.

Property acquisition is currently underway for phase II and the project layout is provided below, which shows the alignment of the new road and the affected properties.  Eminent domain can be used if negotiations can not be reached.  Property owners are advised to consult with an eminent domain attorney prior to signing off on an offer or obtaining an appraisal on their own.  The government’s offer of compensation will be based upon a valuation made by an appraiser hired by the government. These appraisers often have long-standing relationships with the government, and their appraisals may contain errors such as using incorrect comparables, or they may not value your property at its “highest and best use”.  Frequently, they ignore severance issues or dramatically understate their significance and impact.  Having an eminent domain attorney review the condemning authority’s appraisal and offer will help you determine if the offer is fair, or if you are entitled to additional just compensation under the rules of eminent domain law.

Learn more about eminent domain in Georgia.

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