Eminent Domain

P Passed

P SB63
Uniform Relocation Assistance Act. Makes the provisions of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1972 applicable to any (i) state agency; (ii) political subdivision; (iii) department, agency or instrumentality of any political subdivision; (iv) person who has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under state law; or (v) two or more of the aforementioned, which carries out a project that causes people to be displaced. The Act currently applies to such entities if they are carrying out projects with federal or state financial assistance. The Act requires condemnors to, among other things, (i) make relocation payments to displaced persons, (ii) make every reasonable effort to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation, (iii) appraise the property, (iv) offer to acquire the property for an amount not less than its appraised value, (v) give at least 90 days' written notice of the date by which the occupant is required to vacate the condemned property, and (vi) offer to acquire the entire property if the acquisition of part of a property would leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant. The bill also raises the $10,000 cap on payments for business relocation expenses to $25,000 for the condemnee's reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in reestablishing the displaced business or farm at its new site, in accordance with criteria established by the condemnor. The existing cap on payments for the dislocation of a business or farm, in lieu of actual relocation expenses, is raised from $20,000 to $50,000. An appraisal is not required for property acquired by a locality, public service corporation or municipal corporation if the assessment is less than $10,000. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the joint subcommittee studying eminent domain issues.
Patron - Marye

P SB453
Eminent domain procedures. Allows persons whose property is taken or damaged through exercise of the power of eminent domain to elect to have the amount of just compensation determined by either a panel of commissioners or a jury. Under the current system, each party to a valuation dispute picks six freeholders to serve as commissioners, from which five persons are picked. The bill also (i) requires a condemnor to provide a copy of its appraisal of the property with its offer to purchase the condemnee's property; (ii) raises the limit for compensation for a survey conducted by the condemnee from $100 to $1,000; (iii) requires condemnors to conduct a title search of the property before making an offer to purchase or filing a certificate of take, in order to avoid delays in payments to condemnees; (iv) requires VDOT to use licensed real estate appraisers in conducting its valuations for property acquisitions; and (v) allows tenants whose lease term is 12 months or longer to intervene in an eminent domain proceeding.
Patron - Marye

F Failed

F SB111
Eminent domain; litigation expenses. Authorizes a court, in its discretion, to award reasonable fees for attorneys, appraisers, and other experts incurred in condemnation litigation if the amount of compensation awarded exceeds the condemnor's highest written offer by 15 percent or more. In determining the amount of such fees to be awarded, the court is to consider, among such other factors as it deems relevant, the benefit provided to the condemnee by any of the professional or expert witnesses for whom the litigation expenses were incurred. In determining whether to make an award, the court may consider (i) the extent that the condemnee engaged in conduct which unduly and unreasonably protracted the final resolution of the action; (ii) whether the position of the condemnor was substantially justified; and (iii) whether special circumstances make the award of litigation expenses unjust.
Patron - Marye

C Carried Over

C HB85
Condemnation. Provides that a city or town may condemn property outside of its boundaries only if the property is located in a contiguous locality.
Patron - Morgan


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