Minneapolis Park Board considers condemnation of private land
Governmental bodies have a great amount of power when it comes to other people’s property rights. Through the use of their eminent domain powers, governmental bodies have the power to condemn private property. In these cases, the government must give the original owner fair compensation for the property, but can otherwise take it over.
However, this isn’t always the most ideal situation for a governmental agency. Take, for example, a recent situation in Minneapolis. In this case, the Minneapolis Park Board wants to use part of the land owned by a private company for a trail to access the river.
The company was willing to negotiate with the Park Board about a possible easement to use the land. However, the company had certain conditions that it wanted in order to agree to the deal. These conditions included approving a new 50,000 square foot office space, banning a residential development project and avoiding the company’s loading dock area.
While the Minneapolis Park Commissioners approved an easement on the land, they did not agree to the conditions set out by the company. Therefore, the Park Board will now have to consider condemnation in order to get access to the land.
Reports claim that the Park Board has already set aside $622,000 — the estimated value of the company’s land in order to move forward with the condemnation. However, the actual cost of the process would likely be higher. And easement, on the other hand, could be free.
Property owners — like the company, in this case — will want to protect their rights against the eminent domain powers of the local, state and federal government. In particular, people need to ensure that they get proper value for any land taken or effectively condemned by a governmental body.
Star Tribune, “Minneapolis park board approves Graco easement for trail access,” Steve Brandt, June 22, 2015
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