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Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
The county has the right to condemn the property for eminent domain purposes to widen the road/add a turn lane. However, you have the right to be compensated for your property being taken and also for the use of your property during the lease period.
Also, you can require the burm to be replaced just as it was once the lease is up - - you just need to make sure you include it in the lease agreement. If there is no provision in the written lease, then you would not be able to require the county to do this.
If some of the mature trees are on the property they lease would they be required to replace them with mature pine trees to act as a sound barrier?
If they want to lease the land for grading does that mean the burn would be flattened to accomplish this?
Would they have to leave the sprinkler system in tack if they were to lease this land?
Do I have to lease it to them or can I say no?
They would at least be required to compensate you for the value of the trees removed and you could replace them with the money paid over. However, the county can agree to replace the trees - - but you'll need to get it in writing.
I can't say whether the burm will be flattened or not. It really depends on how much grading is necessary for the project. You should be able to have the project engineer tell you this.
Whether the sprinkler system is moved would also depend on the specific plans they have for the project. However, you need to ask the project engineer that question, and if you don't get a satisfactory answer, you need to make sure that your agreement says IF the sprinkler system is removed, you will be compensated in an amount to replace the system OR that the county will replace it for you.
No, you are not required to lease the property to the county, BUT if you refuse, the county can condemn the property through an eminent domain lawsuit and take the property via court order. However, you are still entitled to be compensated if that occurs.
If I lease this land to them for one year can they make me lease it to them for 5 years?
What should I say in the lease I agree to? How should it be worded?
No, they can't make you lease the property for any amount of time - - you would have to consent to however long the lease is.
As for the lease, there's no magic wording, and it is very likely that the county will present you with a lease, and you would probably want to have a local attorney review and edit it before you sign it.
That said, you want the lease to set out the time period for the lease, what the premises will be used for, that the county will properly maintain the leased area, will make any necessary repairs to the property when the lease is completed - - including replacing any trees damaged or destroyed and repairing or replacing your sprinkler system - -, and that the county will indemnify/hold you harmless for any injury or damage that occurs on the property during the lease term.