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KJL LAW, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1617
Experience:  Attorney at Law Office of KJLLAW
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County is constructing a road parallel to my property, how

Customer Question

Harris County is constructing a road parallel to my property, how much easement can they take from my land and If they take part of my land, how do I get paid for the land that they have taken
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site, the answers are for general information. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

The process of a county taking land for a highway is called eminent domain process can only be stopped if the proposed taking does not meet the requirements for public purpose or public necessity. Courts have ruled in every federal court and state court, that taking of land for a road is a public necessity.

Compensation is determined by the highest and best use laws for your property. Courts have held that there are generally three types of recognized public uses or necessity. (1) "public necessity of the extreme sort otherwise impracticable," which includes things like "highways, railroads, canals, and other instrumentalities of commerce", (2) "when the private entity remains accountable to the public in its use of that property," and (3) "property selected on the basis of ‘facts of independent public significance,’" which looks at the rationale for the taking; for example, blight removal is meant to "remove unfit housing and thereby advance public health and safety."

In your case the building of a road is a public necessity under number (1) above, and the land is considered an instrument of commerce. The state will condemn the land to facilitate the taking of the parcel, but they must pay you the highest and best use value of the property. The determination of value is based upon a real estate appraisal, and then if you agree, the county writes you a check at the settlement and transfer. If you disagree with their offer, you can file action in court to have a judge determine the best price of the land. For that you would need an attorney.

I hope this helped with your question.