A case study:
Suppose a local government decides to invoke eminent domain on a piece of property to build a continuous bike path for a town. In return for taking the land, the government offers the land owner the 'fair market' value based on comparable pieces of land in the area. The land owner argues that by taking the piece of land, not only am I losing the land, but also access to a large part of the the rest of my property which reduces the possibilites for future development of the land.
What is the taken land worth? The market value today for the piece taken or the lost future value of the entire lot?
That was the question facing a Columbus, Ohio area jury.
When Canal Winchester offered Richard "Pete" Stebelton $9,249 for a 1-mile strip of his property, Stebelton thought the payment was too low.
Canal Winchester wants the land to link a bike path between Rager Road and the village swimming pool. It used eminent domain to take a strip of Stebelton's 80-acre property and hired an appraiser who determined that the $9,249 would be enough compensation.
Was $9,249 just compensation? Not quite:
The jury decided Sept. 20 that the land the village wants, along the northern edge of his property, is worth $37,000.
That's the market value of the land today. But that's not all:
But the jury also decided that by taking it, the village was closing off a back entrance to the property and damaging the value of the rest of Stebelton's land by $558,625.
I think the government lost this one.