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Land use issues and the concept of eminent domain

The landscape of Georgia's cities, towns and municipalities always seems to be changing. As the years go by, parcels of land are rezoned and redeveloped. This could mean that the state may attempt to enforce the right of eminent domain. This may be one of the most disturbing and upsetting land use issues for homeowners.

Eminent domain allows the government to take an individual's property for its own use. There are limitations to this power, however. The landowner must be fairly compensated for the property. More than likely, this does little to remove the emotions that accompany a government's enforcement of this right.

The property owner may disagree with the amount of compensation offered by the government. That owner retains the right to challenge the government's assessment of what is a "fair" price or whether the property can be taken. Fortunately, the government must provide the landowner with formal notice, which provides a certain amount of time to consider the offer and consult with an attorney. A Georgia property owner may also be entitled to a hearing on the matter. Sadly, there is no guarantee that the landowner will be allowed to retain the property, but will receive fair compensation for the property.

A land owner here in Georgia who is facing an action for eminent domain does not have to go through the process alone. Bringing in a legal advocate could help. An attorney who deals with land use issues regularly may help ensure that the individual receives the best outcome possible to the situation, which often means adequate and fair compensation.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Eminent Domain Law?", June 18, 2017

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