by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
“The Map Act’s days may be numbered,” writes Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello in her article on the Map Act and the prospective eminent repeal of it. She reports that the North Carolina Senate unanimously voted June 12 to repeal the Map Act, a law which bars property owners from developing or subdividing property within a proposed highway corridor. The Map Act has been problematic since its enactment. Marchello writes:
Enacted in 1987, the Map Act was intended to keep costs down until the NCDOT would buy property in highway corridors, but in several cases the purchase took decades. Frustrated property owners sued the transportation department, saying the department took their property without compensation.
In 2016, the state Supreme Court determined Map Act corridors constituted takings of private property for public use and the court ruled NCDOT compensate property owners for these takings. However, according to the story:
Despite the ruling, many property owners are still awaiting payment for land taken more than a decade ago. The NCDOT has claimed the slow pace was necessary. Every parcel of property is different and time is needed to get proper appraisals before paying land owners
Fortunately, if this bill gets the governor’s signature, the NCDOT will no longer be able to hold properties hostage like this. Quoting Senator Joyce Krawiec, Marchello writes:
“This act has been a way for the NCDOT to tie properties up for a number of years, hundreds of which are in my district,” Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth said. “This bill repeals the Map Act so they can no longer do this.”
As of midday Tuesday, June 18, the bill continues to sit on Gov. Cooper’s desk.