by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Roughly two years after a court ruling against the North Carolina Department of Transportation and in favor of landowners who were ensnared in the state’s now-overturned Map Act, the state still has not compensated the majority of the property owners whose property was, in effect, stuck in limbo. This week a Superior Court told DOT to get moving.
“These owners have only wanted, and hoped for, NCDOT to respect their rights and honor the court’s rulings,” said Matthew Bryant, an attorney who has represented numerous landowners in the Map Act cases. “For two decades, these owners have seen NCDOT systematically pick winners and losers in the neighborhoods, buy some neighbors out but ignore others and then offer prices that conflict with prices NCDOT has previously paid.”
Variations in property values and differing guidances from district courts make it impossible to simply start writing checks, department officials have said.
Our Jon Guze provides background on the anti-property rights Map Act.