An Overview of Eminent Domain
"The paramount importance of private property is so fundamental in this country that its protection is expressly guaranteed in the United States Constitution and the South Carolina Constitution. “
Download this article on eminent domain to learn more from Keith Babcock, one of South Carolina’s most recognized eminent domain lawyers.
Columbia’s Malfunction Junction is getting a much-needed face lift. The Carolina Crossroads project is one of the most significant road improvement projects ever undertaken in South Carolina. Anyone who has driven through the I-20/26/126 corridor in Columbia, otherwise known as “malfunction junction,” during peak morning or evening commute times, or increasingly at anytime, can attest to the urgent need for greater capacity and easier transitions between interstates.
The project will add lanes and rework the interchanges on I-126 between Colonial Life Boulevard and I-26 at Broad River Road. The project will also specifically address the I-20/26 connection. In the long run, such improvements will be welcomed by commuters and travelers alike, but in the near term, hundreds of businesses and property owners will be required to shoulder the burden of public progress by having their land taken by the government to make these improvements a reality.
How does this project impact businesses? If your business or property is situated along the frontage roads of the I-26/126 corridor between Colonial Life Boulevard and Harbison Boulevard you should expect a major impact. The Carolina Crossroads project is adding lanes in each direction to this stretch of I-26/I-126. Interstate lane expansion will push the frontage roads out wider than their current location and will require the South Carolina Department of Transportation to take frontage property from landowners.
Some of the most significant impacts will be felt by businesses and property owners bordering the existing I-26/126 corridor between Colonial Life Boulevard and Harbison Boulevard, with particularly significant impact to the properties between St. Andrews Road and Harbison Boulevard that front on Fernandina Road and Jamil Road. Your existing road frontage may be used for signage, parking, inventory, advertising, or storage. Losing this space will affect your business and the value of your property. In certain circumstances, buildings will be impacted by this project, either directly hit by the realigned frontage road or by having the frontage road move much closer to the existing building. This acquisition may also change how you currently use your property or your planned future use.
Your property is in the impact zone so what recourse do you have? You are constitutionally entitled to receive just compensation for your property. It is not unusual for a landowner to value its property differently than the government, in part because a landowner is more familiar with the property’s use and potential. When negotiating fair compensation for your property, it is important to work with experienced professionals that understand the condemnation process and how to evaluate the impact of the taking on your property.
Is your building or business going to impacted by the Carolina Crossroads project? Will the use of your property be negatively impacted? The Carolina Crossroads project impact map is publicly available and we can help you review how your property is being impacted and talk through next steps.
Find out how Lewis Babcock L.L.P. can help. For frequently asked questions related to condemnation see https://www.lewisbabcock.com/frequently-asked-questions.html.
Some much needed change is coming to Columbia and malfunction junction, but not without a cost to businesses and property owners. In this Post & Courier article, our experienced eminent domain attorney, Keith Babcock, discusses the condemnation process and how involving an attorney at an early stage may benefit a landowner.