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North Carolina Map Act

B. Joan Davis

“What is the deal with the NC MAP Act?”

By B. Joan Davis

A client recently asked me this question. His said that his property had been subject to the MAP Act, but not anymore.   He asked me: “Is there is anything I need to do?”  The answer is yes!

If your property was identified on a PROTECTED CORRIDOR MAP filed by the NCDOT, then you should speak with an experienced condemnation lawyer about your RIGHTS. Even though all of the Corridor Maps were rescinded last year, you may have a legal claim that is pending, and the clock may be running on your right to recover for the impact to your property.

Here is some quick background. North Carolina adopted the MAP Act in 1987 as a planning tool for the NCDOT to designate lands that it intended to acquire for future roadway projects. The idea was to limit development in those designated areas while environmental and design studies were completed and to reduce the acquisition costs for the state when it came time to purchase the designated properties for road construction. During that time, the designated property owners could not develop their land, add buildings or subdivide their property without pursuing a costly and potentially time-consuming process to obtain a variance from the state. However, the designation severely reduced the value of many of the properties that were caught in the snare of a Protected Corridor Map because of the restrictions. Some property owners argued that the designation was essentially a total taking of their property. Litigation has been ongoing for years.

Last summer, the N.C. Supreme Court held that designating a property on a Protected Corridor Map was a “taking” by the NCDOT that required the state to pay the property owner “just compensation” for the rights that were taken.  But the Court did not define the extent of the “taking” or how damages should be calculated.  The Court simply ruled that each property had to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the impact.  Subsequently, in July of last year, the legislature amended the MAP Act to rescind all of the Protected Corridor Maps.

Lawyers across the state and numerous government officials have been working to sort out the repercussions of the recent case law and last year’s amendment of the MAP Act. Our firm has developed a comprehensive plan for addressing the damages caused by the Protected Corridor filings. If your property has been impacted, you should give us a call for a free consultation.  The clock may be running out on your claims, so if you have not already contacted a lawyer, I would encourage you to do so without delay.

For more information, please call 919-821-7700 or email me at jdavis@hsfh.com.

Joan has nearly thirty years of experience in handling eminent domain cases. She represents landowners, retailers, and lenders in dealing with real property disputes, eminent domain and condemnation litigation.  She is regional condemnation counsel for McDonald’s, Rite Aid, and Eckerd Corporations.  She also represents Harris Teeter, Walgreens, BB&T, First Citizens Bank, CBL Properties and American Asset Corporation in real property disputes and eminent domain cases. Joan is a principal in the law firm Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A.

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