School District's Use Of Eminent Domain

Various types of building projects can fall under the umbrella of eminent domain, including the construction of public schools. For instance, Marion County School District currently plans to build an elementary school, and later a middle school, in order to reduce overcrowding, which has grown severe in the southeastern part of Marion County. Eminent domain will play a major role in acquiring land for this future construction, and it's essential for property owners in the area to know the laws and their rights under those laws.

Public Good Versus Private Rights

When crowding begins to affect instruction, we can all agree that schools have to be built, but that does not mean you have to take the government's first offer. It can be particularly difficult to fight eminent domain takings for public schools since public opinion is often in favor of these projects. But, your property is your property, and you deserve full compensation regardless of the purpose of the project.

Public Funds, School Funding, and Eminent Domain

You may at first feel hesitant to ask more from a school district when you hear about teachers being laid off, but remember that capital funds (used for construction of new buildings, including the cost of eminent domain takings) are legally separate from funds used to pay teachers' salaries and fund school programs. For instance, in Marion County, the School Board agreed to begin condemnation procedures and offer the owner a total of $1.65 million for the property. This is $25,000 per acre, about 14 % below the owner's asking price. None of the $1.65 million will be taken out of teachers' pockets. Plus, the financial situation of a local school district should not automatically devalue your property or preclude you from being fully compensated for your property's value.

We Are Here For You

If a school construction or other public use project has put your property in danger of condemnation, you need an experienced eminent domain lawyer who can help you fight for your property and get the maximum compensation if you cannot stop the taking. Please schedule a condemnation consultation at the Florida Property Law Firm, P.A. today to learn how we can help.