Representing Clients across Florida
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) was established in 1915 as the State Road Department as an informational office to assemble maps and collect other information about roadways. In 1916, the Federal Aid Road Act, sometimes known as the Bankhead Act, granted federal funds to states to improve “rural post roads.” To get funds under the Bankhead Act each state needed a state highway agency. In remaking the State Road Department into that highway agency, the department was granted the ability to establish a state system of roadways, engage in road construction and maintenance, receive and manage federal aid, acquire and own land, and, of course, utilize eminent domain.
A Powerful Agency
With the rise of automobile culture, demand for faster, better, and larger roadways grew dramatically in the middle of the 20th century. FDOT’s use of eminent domain grew as well. It has become one of the most demanding and powerful condemning authorities in the state. Some have argued that this use of eminent domain represents the tyranny of the many over the few as the consensus desire for easy transportation worked to push aside those whose family homes and businesses were “in the way.”
Furthermore, FDOT increases its power by working jointly with local municipalities to plan and establish transportation corridors. In addition, it often seeks help from local municipalities in terms of revising local statutes to decrease costs associated with eminent domain acquisitions. Some of these changes adversely affect your right to compensation. If FDOT is asking for changes in how your county or local government handles eminent domain, carefully evaluate the request and let your local government know how these changes will affect you and other property owners.
Ongoing and Increasing Demands
Demands for eminent domain acquisitions are not only ongoing, they are increasing for:
- Widening roads to reflect increased traffic
- Adding new roads to connect areas of recent growth
- Increasing the size of road projects with aesthetic components
- Environmental offsets for road projects
If FDOT wants to condemn all or part your property, it is very difficult to resist. Public support is easily rallied for roadway projects, and FDOT’s arguments about the need for any particular infrastructure project often carry the day.
We Are on Your Side
The eminent domain attorneys at the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, P.A. will fight for your property with all possible arguments, and if we cannot resist the condemnation, we will secure full compensation for your property, including severance damages based on a legitimate “cure” for a partial taking.
If the Florida Department of Transportation and/or a local government is seeking to condemn all or part of your property for a transportation project, you need representation to ensure that your rights as a property owner are respected. Call or email us about your eminent domain case today to lean how we can help.