People often associate the use of eminent domain with the federal government’s need for it or possibly with a state, regional or local project. For example, this month the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced plans for a gas facility at its power plant in Cumberland County. The plans include a 32-mile extension of its pipeline that could result in claims of eminent domain by the company that is set to construct the pipeline.
Meanwhile, in Mt. Juliet, a road project to ease traffic in the area is expected to involve eminent domain claims. Farm families who live in the path of the widened road say that they could lose at least part of the land that’s been in their families for over a century.
An official with the city says that any eminent domain compensation to the landowners will involve “what that land value is plus some from the City of Mt. Juliet, so we’re not taking anything from anybody….” He also emphasized that the project is still in the “discussion stages.”
What options do landowners have?
It’s very difficult for a group of landowners who stop the use of eminent domain, let alone a few of them. Eminent domain is allowed under the principle that sometimes the government must take private land to use for the greater good.
However, landowners aren’t without some ability to negotiate. You certainly have a right to ask for more compensation than you’ve been offered. It may also be possible to lessen the amount of land taken. By having experienced legal guidance throughout the process, you can help ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.