On September 1, 2017, Mr. Martino spoke with a caller that recently received an offer from the government to purchase 1700 square feet of her property for only seven hundred dollars (44 cents per square foot) for a bike path on a highway project. The property included trees and landscaping for which the government offered no compensation. The government also offered a “bonus” if the resident “acted quickly and signed the papers”, for a total offer of $1,200.
Mr. Martino called Colorado eminent domain lawyer Michael McCormick from Montgomery Little and Soran, PC to discuss the situation. Michael confirmed that under a Colorado statute, if the property being acquired was worth more than $5,000, the government must reimburse the landowner for an appraisal. Michael emphasized the importance of retaining a qualified appraiser that is familiar with eminent domain issues. For example, the landowner’s appraiser might determine that the trees being removed had significant value or that there were other damages to the remainder of the property. Michael also said many people are unaware that the government often hires one appraiser to appraise 20 or 30 properties on the same project. These appraisers often do not take the time to do a thorough appraisal. Landowners should consider contacting a qualified Colorado eminent domain attorney to assist them with these issues.
Here is a link if you would like to listen to the show: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/The-Troubleshooter-20710606/ The call starts at 84:13 and Michael is brought onto the call at 88:43. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Michael McCormick at 303-773-8100.