Development in Path of Cape Fear Bridge Could Lead to Seizure and Demolition

April 3rd, 2019

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is no longer able to freeze development in the path of the Cape Fear Crossing bridge—and residential developments in the area could face seizure and demolition under eminent domain as a result. An article on the project appears here.

The Map Act previously allowed NCDOT to freeze property development—preventing landowners in the path of a project from selling or making significant improvements to their property. Without it, NCDOT lacks the ability to stop development in the path of the proposed Cape Fear Crossing.

Currently, there are four routes the bridge may take—each likely to pass through residential developments in Brunswick County. Once the state finances the $1 billion cost of the bridge—and settles on a route—it may resort to seizing residential properties under eminent domain.

About the Map Act

For 30 years, North Carolina General Statute § 136-44.50 gave the state permission to stop development where roadways were planned, even if they were not yet designed or funded. In June 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled the Map Act unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court citing the Map Act’s interference with property rights protected under the state constitution.

While the Map Act did not seize land, property owners could not develop or improve that land. Essentially, it denied property owners the benefits of owning their own land and restrained property values with no time limit—keeping prices low in the event NCDOT desired to acquire the property later.

A Legacy of Abuse

Though no longer in effect, the Map Act leaves a legacy of over 500 lawsuits filed by landowners who state it made their land unmarketable. While many cases regarding the Act have been heard–and landowners have won compensation—additional lawsuits are pending. The anticipated payout from the state could total over $500 million.

We’re on Your Side

If your land, home, or business is affected by any type of eminent domain or land condemnation; call Henson Fuerst at 919-781-1107 for a FREE CONSULTATION. An experienced eminent domain and land condemnation lawyer will speak with you for free and answer all of your questions. At Henson Fuerst, we will explain your options—and stand with you every step of the way in fighting to protect your rights to the fair and just compensation you may deserve.

Call Henson Fuerst, Because Your Case Matters