First, private property owners should exercise vigilance to stay fully-informed as to the work of these task forces to establish potential right-of-way corridors. Some special interests are advocating that such corridors be located far away from certain cultural or environmental resources. Other special interests are advocating that such corridors be located in a particular area or along a specific route to advantage potential economic growth or real estate development potential.
Second, private property owners should also be prepared to plan for their private property. Simply because you are not planning for your own property doesn’t mean others are not. Depending upon the location of the right-of-way corridor, and together with other market forces at work, it may be that significant public and private sector investment in planning for the resulting transition in the use and value of real estate is in order. Seek the help of qualified professionals, with experience, and in whom you are able to put your trust to assist you in determining whether to take action.
Third, private property owners need to defend their own individual civil right of private property ownership which is secured for them under both the United States and Florida Constitutions. The government is not here to help you protect your property rights; in fact, it is the government from whom you need protection. Typically, it is not that the government intends to do a property owner wrong. However, what our Founding Fathers observed about human nature in the use of government power remains true today – the exercise of government power, particular the use of the eminent domain power, needs a “check and balance.” It is through the protection of the civil right of private ownership that furthers the just principles of limited government under a theory of social contract.
Under Florida law, private property cannot be put to public use without payment of “full compensation.” Such measure not only includes payment for property taken, but severance damages to any remaining property.
“Eminent domain,” the power of government to take private property for public use or purpose, has a complexity to it.
Often, in regards to the acquisition of private property for a limited-access tollway’s right-of-way, an owner needs to consider both elements of “full compensation” alongside advocating for the specific location or design of infrastructure that may avoid detrimental property impacts or enhance future development potential.
Below, please find links to a number of examples to illustrate how those whose private property was needed for other public infrastructure projects in Florida protected their property rights: