Eminent Domain & Taking Issues

Take My Home, Please: In Wake of Court Decision, N.C. General Assembly Seeks to Repeal "Map Act"

The Map Act — also known as Chapter 136, Article 2E of the General Statutes of North Carolina — allows the N.C.D.O.T., local governments or other governing bodies to file with the local register of deeds an official “transportation corridor” map.  The map identifies all properties located within the planned road corridor.   The Act, by the filing of the map, virtually freezes property development within proposed road corridors by blocking building permit and subdivision applications for up to three years.  After that three year wait, the filing body must act on any pending application, acquire the targeted property, or release the property from the corridor.  There are policy reasons behind the Act, whether agreeable or not.

In February, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that N.C.D.O.T. took land from owners of property located within a corridor map without paying just compensation when the agency invoked the Map Act to freeze development for a future Winston-Salem road loop.  In that wake, the North Carolina General Assembly has taken its own row to the law.

The House Chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly proposed a bill — HB 183, viewable here — that would repeal the Map Act in its entirety.  This comes at the same time that the General Assembly’s Senate Chamber is considering a bill that would revise, rather than repeal entirely, the Map Act.

The Map Act has analogs, past and existing, in other States, as well, and this is not the first time the law has seen political, legal and social criticism.  The “John Locke Foundation” even proposes a presentation on the myriad problems with the law.

We’ll see if the appellate court’s decision practically kills the law or if the General Assembly actually kills the law.

“Look!  It’s a broken gavel, and the phrase ‘No Condemnation’.  This makes no sense but it kind of looks appropriate, right?”

Mike Thelen practices in Womble, Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation and Land Use practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients, from local governments to businesses, in land use and land development matters in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.

Follow the North Carolina Land Use Litigator on Twitter at @nclanduselaw and “like” us on Facebook here.

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