Division of Real Estate - Frequently Asked Questions

Division of Real Estate
Frequently Asked Questions
Eminent Domain

They are planning a new street development by my house. What happens if the City requires a portion or all of my property for right-of-way purposes?

 

National and state governments have the power of eminent domain - the power to take private property for public use - but the owner must be fairly compensated. The City can acquire land from private individuals by means of eminent domain for public use (i.e. streets and highways) with compensation to the owner. Authority to exercise the Right of Eminent Domain for public use is based upon the theory that property is granted to the property owner upon condition that it may be taken to serve the necessities of the government. Agencies created by the State or City to serve the public may exercise the Right of Eminent Domain (ex: Division of Real Estate or Public Works). One of the fundamental precepts of acquiring private property for public purposes is that an owner of private property must be paid Just Compensation -- the owner is entitled to receive what a willing buyer would pay in cash to a willing seller at the time of the taking. Federal and State policies establish uniform, fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced by the acquisition of real property.The acquisition of private property for public use is governed by rules and regulations, of which the most important are:
  1. Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution covers the taking of private property for public use. This limitation, contained in the Fifth Amendment, was the first provision of the Bill of Rights to be incorporated within the Fourteenth Amendment - to be enforced as a limitation on state governments as well as on the national government.. 
  2. The Colorado Constitution, Article 11, Section 15 covers the taking of private property.

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