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May 6th, 2010 — By — In News & Events

Homeowners stand ground against eminent domain

If the (homeowner) does not get paid full compensation, then they really have paid more for the public good than anyone else.

The following is an excerpt from the report (video link above) by Jennifer Lindgren that aired May 5, 2010 on FIRST COAST NEWS. Links to the full transcript appears below.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Property is more than a piece of land for those who have worked their entire lives to make a comfortable home. What happens when the government says they need it?

Lonnie Portwood and his wife have spent decades making a home on Ft. Caroline Road, choosing the once-shady, quiet street for its beauty and seclusion. The view changed, however, when the couple received a notice in 1999 that the road was to be widened as part of the Wonderwood Connector.

“Every reason we bought the property, they’re taking away!” Lonnie said.

They were familiar with the government’s right to take a piece of private property for public purpose. But when The Jacksonville Transportation Authority offered the Portwoods an appraisal of $9,100 for 25 feet of their front yard and a temporary construction easement on the side, the couple hesitated.

“The initial offer seemed ridiculously low,” Lonnie said.

For more about this story of one family’s eminent domain struggle and how they stood their ground against the local governmental authority to receive 10 times the amount of the low-ball initial offer, click here to read the transcript of “Jacksonville Homeowners on Ft. Caroline Road Stand Ground in Eminent Domain Case.”

Disclosure: Attorney Andrew Brigham represented the property owners featured in this news segment and was interviewed by the reporter, Jennifer Lindgren. Andrew Brigham is an OCA Member.