In an Eminent Domain case initiated by the City of Charlotte regarding a piece of land owned by William and Marilyn Crittenden, Fraser Trebilcock attorney Kirby Albright successfully represented the landowners and obtained an award of “ just compensation” that was approximately 27 times more than the offer made by the City.
This Court case centered upon on the taking of “air rights” by the City over above approximately 4 acres of the Crittenden parcel. The total size of the Crittenden property was about 45 acres and it adjoined the Fitch H Beach Municipal Airport, owned by the City. The City put forward the position that the taking of the air rights did not significantly diminish the use and value of the parcel, since only air rights were “taken”. The City claimed that the landowners’ were only entitled to an award of $ 10, 400. The landowner countered that position by saying the taking did significantly and substantially impact the use and value of parcel, particularly in the area of the take. The landowners asserted the position that the “taking” resulted in a total loss of the value of the acreage and that “just compensation” had to be paid for the full value of the parcel.
The Crittenden family believed that the piece of property the airport was taking from them was valued at $900,000 instead of the $10,400 which was proposed by the city. The $900,000 figure was based on an offer the family received in 2006 by a commercial developer.
However, at the time of this condemnation case in 2008, the property had been down-zoned from commercial to industrial and it was zoned industrial, at the time of trial. The jury awarded the family “just compensation” of $275,000, which was based full industrial pricing for the 4 acres. Neither the city of Charlotte nor the family has chosen to appeal.