Property owners suffer under Map Act

NC Lawyers Weekly ran a story (subscription required) a couple days ago about roughly 800 Forsyth County residents in the designated corridor for the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway project.

This map depicts the 34-mile Northern Beltway Corridor around Winston-Salem, NC. Source: NCDOT.

This map depicts the 34-mile Northern Beltway Corridor around Winston-Salem, NC. Source: NCDOT.

The owners are subject to a state law known as the Map Act. The Map Act basically freezes development in proposed road corridors and allows government officials to sit on their hands indefinitely without acquiring affected properties. About two-dozen road projects across the state use the Map Act. The property owners in the Northern Beltway have been saddled with Map Act restrictions for 17 years.

Several of them have sued to demand their properties be acquired. The case, Beroth Oil v. NCDOT is currently awaiting a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court where multiple justices voiced concerns during oral argument that there is no time limit on official corridor maps under the Map Act.

It’s a travesty that a property owner’s rights could be deprived for nearly two decades, with no end in sight. Here’s to hoping they get some relief from the Supreme Court.

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