Eagle make take land for storm drain
EAGLE ” After several unsuccessful negotiations, Eagle is condemning a 1.2-acre parcel of vacant land to complete its storm drainage system. The forceful acquisition of private property for public use is a rarity for the town.
On July 7, the town went to court to acquire the land after unsuccessful attempts to buy it from owner Jon Hardesty and his company. The land is on the Eagle river, and can be reached from Brooks Lane.
“The town made every effort possible to contact and negotiate with the owner, who has various residences outside of the U.S. and is extremely difficult to locate,” Mayor Jon Stavney said.
Neither Hardesty nor his lawyers could be reached for comment.
This is the first time in recent memory that Eagle has been forced to condemn any land, Town Manager Willy Powell said. Generally the town can acquire the land it wants through negotiations.
“Such an undertaking is very rare,” Powell said. “The town had no other choice but to seek eminent domain action to acquire the property.”
Eminent domain is the power the government possesses to appropriate private property for public use ” typically used to build roads, schools, and other public works projects. For the government to legally condemn the land, eminent domain law requires first that every attempt be made by the government to negotiate to purchase the property, and that the landowner receive “just compensation.”
The government also must demonstrate that the property will be taken for an important public use.
Powell said the town has been more than willing to give the landowner a fair price for the 1.2 acres of his 22.8-acre parcel.
“The town has offered the land owner a price for the land which is significantly more than the appraised value,” Powell said. “The owner has been unwilling to negotiate or even listen to offers from the town.”
The land is the most logical place for drainage pipes to flow into a detention and filtration pond the town will build to clean storm water before it enters the river, Powell said.
The town has been plagued for years by lack of adequate storm drainage, Powell said.
Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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