W Va: Decision To Take "Uneconomic Remnant" Lies Solely With Agency (Not The Owner, Not The Court)

As part of a federally-funded highway project, the WV DOT took a portion of parcels belonging to several property owners. The partial takings ended up landlocking one tract. So the DOT proposed building an access road to that parcel. The owners didn't think this was the best idea, because "maintaining a road in that area would be unreasonably costly" because the area is steep and in a slide area.  The counterclaimed, seeking an order to compel the DOT to take this landlocked track as an "uneconomic remnant" under the Uniform Relocation Act, which defines that term as "a parcel of real property in which the owner is left with an interest after the partial acquisition of the owner’s property and which the head of the Federal agency concerned has determined has little or no value or utility to the owner." 42 U.S.C. § 4651(9). The trial court concluded the jury should determine whether the remainder tracts were uneconomic remnants,…

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