There are many rules and regulations property owners should be aware of. Eminent domain is an important issue for property owners to understand. In Southern Florida, there is a current dispute that is related to the proposed development on oceanfront property. A company wanting to build on the oceanfront land is asserting that the city has deprived it of its right to build by failing to provide a fair hearing and brought a lawsuit against the municipality as a result.

The company is seeking to build a high rise on the oceanfront property, which has garnered some objections based on views potentially being blocked and fears that it would lead to increased development in the area. The company has the necessary state permits but not city permits to build. According to the company, when they went to the local city for a building permit the council cut their presentations short and voted to deny the company’s request for an exception to an ordinance restricting beachfront development.

Prior to rejecting the company’s request, the company claims the city expressed its desire in public to acquire the property through eminent domain for the benefit of the public. A $7.2 million appraisal was obtained to support the city’s efforts to obtain the land. The company offered to sell the property at the appraised value and is asserting that denying them the use of the property is a government taking. Any taking by the government of property for public use must be justly compensated. The company also asserts that by refusing to grant a variance, the city was driving down the value of the property.

Eminent domain laws require that any property owner who has their property taken for a public purpose must be fairly compensated, which usually refers to a payment of fair market value. Eminent domain can pit the owner’s right to their property or the use of their property against the government’s interest in the property for public use. Because these are important concerns and there is usually a lot on the line, it is essential for property owners to be familiar with eminent domain laws and how to protect their interests and rights.