The government wields a lot of power. This is especially true when it comes to property rights. Under the takings clause of the Constitution, the government is allowed to seize personal property for the public good so long as just compensation is provided to the landowner. This, of course, can lead to a lot of disputes, particularly with regard to whether the taking is actually in furtherance of the public good and whether the compensation provided for the land is truly just.
Yet, there is another type of taking the government engages in that can be just as damaging to property owners. It’s known as inverse condemnation. Here, the government takes only a piece of an individual’s property, but that taking so negatively impacts the use of the property to severely damage the value of the property as a whole, or even essentially constitute a taking of the property as a whole.
For example, if the city or county claims that it needs to take a business’s parking lot for purposes of widening a road or expanding other infrastructure, then it might only offer to pay for the value of the parking lot. However, in busy Orlando, a business without a parking lot is going to take a financial hit. Therefore, paying for the value of the parking lot without contextualizing it is not just compensation.
If you’re a landowner in this situation, you shouldn’t just sit back and expect that the government is going to pay you for your additional losses. It’s going to be up to you to take the legal action necessary to make yourself whole. Of course, you’ll need to prove certain legal elements, including the value of your loss, so it’s probably best to work with an expert in this area who can really quantify the damage that has been caused to you. Additionally, you’ll likely need to present strong legal arguments in court that can rebuke the position of the government. With that in mind, it’s probably worth considering whether seeking help from a skilled legal advocate is in your best interests.