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Eminent domain and Florida’s wetlands

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2021 | Eminent Domain |

Florida is home to the Everglades, a crucial wetlands ecosystem that’s home to many endangered species. Over the last several years, several construction projects have been completed to make it more possible for water to flow freely in this area. Recently, a small community has become a focus in the fight to manage water in the region.

Managing water in the Everglades

Since the 1960s, people have been fighting to eliminate pollutants from the Everglades and protect wildlife in the region. It’s a delicate ecosystem and what happens there has impacts for millions of Floridians.

Recently, there’s been some controversy about how to best protect one 8.5-acre plot in the area. Known as Las Palmas, it’s an area that’s often subject to flooding. Some people in the area want to build a large seepage wall to protect structures in the area. Meanwhile, environmental activists are raising the possibility of taking the land through eminent domain.

Eminent domain is a process by which governments can purchase land from private people. First, they must condemn the land. In the Las Palmas case, eminent domain would be used to correct an environmental problem and allow water to flow more freely. Eminent domain can also be used to purchase land for public works projects like highways and other infrastructure.

In exercising eminent domain, governments are supposed to offer a fair price for land. However, this can be controversial. It can be possible to refuse an initial offer from the government if it’s an unjustly low amount. If you find yourself in a situation where the government is trying to take your property, it can be advisable to contact a lawyer. An experienced attorney may be able to help you get the true fair value.