Property owners often take comfort in the fact that the government is required to extend a purchase offer, often supported by an appraisal, before it can file a lawsuit to take private property for public use. Property owners represented by experienced counsel know better.
An illustration of the stark divide between fair market value, and the purchase offer actually extended by the government, recently made the papers in Algonquin. The Village of Algonquin is forcibly trying to take property belonging to a condo association, which has had the land appraised at $350,000. The Village’s offer? $26,000.
How is the Village trying to justify its lowball offer? The Village is arguing the property is practically worthless because it has limited use. Specifically, the Village is claiming that the land is only good for storm water retention.
However, the Village would own the property forever, and would not be legally limited to such a limited use. What happens when the Village finds cheaper water storage nearby? The condo association will have received only $26,000, while the Village can flip the property for ten times that much.
Even more likely, the Village of Algonquin is typifying the government at its worst. Because where is the property located? Right across the street from Algonquin’s municipal government complex.
Northwest Herald, “Algonquin seeks to obtain vacant land from condo association through eminent domain,” Sam Lounsberry, December 14, 2021, https://www.shawlocal.com/northwest-herald/news/local/2021/12/14/algonquin-seeks-to-obtain-vacant-land-from-condo-association-through-eminent-domain/