On May 15, 2024
Local News

Town resolves eminent domain 

Submitted

Deal with landowner called ‘win-win’

By Polly Mikula

The town of Killington will not pursue an eminent domain hearing scheduled for May 20, having recently resolved the case with the landowner. 

Eva Nagymihaly and her sister, Theresa Rust, own land on the east side at the base of Killington Road to the intersection with Route 4 and the town needed to secure an easement for the reconstruction work that is currently underway. 

The pursuit of eminent domain was a choice of last resort, Selectman Jim Haff explained. But when an agreement couldn’t be reached after 10-12 months of discussions, the town had no choice. 

Eminent domain (protected by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) is the power of government to take private property and convert it into public use, provided it pays market value compensation to the owners for the land.

Shortly after the town began to pursue that track, however, Nagymihaly and Rust, signed an agreement with the town that Zoning Administrator Jim Haff calls a “win-win for all,” noting the money saved in legal fees for both parties and a faster timeline.

“I’ve been working with Eva for 10-12 months, she’s been a pleasure to work with all along it’s just been a matter of getting to a complete understanding,” Haff explained. “She sought engineering and legal advice and came back to us to sign the deal.”

The easement deal includes the town putting a driveway in for her at the southerly side of project (farther up the road) and paying her $10,000. If she subdivides her property the town will put up to two more driveways for her.

“This is a better deal for the town and for Eva and her sister,” Haff explained. “We don’t want to have to rip up the new road right after it’s all been completed, and eminent domain could have caused delays for the project, plus we’d also be fighting to cover legal cost,” he said. “For Eva, under eminent domain she wouldn’t have gotten the driveway(s), and only would have received $18K-$19K maximum minus the cost of legal fees.”

“Eva and her family have always worked with the town for improvements, including a past easement for the welcome sign at the base of the road. This was just a matter of coming to a complete understanding, which took longer than we hoped but we’re glad to move forward in this way now.”

For updates on the Killington Forward project visit: KillingtonTown.com or
MountainTimes.info/tif.

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