Map Act of NC Lawsuits

Since 1989, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has prevented landowners from building on and improving their own real estate under a law called the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act. Under this law, property in areas that may be affected by future highway bypass projects has effectively been “frozen,” with property owners unable to do renovations, subdivide, sell, or otherwise make fair use of the land they rightfully own.

If you have been prevented from building on, improving, or otherwise using property you own in North Carolina due to restrictions from the NCDOT, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us at (866) 745-7446 or fill out a free initial consultation form to get the legal help and guidance you need. There are statutes of limitations dictating how long you have to bring a claim, so don't hesitate—call now, and find out if we can help.

The Transportation Corridor Official Map Act of NC

The Transportation Corridor Official Map Act allowed the state to “map” large areas of land around cities where the state thought it might someday want to build a bypass. While the state was deciding when (and if) to build these bypasses, the Map Act let it prohibit landowners from improving or building on property they owned within the mapped areas.

Filing maps under the act depresses property values around potential bypasses, allowing the state to later buy the properties for less than fair value, if and when it decides to build a bypass. This has been most apparent around North Carolina's urban centers near interstate highways, in areas including:

  • Raleigh and Wake County
  • Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
  • Greensboro and Guilford County
  • Shelby and Cleveland County
  • Wilmington and Pender/New Hanover Counties
  • Greenville and Pitt County
  • Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
  • Goldsboro and Wayne County
  • Fayetteville and Cumberland County
  • Other urban and suburban areas

Owners of properties in the mapped areas have been prevented from obtaining building permits, doing renovations on their homes or businesses, and subdividing or otherwise developing their lands. They also haven't been able to sell their properties, due to the inability to make improvements and uncertainty surrounding future use.

Kirby v. NCDOT Ruling Against Inverse Land Condemnation

The Court of Appeals has directed the NCDOT to pay property owners for harm it caused by using the Map Act to tie up the use of their properties for more than 26 years.

On February 17, 2015, the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Kirby v. NCDOT finally struck down the actions of the state, and told the state it can no longer tie up properties for an indefinite amount of time without paying owners for resulting damages. In this ruling, the court told the state it must pay land owners for their land, even if the state is not ready to move forward with a highway project.

The court described use of the Map Act to tie up land and depress property values as inverse condemnation because the state effectively “took” the land by rendering it of little or no value.

Legal Help for Property Owners

Attorneys Anne Fisher and David Henson currently represent a number of landowners who have similar inverse condemnation claims stemming from the Map Act. If you need to know more about your legal rights involving this type of inverse condemnation—as well as your rights to receive compensation for attorney's fees and interest—call HensonFuerst at (866) 745-7446 or fill out a free initial consultation form. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we want to protect your rights and your property.