200 eminent domain notices being sent to Greensboro residents

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Transportation is in the process of notifying hundreds of Greensboro residents about moving out and making room for an upcoming expansion to the Urban Loop.

Amanda Perry, a communications officer with NCDOT, said the department is sending out 200 eminent domain notices to property owners in the path of the planned Eastern Loop, a four-lane highway connector between U.S. 70 and U.S. 29 North.

“They are beginning that process (of notifying), and ensuring fair and equitable compensation,” Perry said.

Construction for the estimated $119 million project, which Gov. Bev Perdue accelerated by several years in 2010, is set to begin in 2014.

The project includes plans to build bridges over North Buffalo Creek, Camp Burton and Rankin Mill Roads, as well as realign a number of roadways such as Huffine Mill Road.  Complete plans can be viewed at NCDOT.gov.

On Wednesday night, a handful of affected property owners met with Stan Abrams, an attorney with Durham-based N.C. Eminent Domain Law Firm. The Triangle-area firm recently began contacting residents to notify them of a Thursday night forum regarding eminent domain and their options. Topics include determining property value and representing elderly relatives’ interests in the matter.

“What I find out is they’re hungry for information,” Abrams said. “My main concern is really that people just get a fair shake.”

Following the meeting, Abrams said property owners can decide whether they want or need representation as the process moves forward.

Over the past several years, the state has connected with affected business and homeowners — many concerned with potentially moving or the noise associated with this type of expansion — through public meetings.  (Comments made in the meetings can be found on NCDOT.gov.)

Perry ensures property owners will get a fair shake when it comes to the value of their homes and businesses.  “We don’t do dirty business,” she added.

Thursday night’s meeting with the N.C. Eminent Domain Law Firm is set for 7 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel off High Point Road in Greensboro.  The session is free.

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