Supreme Court says favors landowners in road-building case

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court says state government has effectively taken private property through a law that restricted what landowners along a proposed highway route can do to their tracts, and those owners may be compensated.

Friday’s ruling by the state Supreme Court addresses what’s called the Map Act. The N.C. Department of Transportation has used the tool as a way to limit rising values on property they could condemn for a road. But Winston-Salem-area property owners who sued said they were stuck with land they couldn’t sell and were at the mercy of the state to take the land or not.

In upholding a Court of Appeals decision, Justice Paul Newby wrote the 1987 law implements an indefinite restraint on fundamental property rights through eminent domain.

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