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In Florida, what constitutes eminent domain compensation?

Florida eminent domain compensation consists of:

I. The value of the property physically taken, including: (1) land; (2) buildings; (3) landscaping; (4) driveway/pavement improvements; (5) drainage facilities; (6) fixtures put in place by the property owner (compensation for these fixtures almost always should be provided to the property owner); (7) trade fixtures (compensation for trade fixtures usually should be provided to the business operator); (8) monument signage; and (9) fencing; (10) any other improvements.

II. The lost value to remaining property which results from the condemning authority’s project negatively impacting: (1) access; (2) landscape amenities; (3) drainage from the remaining property; (4) drainage onto the remaining property; (5) parking; (6) shape of the remaining property; (7) depth of the remaining property; (8) orientation of remaining buildings relative to surrounding properties and roadways; (9) required setbacks; (10) required landscape buffers; (11) visibility; (12) grades and slopes; (13) septic and sewage systems; (14) development/capacity of the remaining property; and (15) other uses of the remaining property.

III. Business damages when the following criteria are met: (1) where an established business has been in place for at least five years; (2) where there is a partial – as opposed to a whole – taking; (3) where the damage is a direct result of the loss of use of land physically taken and part of the business operation is located on what remains; (4) where the taking is for right-of-way and is by a Florida public entity (e.g., the Florida Department of Transportation, a county, or a city); and (5) where certain procedural requirements are timely met in terms of preparing and submitting the business damages claim and supportive documentation.

Business owners with business damage claims should also be aware that they can only be paid business damages for the length of time that the business owner has a legal right to remain on the property after the taking.

IV. Moving expenses in certain circumstances, usually when the taking is by a state agency (e.g., Florida Department of Transportation).

V. Attorneys’ and costs: for an explanation of how attorneys’ fees and costs are paid in Florida eminent domain cases, please see see above Question and Answer “What will it cost me for the Fixel Law Firm to be my lawyers?”