USH 12 Middleton Bypass | Middleton, WI

Real Estate Acquisitions Pose Many Challenges

Beth Steinhauer | with 0 Comments

Real Estate Acquisitions Pose Many Challenges

Wisconsin municipalities have the right to condemn property, but it requires a detailed process for guaranteeing the rights of private property owners. The goal is always to obtain a negotiated settlement; condemnation is the ultimate last resort.

Whenever state or federal funds are involved, municipal officials must follow legal procedures under Section 32.05 of the Wisconsin Statutes regarding the rights of landowners related to the state’s Eminent Domain Law.

Tight timeframe
Real estate acquisition poses many challenges. Officials may not learn of the need for right-of-way until the last quarter of a design project. At that point, it may be too late to meet the timeline required for private land acquisition.
  • In a perfect world, it takes 150 – 280 days to acquire property for a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) project. The timeframe is reduced to 120 to 240 days for most locally funded projects.
  • If municipalities run out of time for real estate acquisition, they could lose grant funds, meaning they’ll have to wait for the next grant cycle to reapply. The largest threat, however, may be the need to delay a project until the next construction season.
  • If state or federal funds are financing a project, a WisDOT certified representative or approved negotiator must handle private land acquisitions. Local funds typically are used to cover the costs of this service.
For more information
Read the full article "Prepare for Real Estate Aquisitions and Avoid Costly Delays" as featured in "The Municipality," produced by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. (See pages 120-121.) Or, for more information about the real estate acquisition process, contact Beth Steinhauer.  

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