Under state eminent domain law, Virginia business tenants stand to lose a lot if their lease is impacted by a roadway, pipeline, or other public land need. However, two bills sponsored by Sen. J. Chapman Petersen will help protect small businesses and their property rights when affected by eminent domain condemnation.
Senate Bill 278
SB 278 would help ensure prompt payment of funds for affected parties. The measure requires that, in eminent domain proceedings, any payment due to the landowner must be paid to him or her (or the landowner’s attorney) within 30 days of a settlement or final determination.
The Virginia Senate unanimously passed the bill, and it’s now with the House Committee for Courts of Justice.
Senate Bill 809
SB 809 amends the definition of “profits” under eminent domain law. Currently, lost profits are calculated for a period of up to three years from the date of valuation (if the entire property isn’t taken) or one year from the date of valuation (if the entire property is taken). Under SB 809, lost profits would be calculated for a period of up to three years from either the date of valuation or the date that the state prevents the landowner from using the land, whichever is later. SB 809 also specifies that the person claiming lost profits is entitled to the compensation whether the property is wholly or partially taken.
The Senate Committee for Courts of Justice unanimously passed the bill, and it’s now with the Senate Finance Committee.