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Opinion: Eminent domain process should be better for residents
12012019 SPOUT 3.jpg
Orange barrels line Spout Springs Road on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, as work begins on the long, long-awaited project to widen the road in South Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

This is in response to the eminent domain concerning the pink buildings

https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/government/gainesville-could-use-eminent-domain-acquire-pink-peppers-market-owner-says-hell-fight/

in Gainesville. There is more to the eminent domain than just agreeing on a price for the property.  

My husband and I have been under eminent domain since 2011, when Hall County drew the arrows at the end of our driveway so they could take aerial views of our property that is included in the widening of Spouts Springs Road.  

We absolutely want a fair price for our property, and we are not fighting the taking of our property by the county for the better of the road. In fact, the truth be known, the road should have been finished by now.  

We are very concerned about the way the process is being done. Anyone whose property has been placed under eminent domain deserves to get fair market value for their property, they deserve to get fairness in the time in which the property is bought and fairness in the time that they have to get out of the property.

My husband was 70 years old when all of this began for us. He is now 80 years old, and we haven't received the "official letter" from the county.  

The county led us to believe our property would be bought out in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and we are still here.  

Condemnation laws need to be changed. I believe the homeowner and property owner should be contacted by the federal, state or county governments once all the planning takes place.  

I believe people should be given a reasonable date of when the property will be taken, within five years. No one should have to put their lives on hold for almost 10 years.  

There are many life changes that take place in a decade, and if you are under eminent domain, the government has you in a bind. You cannot sell your property if you live in the house that is on it. Who wants to buy a house that is going to be torn down?

The repairs to the property keep adding up, but the county doesn't give any guarantees you will be reimbursed for them.   

Recently, we had to buy a refrigerator and washing machine. We can only hope they will fit in the new place.  

My husband and I both have experienced the many changes that take place during your late 70s and 80s. Our day-to-day living is getting more difficult living in a home that physically should have been out of five years ago. 

I do believe as this county grows more, property owners are going to find out the hard way the nightmare of being under eminent domain.

Veronica deKozan

Flowery Branch

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