City of Niles Moving Forward With Avigation Acquisitions
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 2:24PM
Clark Hill

Niles and the MDOT Bureau of Aeronautics are taking the next steps in acquiring avigation easements from property owners surrounding the Niles Airport. 

I am currently representing a group of property owners who are facing the acquisition of avigation easements over their homes. One case, involving the acquisition of an avigation easement over farmland, has already been successfully concluded. The City paid substantially more just compensation than was originally offered. The City also reimbursed all of the property owner’s attorney fees. Finally, we reaching substantive agreements that benefit the property owner such as explicit confirmation about what crops can still be planted in the encumbered area and how the area will be restored after trees are removed.

At this point, the City is having appraisal reports that will form the basis of good faith offers prepared. Given that good-faith offers have not been provided yet, it is too early to evaluate whether these matters will require the filing of an eminent domain lawsuits.

The property owners all chose to retain legal counsel early in the process, which could be very advantageous. It allows me to advise them about all of the preliminary, logistical issues involved. It also prevents them from being impacted by inaccurate information supplied by the condemning authority. For example, this blog post describes very significant inaccuracies in a brochure that the Michigan Department of Transportation Bureau of Aeronautics distributes to property owners.

If an airport or any other condemning authority is seeking property rights from you, please feel free to contact me.

Article originally appeared on Clark Hill Property Owner Condemnation Services (
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