Mid County Parkway project: Is your dairy farm or business at risk?

The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) continues to move on its proposed Mid County Parkway project. This $1.7 billion public works project would create a 16-mile highway between SR-79 in San Jacinto and I-215 in Perris.

Eminent domain actions to take land in the Parkway’s path

In order to build the Mid County Parkway, the government will need to take land in the Parkway’s path. In particular, many dairy farms and businesses are at risk. Through a process called eminent domain, the government may take property for public use as long as it pays the property owners “just compensation.”

While you can bring a lawsuit to try to stop the government from taking your property, it will be challenging. You must be able to show that the government acted outrageously or made a mistake. Instead, your best option is to ensure you receive enough money to adequately cover your losses – and not just your land.

When you lose your business: Goodwill compensation

When a business has been displaced by eminent domain, California law requires the government to compensate it for any damage to the business’s goodwill. Goodwill is an intangible asset. It is the value a business gets for its operations, reputation and financial success at the particular location the government is taking.

If you have a specific customer base that you will lose because of the taking, for example, then you may be able to recover goodwill compensation.

In order to determine the amount of goodwill compensation a displaced business should receive, an appraiser will compare the goodwill value of a business before and after the taking.

What you can do to show your losses

To protect your right to goodwill compensation, the law requires you to act reasonably to minimize the loss. You should, for example, make efforts to find new property that reduces this loss, or reasonably determine whether your business will be viable at a new location. Document all of your search efforts and accurately report your business’ profitability.

An attorney can help you protect your rights during this process and ensure you receive fair compensation for the tangible and intangible losses you incur.

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