Less than a year on the books, a new law in Georgia already is causing tremendous uncertainty for property owners and businesses facing a condemnation for a public project. O.C.G.A. §32-3-32, enacted last July, expands the procedures for property owners and businesses to seek compensation when a state or local government condemns private property and rights.
While purporting to simplify the ability for owners to receive compensation, the result is a bigger burden on owners and operators, both in terms of uncertainty and hoops to jump through to resolve the taking. It also shifts the cost of mitigating property damage after a taking to cities and counties, potentially allowing the condemning authority to skirt the constitutional duty to pay just and adequate compensation for damages caused by their projects. At the local level, the new statute may create conflicts within different units of the same local government.