AP NEWS

Court: Compensation on land takings for beach upkeep allowed

June 14, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court has agreed with another appeals court that oceanfront property owners can get compensated when a municipality takes their land temporarily for upkeep of public beaches.

The state Supreme Court sided on Friday with the majority on a Court of Appeals panel involving the 2011 condemnation by the town of Nags Head of land owned by a couple who wouldn’t voluntarily grant 10-year easement rights for beach renourishment.

Jurors awarded $60,000 to William and Martha Richardson, but the trial judge threw that out, finding there was nothing for which to compensate because of the state’s “public trust rights” to protect beaches.

The Court of Appeals overturned the judge’s decision but also ordered a yet-held new trial because some of the Richardsons’ expert testimony was wrongly admitted.

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