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Right of Way

FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Letter of Notice?

A Letter of Notice goes out to those owners of property where a fee simple and/or easement is required by the project. If you receive a Letter of Notice, and according to the Montgomery County Land Records, you are the owner of the property,Please review the information in the Letter of Notice for accuracy: the names are spelled correctly, the parties to the deed are correct, and the mailing address.Please respond either by telephone or by email to the sender of the letter,usually the Agent or Real Estate Specialist,if you need more information or have any questions concerning the affect of the project on your property. Please notify the agent if you retain the services of an attorney or other third party; thus, the Agent will continue the negotiations with your representative. If you reside outside the County, negotiations can be performed by mail or by other means. The Letter of Notice will also provide you with the name of the independent, licensed appraiser who will be appraising your property. The appraiser will notify you before inspecting the property and afford you an opportunity to accompany him/her while inspecting your property. The Appraisal Process?.

The Appraisal Process?

The County hires an independent, licensed appraiser to evaluate the impact of the project on the property. The appraiser will contact you prior to inspecting the property to offer you an opportunity to accompany them during the inspection of your property. The County’s offer for just compensation for the property to be acquired reflects the valuation by the independent appraiser. This appraisal process takes up to approximately 90 days. You will also have the opportunity to see the completed ,approved appraisal.

What is a Letter of Offer?

The County makes you an offer reflecting the valuation determination of the independent appraiser. The appraisal is reviewed for clarity and accuracy and, if the appraiser’s conclusions are justified, the Agent will present you with the offer. You are entitled to a copy of the appraisal.The Letter of Offer outlines the county's offer in detail. This stage of the process is very important. The County makes every effort to acquire the property it needs through amicable negotiations. As citizens themselves, the Agent is both sympathetic and empathetic to your concerns. The Agent will answer any of your questions concerning the project and keep you informed of the progress of the project.

What is an Option Contract?

If you are satisfied with the County’s offer, the Agent will present you with an Option Contract. The Option Contract details terms, defines exactly what land is affected and stipulates the amount of compensation. The option contract needs to be signed by all parties listed on the Deed to your property.

Once an option contract is signed, it is processed for acceptance by the County. You will receive an Executive Order acknowledging the County’s acceptance of the option contract and authorization for payment. When the Deed for the needed area has been prepared and the payment check received, you will be contacted to arrange an appointment for the property settlement. This settlement is similar to the one you experienced when you purchased your property. The payment check is exchanged for the fully executed Deed. In most cases the County pays for the preparation of the Deed and any other expenses associated with the recording of the Deed. If you have any questions, contact your Agent for assistance.

In compliance with the IRS regulations,it is important that you provide the Federal Tax Identifications Numbers for anyone receiving proceeds in the sale.You may wish to consult a professional income tax preparer, or the IRS on how to declare the funds received on your income tax forms.

What is Condemnation?

The right or process of enforcing the right of eminent domain,which is the right of government to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation(Advance "Quick" Take Condemnation) at an impasse in negotiations, the County places your property in Advance Take proceedings. This process involves a resolution signed by the County Executive and accepted by the County Council. When the Resolution is accepted by the County Council, money is placed into Circuit Court in the amount of the valuation performed by the independent licensed appraiser. You are allowed to take the money out of Court at any time once it has been posted,and the County can then proceed with its project. Negotiations continue during the advance take condemnation allowing an agreement to be ascertained.

When Do you Donate Property?

You may also donate the needed property to the County. This involves waiving your rights to compensation, but it may provide some tax advantages. Your accountant, attorney or tax preparer, should be consulted to determine the extent of the advantages to you.

What is a Right Of Entry Agreement?

For certain circumstances, such as for soil boring and installation of landscaping, you may be requested to grant the County a Right of Entry. The Right of Entry Agreement grant the County permission to enter onto your property to perform a specified objective, i.e., soil boring, landscaping etc.and also specifies that the County will return your property to its condition prior to entry. If a portion of your property needs to be permanently acquired, this Right of Entry agreement would not abridge or limit your right to compensation. The Agreement only allows the County to perform the work described in the Right of Entry Agreement.

Property Rights in Montgomery County?

Montgomery County acquires the fee simple and easements rights in real property following the constitutional guidelines dictated in both the U.S. and Maryland Constitutions. If the County cannot negotiate an agreement with an affected property owner, the County may utilize eminent domain, a constitutional process that ensures just compensation is paid to the property owner for the property rights acquired. The County, State, and Federal laws also define how just compensation is determined and how the process is conducted.

Relocation Process?

If your home or business is to be acquired, you may be eligible for relocation assistance, as directed by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Regulations. These benefits may include moving costs,a replacement housing payments, and re-establishment expenses. Your County representative will explain these benefits as applicable and help you through the relocation process.

 

 

 
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When dialing outside of the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via their website.

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Transportation Engineering · Montgomery County Department of Transportation
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20879 · mcdot.dte.planning@montgomerycountymd.gov
· telephone: 240-777-7220· fax: 240-777-7277 ·