AN ACT TO AMEND THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO PROHIBIT CONDEMNATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY EXCEPT FOR A PUBLIC USE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION WITH RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY IN ALL CONDEMNATION CASES, AND TO MAKE SIMILAR STATUTORY CHANGES.
Subject to approval by the voters at the March 2020 primary election, amends Article I of the North Carolina Constitution by adding a new Sec. 39 to prohibit the taking by eminent domain of private property except for a public use only. Directs that just compensation be paid to the private property owner and provides that either party may request that the amount of just compensation be determined by a jury. Provides that if the majority of votes are in favor of the amendment, the State Board of Elections is to certify the amendment to the Secretary of State and the amendment will become effective upon certification and apply to takings of private property by eminent domain after the certification date.
Amends GS 40A-3(a), (b), and (b1) to restrict private condemnors and local public condemnors to exercising the power of eminent domain for a public use only (was, for a public use or benefit). Amends the list of private condemnors permitted to exercise the power of eminent domain to include corporations, bodies politic, or persons exercising eminent domain for communication facilities (previously, specified telegraphs and telephones), facilities related to the distribution of natural gas, and pipelines or mains for the transportation of natural gas (was, gas). Makes additional clarifying changes.
Also amends subsection (c) to limit takings by political entities (other public condemnors) to the exercise of eminent domain for public use only (was, public use or benefit).
Enacts a new subsection (d) to GS 40A-3 to provide that private condemnors, local public condemnors, and other public condemnors in subsections (a), (b), (b1), and (c) of this statute, for the public use, have the power of eminent domain and may acquire any property for the connection of any customer(s) via purchase, gift, or condemnation.
Changes to GS 40A-3 are effective when the act becomes law, applying to takings occurring on or after that date.
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