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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 4-9-32 SO AS TO REFORM CERTAIN EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEDURES AND TO PROVIDE FOR PROCEDURES REQUIRED OF A COUNTY BEFORE IT MAY EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN; BY ADDING SECTIONS 28-2-65 AND 28-2-67 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE OWNER OF CONDEMNED PROPERTY HAS THE RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL TO REDEEM HIS PROPERTY IF THE CONDEMNING ENTITY DOES NOT USE THE PROPERTY FOR THE INTENDED PUBLIC USE OR IT CONTEMPLATES A SALE TO ANOTHER PARTY; BY ADDING SECTION 28-3-25 SO AS TO REQUIRE WRITTEN APPROVAL BEFORE PUBLIC BODIES MAY EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN; AND TO AMEND SECTIONS 28-3-20 AND 28-3-30, BOTH RELATING TO STATE AUTHORITIES WITH EMINENT DOMAIN POWER, SO AS TO SPECIFY THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 9, Title 4 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 4-9-32. (A) Before exercising the powers granted in Section 4-9-30(15), a county governing body shall:
(1) perform a cost-benefit analysis and produce a written report based on the analysis which, at a minimum, must:
(a) establish criteria for the objective to be accomplished as a result of the proposed taking;
(b) include a fiscal impact statement that addresses whether the value of the proposed taking to the public is greater than the amount of just compensation owed to the property owner as a result of the proposed taking; and
(c) identify alternatives to achieving the stated objective other than through a taking of the property pursuant to the powers of eminent domain;
(2) convene a meeting between the county official or officials with the decision-making authority regarding the proposed taking and the stakeholders in the proposed taking including, but not limited, to any person or entity with current or future property rights in the property at issue, to review and discuss the proposed taking and to review and discuss the cost-benefit analysis report prepared pursuant to item (1) of this subsection;
(3) produce a final written report that is subject to disclosure to the public pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 30, the Freedom of Information Act, and that confirms compliance with items (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(B) Unless the fiscal impact statement included in the cost-benefit analysis report pursuant to item (1) of subsection (A) concludes that the value of the proposed taking to the public is greater than the amount of just compensation owed to the property owner as a result of the proposed taking, the county may not exercise the authority granted in Section 4-9-30(15)."
SECTION 2. Article 1, Chapter 2, Title 28 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 28-2-65. (A) If the real property, or a portion of it, condemned pursuant to the procedure prescribed in this chapter is not used for the public purpose or use for which it was condemned within ten years from the effective date of its condemnation, the former owner, his successors or assigns, have the right of first refusal to reacquire the subject real property upon payment of the amount of the original condemnation award or its current appraised value, whichever is less unless otherwise required by federal law or regulation or unless a failure to receive the current appraised value would result in a loss of federal funding for a project.
(B) The ten-year period required by this section must be tolled for the period of time during which condemnation is contested or the declared use is delayed for regulatory, permitting, litigation, or other legal proceedings.
(C) This section does not apply to property acquired to protect a future transportation corridor from development.
Section 28-2-67. (A) Except as otherwise provided by law as to blighted areas, the condemnor of real property pursuant to this chapter may not sell, lease, exchange, transfer, or otherwise convey the property or a portion of it to a private or public person or entity unless the former owner of the property, his successors or assigns, have the right of first refusal to reacquire the subject property upon payment of the amount of the original condemnation award or its current appraised value, whichever is less, unless otherwise required by federal law or regulation, or unless a failure to receive the current appraised value would result in a loss of federal funding for a project.
(B) This section does not apply when condemned property is sold, leased, exchanged, transferred or otherwise conveyed by one condemnor to another condemnor who has eminent domain authority for the same public purpose or use."
SECTION 3. Chapter 3 of Title 28 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 28-3-25. (A) Other than the South Carolina Department of Transportation, a state body and all special purpose districts must apply to and receive written approval from the State Budget and Control Board before exercising the power of eminent domain.
(B) A county of this State and any agency or political subdivision of a county must apply to and receive written approval from its county council before exercising the power of eminent domain.
(C) A municipality of this State and any agency or political subdivision of a municipality must apply to and receive written approval from its town or city council before exercising the power of eminent domain."
SECTION 4. Sections 28-3-20 and 28-3-30 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
All state authorities, commissions, boards, or governing bodies established by the State of South Carolina, (hereinafter referred to as "state authority") which have been, or may be created in the future, to develop waterways of the State for use in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce; to construct, maintain, and operate powerhouses, dams, canals, locks, and reservoirs; to produce, transmit, sell, and distribute electric power; to reclaim and drain swampy and flooded lands; to improve health conditions of the State; and to reforest watersheds, and for which purposes the acquisition of property is necessary, have the right of eminent domain.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in Sections 4-9-30 and 5-7-50, the only public entity that may exercise directly the right of eminent domain without approval of the State Budget and Control Board is the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
(B) Notwithstanding another provision of law, this statute is intended to be the exclusive procedure governing which public entities may exercise the right of eminent domain without approval of the State Budget and Control Board or a county, town, or city council.
Section 28-3-30. (A) This section applies when the power of eminent domain is exercised only to develop waterways of the State for use in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce; to construct, maintain, and operate powerhouses, dams, canals, locks, and reservoirs; to produce, transmit, sell, and distribute electric power; to reclaim and drain swampy and flooded lands; to improve health conditions of the State; and to reforest watersheds, and for which purposes the acquisition of property is necessary.
Any A public body exercising the power of eminent domain for purposes set forth in Section 28-3-20 shall, in subsection (A), in the area determined by the maximum high-water mark resulting from its activity and a line not exceeding one hundred lineal feet beyond such that high-water mark, shall arrange to permit the previous owner of the one hundred foot strip, and his heirs and assigns, to pass over and across the strip which may be that is acquired under pursuant to this section , and any and all lands of the state authority which that are not actually covered with water at convenient places for purposes of ingress and egress to the reservoirs of the state authority , which. This right must be exercised so that it shall does not interfere with any dams, dikes, structures, and buildings of the state authority or the application and use of the state authority of proper health and sanitation measures, and the strip and all of the lands acquired by the authority may be controlled by the authority for health and sanitation measures to the extent of exclusion of the public from the strip and lands at all times as may be necessary. The public bodies may also also may acquire by condemnation all water and flowage rights in land in the vicinity of the projects specified in Section 28-3-20 subsection (A) which it may determine to be determines necessary, useful, or convenient, or which might may be damaged by reason of the construction or operation of the projects, and on those lands the public bodies may establish health control measures as may be are necessary."
SECTION 5. Except as otherwise provided herein, all provisions of this act take effect upon approval by the Governor and apply to an exercise of eminent domain pending on that date or arising on or after that date, and to any legal action not yet finally adjudicated by a trial court. The provisions of Section 2 apply to property obtained on or after January 1, 1900, by a public body pursuant to condemnation proceedings or threat of condemnation proceedings.
This web page was last updated on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:55 P.M.