Infrastructure and Eminent Domain – Eric Hoyer
Over the years, we have all read or seen first-hand the damage trees can cause when a conflict arises with infrastructure – lifted sidewalks and driveways, topped trees under powerlines, crushed roofs, etc. We are all familiar with the “First Commandment” in urban forestry management, “Thou shall plant the right tree in the right place.” Oftentimes, however, trees must be trimmed or removed when infrastructure is being built or expanded such as in the case of a new or widened roadway or a new or expanded utility easement. Removing or trimming the trees removes the conflict, but creates a monetary loss to the property owner. Determining the value of the loss is necessary to allow for adequate compensation to the owner of the trees.