Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Defers Domain Action ; Domain: Offer for Driveway 'More Than Fair'

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Defers Domain Action ; Domain: Offer for Driveway 'More Than Fair'

Article excerpt

Brad Passow says Shawnee County agreed to pour his neighbor a 23- foot-wide concrete driveway as compensation regarding a road project, but only offered to pour Passow a driveway that was 20 feet wide.

"Why don't I get 23 feet?" Passow asked county commissioners Monday.

Passow spoke at a meeting where Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler voted 3-0 to postpone action until they meet Oct. 30 on a proposal to exercise the county's power of eminent domain to condemn property owned by Passow Realty LLC, 1900 S.W. Urish Road.

Archer suggested the deferral would give the county's public works department and Passow time to come to an agreement that is satisfactory for both.

The move considered Monday would have arranged for the county to acquire permanent public right-of-way, permanent drainage and temporary construction easements for a project it plans to carry out in 2016 to widen Urish between S.W. 17th and 21st streets.

Government entities use eminent domain to condemn and acquire private property for public use. Entities must provide just compensation to owners of properties they condemn.

Tom Vlach, the county's public works director, said the county has reached agreement with all owners of properties in the area involved except Passow Realty. Appraiser Robert C. Taggart provided the county an assessment putting the value of the property being sought at $4,163 or $4,165.

Passow, who lives in a house on the property involved, said the arrangement the county offered him is identical to the one it offered his neighbor, whom he didn't identify -- except the county offered to replace his neighbor's gravel driveway with a 23-foot concrete driveway while only offering to replace Passow's gravel driveway with a 20-foot concrete driveway. …

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