THE preceding chapters have been concerned with valuation of physical properties which involve materials and labor in construction or installation. Items of plant and equipment not only required originally physical production, but they are capable of reproduction either substantially in kind or by reasonable substitution. They constitute a class of property to which the reproduction cost conception can be applied with a minimum of unreal or contradictory assumptions.
This chapter will be devoted to valuation of physical property which in important respects has altogether different characteristics, -- land used for utility purposes. As a primary factor, such land was not constructed or installed, and it is not capable of reproduction. There are, however, items included with land which possess the general characteristics of reproducible properties. They include filling, ditching, grading, clearing, removal of obstruction, and similar items which are usually identified with land but in reality constitute construction, or improvement upon the land. They differ intrinsically from the land itself. They might be more properly classed with plant and structures, except that they result in more or less permanent modifications of the land.
This chapter will be concerned principally with valuation theory, procedure and law of land itself. In valuation practice, land has been almost throughout treated differently from other physical properties. The distinction has doubtless its origin in the traditional differentiation by economists between land and capital. Commissions and courts have generally assumed