Fayette County to pursue land acquisition policy

At the suggestion of Fayette County Commissioner Allen McCarty, county officials are going to pursue a written policy for how it handles land acquisition for all projects.
The commission agreed last week to pursue the policy, which McCarty said should be at least as stringent as those used by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The upshot, McCarty said, is that citizens could be provided with documentation that shows them what to expect when the county needs some or all of their property for any given project. In some cases, the county can do more for affected property owners than the state usually allows, McCarty said.

County Attorney Scott Bennett endorsed McCarty’s idea. He explained that the county uses an acquisition agent to deal with residents in the negotiation process, but if there was a firm county policy, it would help improve consistency throughout the process.

The policy would help the county not just with the remainder of the West Fayetteville Bypass, but also the proposed East Bypass and a number of other transportation projects, Bennett said.

Commissioner Lee Hearn, who previously served as the county’s public works director, suggested the policy have some leeway built in to accommodate situations such as when the property necessary is so small that the appraisal would cost more than the property itself.

County staff will develop a recommended policy that will be considered by the commission at a later date.

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