Lafayette County: Highway 7 South

Smith Phillips' clients owned an 85 acre parcel of land on Highway 7 south of Oxford.  The State took 7.66 acres of the property and a temporary construction easement over an additional 0.87 acres.  The initial offer to the property owner was $13,962.50 based upon a valuation of $1,800.00 per acre as agricultural/recreational property.  Before trial, the State reappraised the property, adopted the position that the highest and best use of the property was for "mixed use development" and assigned a value of $17,000.00 per acre to the property.  The offer to our clients was increased to $138,775.00 for the property and temporary easement.  After a successful pre-trial motion attacking the methodology of the State's appraisal, the case was settled for total compensation of $350,000.00.