Nevada Invokes Eminent Domain On Private Property Near USA Parkway

Jul 18, 2016

Credit Nevada Department of Transportation

The Nevada Board of Transportation is using its powers of eminent domain on a private property that's in the construction pathway of the USA Parkway east of Reno. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

Property owner Dario Passalapi says he's tried to negotiate with the state department of transportation on a price for the property. He purchased it last year for almost $450,000. He says it took more than six months for NDOT to give him an initial offer, which was less than half the land’s original value. Since then, they've been unable to compromise.

"We're trying to be reasonable and we're trying to deal with it openly and in good faith to resolve this," Passalapi said.

In order to meet construction deadlines, the transportation board, chaired by Governor Brian Sandoval, voted to take the property through eminent domain. He noted that the difference between the state and Passalapi’s offers is about $300,000.

“As you know, we usually spend a lot more than this in legal fees," the governor said, "so I would really encourage staff to sit down again and see how much closer we can get.”

Board member and State Controller Ron Knecht voted against the move on principle.

“I am going to register my displeasure with the failure of NDOT to be as responsive and as forthcoming and as timely as they could’ve been with regard to the property owners by casting a ‘no’ vote on this."

An NDOT spokeswoman says the agency will continue to negotiate with the owner despite the condemnation, which is only used as a last resort.