Location:
EDUCATION - BOARDS OF; EMINENT DOMAIN;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


March 13, 2012

 

2012-R-0141

BOARDS OF EDUCATION AND EMINENT DOMAIN-UPDATED

By: Christopher Reinhart, Chief Attorney

Ryan O'Neil, Research Assistant

You asked us to update OLR Report 2012-R-0068, which reports the results of a survey of Connecticut boards of education about their use of eminent domain for school projects in the last five years. Specifically, you wanted to know whether boards took residential property by eminent domain; whether the property owners contested a board's offer of compensation in court; and, for each court case, whether the court awarded different compensation than the board offered.

SUMMARY

Since our previous report, we received responses from an additional 35 boards of education. Only one (Ellington) reported a project which required the board to acquire property and the board did not use its eminent domain authority. Table one displays the additional boards of education that responded to our survey.

Table 1: Additional Boards of Education Responding to Our Survey

Bozrah

New Canaan

Brooklyn

Norwalk

Canterbury

Old Saybrook

Cromwell

Plainfield

Derby

Plainville

East Granby

Regional School District 06 (Goshen, Morris, Warren)

East Hampton

Regional School District 09 (Easton, Redding)

Ellington

Regional School District 17 (Haddam, Killingworth)

Franklin

Regional School District 18 (Lyme, Old Lyme)

Guilford

Sterling

Hamden

Stratford

Hampton

Suffield

Hebron

Vernon

Lebanon

Wallingford

Lisbon

Watertown

Meriden

Windsor

Naugatuck

Windsor Locks

New Britain

 

The section below updates the information contained in OLR Report 2012-R-0068.

SCHOOL PROJECTS AND EMINENT DOMAIN

The law allows boards of education to take property by eminent domain for school projects (CGS 10-241a). In doing so, the board must seek town approval and follow the eminent domain procedures set out for redevelopment projects (see CGS 8-129 et seq.). According to these procedures, the board must offer a property owner compensation for property taken by eminent domain, the owner can ask a court to review the board's offer of compensation, and the court can order a different amount.

We surveyed the state's 165 boards of education. We received responses from 94 or 56%. For these responding boards, only six reported conducting a project between 2007 and 2011 that required the board to acquire property. The six boards reported a total of seven projects during this time period, only three of which required the board to use its eminent domain authority. Waterbury reported taking six private residences by eminent domain, four of the owners contested the compensation for their property, and in all four cases the court awarded the owners the same amount that the board had offered as compensation.

Table 2 displays the updated survey results, showing the towns that reported conducting projects that required the board to acquire property in the last five years.

Table 2: Boards Reporting Projects Involving Property Acquisition and Use of Eminent Domain from 2007 to 2011

Board

Number of Projects Requiring Property Acquisition

Number of Projects Requiring Use of Eminent Domain

Number of Private Residences Taken by Eminent Domain

Number of Residential Property Owners who Contested Compensation in Court

Outcome of Court Action by Residence Owner

Regional School District 7 (Barkhamsted, Colebrook, New Hartford, Norfolk)

1

1*

0

0

N/A

Regional School District 16 (Beacon Falls, Prospect)

1

0

0

0

N/A

Ellington

1

0

0

0

N/A

Thomaston

1

0

0

0

N/A

Waterbury

2

2

6

4

Court awarded same amount as board offered in all four cases

Windham

1

0

0

0

N/A

* Board took farm property by eminent domain, the owner contested compensation in court, and the court awarded less than the board's offer of compensation.

Table 3 lists the 86 boards of education that responded to our survey and reported no projects requiring property acquisition, by eminent domain or otherwise, from 2007 to 2011.

Table 3: Boards of Education Reporting No Projects Requiring Property Acquisition from 2007 to 2011

Ansonia

Franklin

New Fairfield

Trumbull

Barkhamsted

Granby

New London

Vernon

Berlin

Greenwich

Newtown

Voluntown

Bethany

Groton

Norfolk

Wallingford

Bethel

Guilford

North Branford

Waterford

Bozrah

Hamden

North Stonington

Watertown

Brooklyn

Hampton

Norwalk

West Hartford

Canterbury

Hebron

Norwich

Westbrook

Cheshire

Lebanon

Old Saybrook

Willington

Colchester

Ledyard

Plainfield

Wilton

Cromwell

Litchfield

Plainville

Windsor

Darien

Lisbon

Putnam

Windsor Locks

Derby

Madison

Scotland

Wolcott

East Granby

Manchester

Seymour

Regional School District 06 (Goshen, Morris, Warren)

East Haddam

Mansfield

Sherman

Regional School District 09 (Easton, Redding)

East Hampton

Meriden

Simsbury

Regional School District 10 (Burlington, Harwinton)

East Hartford

Middletown

Stafford

Regional School District 12 (Bridgewater, Roxbury, Washington)

East Lyme

Milford

Sterling

Regional School District 13 (Durham, Middlefield)

Eastford

Montville

Stratford

Regional School District 17 (Haddam, Killingworth)

Enfield

Naugatuck

Suffield

Regional School District 18 (Lyme, Old Lyme)

Fairfield

New Britain

Tolland

Regional School District 19 (Ashford, Mansfield, Willington)

Farmington

New Canaan

Torrington

Regional School District 8 (Andover, Hebron, Marlborough)

CR/RO:km