Public Works

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Property Acquisition

Acquiring property means the City will purchase a portion of private property from the property owner (usually a strip of land) for additional right-of-way. The area would then belong to the City, not the property owner. Property acquisition would occur only when necessary after an extensive design and planning process helps determine if an acquisition is required. 

Property acquisition can occur for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • Road or utility project requires room to work
  • Drainage improvements
  • Sidewalk ramp work
  • Development and economic growth
  • A request of the property owner

Typical steps during an acquisition process include:

  • Property owner outreach: Staff provides a map, details of the acquisition, and an explanation of compensation. 
  • An Independent Certified General Real Estate Appraiser visits the property to determine fair market value. 
  • Transfer of title and property owner compensation 

An Independent Certified General Real Estate Appraiser will provide an impartial analysis. These appraisers are trained in evaluating real estate and are thoroughly familiar with the property values of the area. Property owners receive a summary statement of the appraisal and a listing of any other benefits to which they will be entitled.

Their analysis will examine:

  • The value of the property 
  • The features of the property
  • Prices of similar properties
  • What damages, if any, would be caused by an acquisition
  • Benefits to property owner

If desired, property owners may obtain their an appraisal on their own. The City will then have both appraisals reviewed by a third-party appraiser who will submit an estimate of value, and a revised offer may be presented.

Property owners are compensated with the fair market value -- the same amount of money that the sale of the property would bring under current market conditions.

The City endeavors to make payment as rapidly as possible after an agreement is signed. Typically, property owners can expect to receive a check two to four weeks after the City Council approves the transaction, depending on the title.

Download Acquisition FAQs


An easement is granting the City permission from the property owner to be on their property (either temporarily or permanently) during construction or future maintenance. The property owner will still maintain ownership.

  • A temporary easement provides space for the contractor to work and negotiate equipment on private property and expires upon completion of a project.
  • A permanent easement provides the City permission for access and/or future maintenance of City facilities. These are commonly utility easements.

The City routinely requests a donation of the needed property interests based upon public benefit. Property owners are under no obligation to donate and will receive just compensation for all property rights required by the City. If a property owner chooses not to donate, the City may elect not to perform the work or proceed with monetary negotiations.


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