Right-of-Way (ROW) questions:

 

Where can I find more information about the area?
You can find more information about the area by clicking on these helpful links.

Committee for Dulles
http://www.committeefordulles.org
Smart Tag
http://www.smart-tag.com
Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA)
http://www.datatrans.org
Dulles Corridor Rail Association http://www.dullescorridorrail.com
Dulles International Airport (IAD) http://www.metwashairports.com
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/government/board
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce http://www.fccc.org
Fairfax County Government http://www.co.fairfax.va.us
Herndon-Dulles Chamber of Commerce http://www.dullesregionalchamber.org
HOV Calculator http://www.hovcalculator.com
Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce http://www.loudounchamber.org
Loudoun County Government http://www.co.loudoun.va.us
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority http://www.metwashairports.com
Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA) http://www.nvta.org
Northern Virginia Transportation Commission http://www.thinkoutsidethecar.org
Roads to the Future http://www.roadstothefuture.com/main.html
Virginia Chamber of Commerce http://www.vachamber.com
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) http://www.virginiadot.org
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles http://www.dmv.state.va.us
Virginia Road and Transportation Builders Association http://www.vrtba.org
Virginia Secretary of Transportation http://www.sotrans.state.va.us
Virginia State Police http://www.vsp.state.va.us
Washington Airports Task Force http://www.washingtonairports.com
 
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How will I be informed if the project affects me?

If the project requires that we purchase property from you to accommodate the new roadway, then you will be individually contacted by one of our Right-of-Way (ROW) staff. Our ROW staff will be available to personally meet with you to explain the project, its effects on your property and the ROW process and timing.

If you are not affected by the ROW acquisition process, but are curious about the project, then visit this website for weekly progress updates and traffic management plans. Traffic control measures may also be found in your local newspapers.

Periodically, we will hold public informational meetings as each interchange design nears completion. Notices of these meetings will be posted in local newspapers and on this website.

If you would like to be electronically notified when new information is posted on the website, then please submit a completed form found on the CONTACT US tab of this website.

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What does the appraisal process involve?


If all or some part of your property must be purchased to build the project, then you will be meeting our right-of-way acquisition staff. The Developer, acting as an agent for VDOT, will manage the right-of-way acquisition process.

During the first stage of this process, the Developer will have your property appraised to determine its fair market value.


The fair market value of your property will be determined by a qualified appraiser. You may want to accompany the appraiser to point out any unusual features of the property or to provide information you think may help determine its value.

Once the appraisal is completed and approved through an independent review process, negotiations are ready to begin. You will be provided with a copy of the approved appraisal.

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How are negotiations carried out?

Negotiations are a crucial stage in the acquisition process and successful communication is essential.

You may initially be contacted by mail, but a Developer representative will always arrange a personal visit with you to explain the project and the amount of property required, along with any permanent or temporary easements. These easements allow utilities to use a certain amount of your property to construct their facilities which must be relocated or for the Developer to build sidewalks, slopes or storm drainage. The negotiator will tell you the amount of appraisal and discuss how it was determined.

If you have any questions about what is being acquired, how much compensation is offered, and how the construction will affect the rest of your property, do not hesitate to ask the negotiator.

You will have time to consider the offer, and the negotiator will contact you again to discuss the offer and answer any questions.

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What if I decide to accept the offer?

If you decide to accept the offer, you will be asked to sign a binding agreement between you and the Developer as an agent for VDOT, called an "option."

The option commits you to sell your property for the amount of the offer. At closing, VDOT will apply any proceeds required to pay off liens and/or delinquent real estate taxes prior to paying the balance to you in the form of a check.

You will be expected to sign the deed when the check is delivered.

If there is a mortgage on the property, additional time may be required to contact your lender and secure a release to be sure your rights are protected before payment can be made by VDOT.

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What happens if I cannot accept the offer?
State law recognizes your right to refuse the purchase offer and to have the value of your property established by the courts.

The law also allows VDOT to acquire a property even when agreements cannot be reached, so that development of the project can continue. The right of a government to take private property for public use is called "eminent domain."

If you refuse the offer, the Developer turns the case over to VDOT, and VDOT files a legal document called a "certificate" with the circuit court in your county or city, indicating the need to obtain your property for project construction.

This allows the project to move forward. The offer will still be available through the court, provided you have clear title to the property. Negotiations between you and the Developer should continue in efforts to reach a settlement.

If a settlement still is not reached, the attorney representing VDOT will initiate legal proceedings necessary to allow you to present evidence as to the value of your property and any losses which you feel will occur due to the project.

After hearing testimony and viewing the property, the court will establish a value binding to you and VDOT. Either side may appeal if a legal error has been made or if the award is deemed unacceptable by the judge.

While condemnation proceedings may be necessary, mutual agreement is preferred.

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What if I have to move because of the project?
Unfortunately, transportation facilities cannot always be routed around homes, businesses, farms or non-profit organizations. It may be necessary for you to move, but state and federal Relocation Assistance Acts have been established to minimize any inconveniences caused by relocation. From the date you receive written notice from the Developer or VDOT to vacate, you will have at least 90 days to find housing that meets state guidelines.

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How will VDOT or the Developer assist me?

For those who must move, we offer the following services:
  • Assistance in determining your needs and preferences.
  • Information on properties available for rent or sale.
  • Help with inspecting your proposed replacement home, assessing required housing standards, and determining whether the home meets state and federal guidelines.
  • Transportation to replacement properties, if necessary.
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How will I find a new home?
Our goal is to offer you the opportunity to relocate to a comparable replacement home.

The replacement home must meet certain standards, including state and local building, plumbing, electrical, housing and occupancy codes.

Please do not sign a sales contract or lease agreement for a new home until a Developer representative has inspected the dwelling and certified in writing that it meets the guidelines.

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What happens if I own my home?
If you have been a homeowner (owner-occupant) for 180 days or more before negotiations began, you are eligible for certain benefits.

If you cannot find another home that meets the guidelines and is comparable to your current home at the price offered you for your house, you may be entitled to a replacement housing payment.

You also may be entitled to a mortgage interest differential payment if the interest rates on the new mortgage exceed those of your former mortgage.

You will also be reimbursed for certain incidental closing costs.

The combined total of these payments cannot exceed $22,500, and the payments will be limited to the amount you actually spend on eligible expenses in buying your home.

If you have been a homeowner for at least 90 days but less than 180 days and choose to buy another home, you may be eligible for a maximum of $5,250 as reimbursement for reasonable expenses required for purchase.

If you were a homeowner for at least 90 days before negotiations began and choose to rent rather than buy, you may be entitled to a maximum of $5,250. The exact amount would depend on the rent required for a house that meets the state's guidelines and on the rental value of your current home.

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What happens if I rent my home?
If you have rented your home for at least 90 days before negotiations began with the owner of the property, you may be entitled to a maximum of $5,250. If you rent but wish to buy, you may be eligible for a maximum of $5,250, which could be applied to the purchase price of another home, including closing costs.

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What if comparable housing is still not available?

If comparable housing is not available within $5,250 and $22,500 limits, it will be necessary to consider other options under the "last resort" housing program, such as building a new home. If you are eligible for reimbursement under the last resort housing program, the various options will be fully explained to you by a Developer representative. You will not be required to move until comparable housing has been made.

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How will I be reimbursed for moving expenses?

We will pay actual reasonable moving expenses for a maximum of 50 miles based on competitive bids. It is important to keep receipts of all expenses.

Payment also may be made on the basis of a fixed moving cost schedule.

You must apply to the Developer in advance, using an application furnished, indicating how and when you anticipate moving. Once your application is reviewed, you will be notified in writing of the approved amount. The Developer will be glad to assist you with the application.

Payment will not be made until the move is completed and the property has been inspected.

Actual Moving Costs:
Packing and Unpacking
Temporary Storage
Transportation
Moving Insurance
Other Related Costs

OR

Fixed Moving Costs:
One Maximum Payment
Based on Per Room Schedule

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How is a business, farm or non-profit organization reimbursed?

Actual Moving Expenses
A business, farm or non-profit organization can be reimbursed for the actual cost of moving a maximum distance of 50 miles. Please keep all receipts of expenses.

In some instances, you can be reimbursed for the loss of tangible personal property and the expense of looking for a replacement site.

As part of actual moving expenses, a small business, farm or non-profit organization may be entitled to a re-establishment payment not to exceed $25,000 for expenses actually incurred in relocating and re-establishing such small business, farm or non-profit organization at the replacement site.

Fixed Payment in Lieu of Actual Moving Expenses
A business operation may be entitled to a fixed payment in lieu of payment for actual moving and related expenses of $1,000 minimum and a maximum of $50,000 if:
· The business cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of clientele or net earnings.
· The business is not a part of a commercial enterprise having more that 3 other entities that are not being acquired by the Developer.
· It is a source of income for the displaced owner.

A farm operation also can receive a minimum of $1,000 or a maximum of $50,000 if:
· The farm operation stops or is relocated elsewhere on the remaining property.
· The project impedes the efficiency of the farm operation.
· The project makes it economically unfeasible to operate the remaining property as a farm.

A non-profit organization can receive a minimum of $1,000 or a maximum of $50,000 if:
· It cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of clientele or membership.

You must apply to the Developer, using an application available from our representative, before you move, whether you are moving a business, farm or non-profit organization. If the Developer has approved the move, you will receive payment after the move takes place, you have submitted a moving cost claim, and the property has been inspected.

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What if I am dissatisfied with the relocation services?

If you do not agree with the relocation services you have received, you may appeal in writing to VDOT's district right of way and utilities manager within 90 days of the date that the Developer makes its relocation offer or notifies you of your eligibility to receive a payment.

If you find the right of way and utilities manager's decision unacceptable, you have 10 days to appeal in writing to the VDOT Commissioner. VDOT will appoint a panel to review your case.

You and your attorney will have an opportunity to present supporting evidence to the panel, which will give a written report to the Commissioner. The Commissioner will render a decision and advise you in writing.

If that decision is unacceptable, you have thirty days to seek recourse through the courts.

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