South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Reduction in Business Value Due to Road Changes Not Inverse Condemnation
Description

Kansas high court held that a business that fell in value due to reconfiguration of the road next to the business that made customer access difficult, was not inverse condemnation and no compensation for taking was due.

Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words

Eminent Domain; Inverse Condemnation; Road Construction

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Plaintiffs operate a Kentucky Fried Chicken on a two-way major street in Wichita that is at an intersection with an access-controlled highway. The city reconstructed the road, eliminating the intersection and leaving the KFC at the end of a dead-end road, making it more difficult for patrons to access the restaurant. Plaintiffs sued the city for inverse condemnation, contending the construction reduced the value of their business. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the city; plaintiffs appealed.

Decision

Affirmed. Damage to the value of plaintiffs’ property by road construction does not support an action for inverse condemnation. There was no taking subject to compensation. Inverse condemnation occurs when the government has taken private property for public use without formal condemnation proceedings by the governmental taker. There was no taking in this instance.

Citation

Kau Kau Take Home No. 1 v. City of Wichita, 135 P.3d 1221 (Sup. Ct., Kan., 2006)

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