SB 794 - This act relates to eminent domain and tax increment financing (TIF) projects.
SECTION 99.820 - RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL
This section provides any owner of property, acquired by a municipality through use of eminent domain, the option to repurchase the property at the condemnation price if actual construction has not been undertaken within five years from the date of adoption of an ordinance approving a redevelopment project.
SECTION 99.827 - REFERENDUM/PETITION RELATING TO TIF FOR ALL FORMS OF MUNICIPALITIES
This section allows the use of referendum or petition with regard to ordinances relating to tax increment finance projects in any municipality within the state.
SECTION 523.012 - GENERAL PLAN
This section requires the state or any political subdivision to develop a written description of the project it intends to complete that requires the use of eminent domain before proceeding with the condemnation of property. The description must include the intended benefit to the public, an explanation of if or how the public will use the condemned property, the estimated costs, the anticipated sources of funds, and the anticipated date of the retirement of obligations incurred to finance the project, and the plan for providing relocation assistance.
SECTION 523.032 - MANDATORY MEDIATION
This section requires the condemning entity to engage in mandatory mediation with the property owner to resolve the amount of compensation the owner shall receive for his or her property. The mediation will occur after the petition for condemnation has been filed, but before the commissioners are appointed by the court. The mediation will be nonbinding and independently administered. The parties must mutually agree on a qualified and neutral mediator and the condemning entity must pay the cost. If the parties cannot agree on a mediator, the court shall appoint one and the condemning entity will pay the cost of the mediator.
The mediation shall take place within 30 days of the mediator being chosen. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court shall appoint the commissioners and continue the formal condemnation proceedings.
The condemning entity or property owner may include any person or entity in the mediation that is reasonably necessary to determine the appropriate amount of compensation for the property. No person who serves as a mediator shall be compelled to disclose any matter disclosed in the mediation process. The mediation shall be regarded as settlement negotiations and the confidentiality of such proceeding shall be as set forth in Supreme Court Rule No. 17.
SECTION 523.035 - INTERLOCUTORY APPEALS
Under this section, after the petition has been filed to begin condemnation proceedings, the court shall, prior to appointing commissioners, determine whether or not:
(1) The condemning entity has the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain;
(2) The property sought to be condemned is subject to eminent domain;
(3) The property sought to be condemned is for a public use; and
(4) The condemning entity is properly exercising the power of eminent domain in the proceeding.
The court may also determine other issues raised by the owner which attacks the validity of the condemning entity?s right to exercise eminent domain.
If the court finds that all the requirements have been met, it shall enter an interlocutory order to such effect. An interlocutory appeal shall lie from such decision as a matter of right. However, if the court finds the requirements have not been met and the condemning entity does not have the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain, the court shall dismiss the petition with prejudice and direct the condemning entity to pay the owner?s court costs and attorneys' fees.
SECTION 523.040 - COMMISSIONER QUALIFICATIONS & INSTRUCTIONS
This section requires that one of the three disinterested condemnation commissioners be a licensed attorney, another one hold a real estate license, and another one be a member of the general public.
Under this section, the Missouri Supreme Court shall promulgate rules to establish uniform instructions to be given to condemnation commissioners regarding their duties when determining the amount of compensation that an owner is to receive for his or her condemned property.
SECTION 523.110 - NOTIFICATION OF PROPERTY OWNER RIGHTS
This section states that before an entity with the power to condemn conducts mandatory mediation with an owner to acquire property, which may eventually be acquired through formal condemnation proceedings, the entity must provide the owner with a summary of his or her rights through certified mail. If the condemning entity does not supply the owner of the real property with this summary of rights, a presumption shall exist that any sale or contract was entered into voluntarily be the property owner. The condemning entity may be held responsible for any relief as determined appropriate by the court. The summary does not have to be given to any person who cannot, with due diligence, be found by the condemning entity.
SECTION 523.205 - RELOCATION ASSISTANCE
This section ensures that any political subdivision, not just those receiving federal funding for a project or those proposing a redevelopment plan, which proposes the displacement of persons through the use of eminent domain must establish, by ordinance or rule, a relocation policy that is equal or greater to the requirements of the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. sections 4601 to 4655, as amended).
SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE