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Flowchart 5D: Right-of-Way Acquisition by Dedication or Donation

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The local agency may accept, as part of a federal or federally-assisted project, a parcel that a developer has dedicated through the local planning and zoning approval process. Dedication is the process in which a local government directly appropriates property for a future public use in the planning and zoning approval process. Dedications are usually consummated at the time of subdivision approval. Dedications must be completed and enforceable before the local agency requests a right-of-way clearance.

Real property obtained through normal zoning or through subdivision procedures requiring dedication of strips of land in the normal exercise of police power is not considered a taking in the constitutional sense and does not call for payment of just compensation or compliance with the Uniform Act. Land acquired in this manner may be incorporated into a federally-assisted project without jeopardizing participation in other project costs.

Any dedication undertaken to circumvent federal requirements is unacceptable and may result in federal funds being withdrawn from the project.

Each local agency's dedication process is unique. The dedication of land by cities or counties by means of their respective platting review and approval process must meet the requirements as set forth by the city or county. See Chapter 4, Section 4.6.11 of the CDOT ROW Manual for further information.

Property owners whose real property is to be acquired for a project may make a gift or donation of the land, or any part of it, or of any of the compensation paid for it, to the acquiring agency. A donation may be made at any time during the development of the project or during the acquisition phase of the project.

Many donations may involve damages to the remainder, or involve new or modified access control, construction features, even airspace leases and, while these may not be eligible for a donation credit, they are still considered donations under 49 CFR 24.108.

A donation may be made at any time during the development of the project or during the acquisition phase of the project.

The owner-donors must be fully informed of the right to receive just compensation for the acquisition of the property if it is desired. The owners must also be fully informed that they are entitled to have an appraisal or waiver valuation (see 5E.1) made of the property along with an offer of just compensation. The owners may release the local agency from either or both of these obligations. This release must be acquired in writing and cannot be obtained through coercion.

See Chapter 8, Section 8.10 of the CDOT ROW Manual for more information on donations, valuation of donations and appraisals for purposes of donation.

The donation of private land (23 CFR 710.505) must have ROW plans and legal descriptions prepared in accordance with CDOT's specifications and procedures as required in the most recent edition of the CDOT Survey Manual and CDOT ROW Manual.

The donation of state or local government land (23 CFR 710.507) must also have ROW plans and legal descriptions prepared in accordance with CDOT's specifications and procedures as required in the most recent addition of the CDOT Survey Manual and CDOT ROW Manual.

Donations of land must include a ROW plans package to be submitted to the region ROW manager for authorization and filing purposes. ROW plans are required for all donations. Refer to CDOT ROW Manual, Chapter 2, Plans.

Donation of private land and/or state or local government land must have a donation form (CDOT Form 1344) completed in accordance with Chapter 4, ROW Acquisition of the CDOT ROW Manual. Refer to the Exhibits of the CDOT ROW Manual, Chapter 4, Acquisition, for a copy of the donation form.

The CDOT region ROW designer or surveyor must determine if the ROW plans are sufficiently complete and in accordance with the CDOT ROW Manual and CDOT's ROW Plans Review Guidelines. A signature block is not necessary for local agency projects when no federal or state funds are in the ROW phase. Local agency projects having state or federal funds must use either the state highway project or federal-aid highway project signature block and be signed by the CDOT region ROW manager indicating CDOT's approval of the plan set.

See CDOT ROW Manual, Chapter 8, Section 8.10.4 through Section 8.10.7 for information regarding valuations.

Donations of real property may have separate values for different purposes. For the purpose of establishing a credit to the local agency's participation in project costs, the fair market value of the property is used. An appraisal or waiver valuation (see text box 5E.1) of the donated property's fair market value is required unless the owner releases the agency from such obligation in writing. (Also see text box 5D.4)

See ROW Manual Chapter 8, Section 8.10 for more information regarding donations of property and for requirements according to the value of the donated property.

If the owner waives the appraisal, see the CDOT ROW Manual, Chapter 4, Section 4.6.

If the owner does not waive the appraisal, see CDOT ROW Manual, Chapter 3, Section 3.2.8 or Flowchart 5C for next steps.

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