The town I live in said I must give them the first 15 ft of my property, is that legal for the city to take the first fifteen feet of my property by the road?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Yes. The only question is what they must do to take it. There is a VERY good chance that the actual legal boundary of the road is 15 ft into what you think of as "your" property. More often than not when roads were put in, the boundaries provided for later expansion. So the existing roadbed sits in the middle of a much wider LEGAL roadbed. If that is the case, the land is already the city's, not yours, and they can do what they want with it. The other possibility is that they are, in fact, taking 15 feet of your property. They are allowed to do that by way of the legal principal of "eminent domain." Under eminent domain, the government can take pretty much ANY private property for any reasonable public purpose. Based on the Fifth Amendment, however, they must pay just compensation for it. There is a large chunk of the California Government Code devoted to eminent domain proceedings and how the government and the property owner arrive at "just compensation."
I generally agree with Mr. McCormick. My inquiry to you would be whether this is recent, or the strip was previously dedicated to the city's use by some prior owner, in which case, you will not be compensated.