The state of Washington is purchasing property for the expansion of state Route 502. I owned a house that was involved with the first phase. The state determined it needed 0.3 of my acre for the project. Because there would be no access to the remainder of my property from the new highway, the state was required by law to purchase the whole property.
Property value is determined by a licensed appraiser not affiliated with the state. The state pays fair market value; the amount needs to be fair to landowners and justifiable to taxpayers. After that sale, the Real Estate Services Department helped me find a place to buy, paid closing costs and moving expenses. A second piece of property they acquired from me was a rental in the way of the new highway. WSDOT’s Relocation Department helped my tenants find a place to live and helped with moving expenses. They paid closing costs on the new rental I purchased.
I’ve been involved with this project, attending open houses and writing letters. Things didn’t always go the way I wanted, but they were fair.
WSDOT’s motive is to acquire the needed property with the least disruption to property owners and tenants. They made a serious effort and achieved that goal with me.
Lee L. Jensen