“Buy the Farm” statute applies to CapX 2020

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on August 20, 2007 @ 9:49 am

transmissionpowerline_largempr.jpg

Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!!

There’s something the utilities don’t want you to know about the CapX 2020 project. In Minnesota, after the powerline struggles decades ago, the legislature recognized that people needed an out, they needed a way to get out from under a line that would go through their property. Most people just don’t want a transmission line, that’s true. But Minnesota legislators figured out a way to let people have that out… it’s called “Buy the Farm.” It’s a law that gives landowners subject to condemnation the ability to get out from under the line:

Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd.4

Subd. 4. Contiguous land. When private real property that is an agricultural or
nonagricultural homestead, nonhomestead agricultural land, rental residential property, and both commercial and noncommercial seasonal residential recreational property, as those terms are defined in section 273.13 is proposed to be acquired for the construction of a site or route for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more by eminent domain proceedings, the fee owner, or when applicable, the fee owner with the written consent of the contract for deed vendee, or the contract for deed vendee with the written consent of the fee owner, shall have the option to require the utility to condemn a fee interest in any amount of contiguous, commercially viable land which the owner or vendee wholly owns or has contracted to own in undivided fee and elects in writing to transfer to the utility within 60 days after receipt of the notice of the objects of the petition filed pursuant to section 117.055. Commercial viability shall be determined without regard to the presence of the utility route or site. The owner or, when applicable, the contract vendee shall have only one such option and may not expand or otherwise modify an election without the consent of the utility. The required acquisition of land pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an acquisition for a public purpose and for use in the utility’s business, for purposes of chapter 117 and section 500.24, respectively; provided that a utility shall divest itself completely of all such lands used for farming or capable of being used for farming not later than the time it can receive the market value paid at the time of acquisition of lands less any diminution in value by reason of the presence of the utility route or site. Upon the owner’s election made under this subdivision, the easement interest over and adjacent to the lands designated by the owner to be acquired in fee, sought in the condemnation petition for a right-of-way for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more shall automatically be converted into a fee taking.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace