Being near a hospital lends a potential special value to land. The proximity of the hospital will often result in an incremental value. All too frequently, the properties are acquired for accessory purposes to the hospital, often truly private rather that hospital purposes. Under such circumstances, whether a public use is involved and whether just compensation has been offered can become contentious issues fought in the court system
Joyce Development Corp. filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Forsyth Superior Court. The company owns 2.33 acres that is to be used for a road extension that town officials and developers say is needed to spur commercial and retail development around the hospital and reduce traffic congestion. But the lawsuit said the condemnation is simply benefiting private developers and not the public at large.
"The proposed taking (of land) violates the North Carolina and United States constitutions because it is not intended for the public use or benefit," the lawsuit said. "Instead, the town of Kernersville improperly seeks to wield the public power of eminent domain for the private benefit of the commercial developers who have orchestrated and funded the taking and whose property cannot be developed unless the road is constructed."
Kernersville Town Manager Curtis Swisher declined to comment Friday. Town Attorney John Wolfe III could not be reached.