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State Highway Commission v. Freeman

December 15, 1972

STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT,
v.
FREEMAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from Circuit Court, Curry County. John C. Warden, Judge. No. 6175.

Frederic H. Starkweather, Jr., Gold Beach, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief were Starkweather and Higashi, Gold Beach.

Al J. Laue, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, Salem.

Thornton, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Foley, Judge.

Thornton

Plaintiff State Highway Commission brought a condemnation proceeding to acquire in fee simple a

200-foot right of way through defendant's real property for the purpose of relocating Highway 101. Defendant's property is located in southern Curry County near the unincorporated coastal community of Harbor.

After jury trial defendant obtained a verdict and judgment for $32,500, plus interest. She appeals from that judgment contending that the trial judge erred:

(1) In admitting certain testimony offered by plaintiff's witnesses, and refusing other testimony offered by defendant's witnesses, as to the true value of the land taken and damage to the remainder;

(2) In refusing to allow defendant to introduce into evidence to show fair market value plaintiff's pretrial offers of settlement; and

(3) In refusing to admit testimony of a defense witness as to (a) a comparable sale in the vicinity and (b) the amount of defendant's land which would be taken up in order to construct three access ramps to the new highway, and an exhibit showing the same.

Prior to the taking defendant owned a 78-acre tract which was bounded on the east side by old Highway 101 and on the west side by the Pacific Ocean. A road, Ocean View Drive, crosses defendant's land in proximity to the ocean. The taking did not affect the segment of land between Ocean View Drive and the ocean, and this portion does not enter into the questions of valuation here presented.

As shown on the drawing reproduced overleaf, the new highway lies only a very short distance to the west of the old highway. Thus, a small half-moon-shaped strip of defendant's land remains between the new and old highways. Defendant continues to have access to the old highway from the half-moon strip,

but not to the new highway therefrom. The state condemned a total of 5.7 acres. The new highway is above the level of defendant's property, and, as previously noted, is about 200 feet wide and 1,250 feet long. The state granted the right of access to the defendant at three specified points along the west side of the frontage of the new highway, all below grade. Defendant's

property previously had some 1,200 feet of unlimited access on ...


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