Every acquiring agency shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be guided by the following policies:
(1) Every reasonable effort shall be made to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation.
(2) Real property shall be appraised before the initiation of negotiations, and the owner or his or her designated representative shall be given an opportunity to accompany at least one appraiser of the acquiring agency during his or her inspection of the property, except that the lead agency may prescribe a procedure to waive the appraisal in cases involving the acquisition of property with a low fair market value.
(3) Before the initiation of negotiations for real property, the acquiring agency shall establish an amount which it believes to be just compensation therefor, and shall make a prompt offer to acquire the property for the full amount so established. In no event shall such amount be less than the agency's approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property. Any decrease or increase in the fair market value of the real property to be acquired prior to the date of valuation caused by the public improvement for which such property is acquired, or by the likelihood that the property would be acquired for such improvement, other than that due to physical deterioration within the reasonable control of the owner, will be disregarded in determining the compensation for the property. The acquiring agency shall provide the owner of real property to be acquired with a written statement of, and summary of the basis for, the amount it established as just compensation. Where appropriate the just compensation for the real property acquired, for damages to remaining real property, and for benefits to remaining real property shall be separately stated.
(4) No owner shall be required to surrender possession of real property before the agreed purchase price is paid or deposited with a court having jurisdiction of condemnation of such property, in accordance with applicable law, for the benefit of the owner an amount not less than the acquiring agency's approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property, or the amount of the award of compensation in the condemnation proceeding of such property.
(5) The construction or development of a public improvement shall be so scheduled that, to the greatest extent practicable, no person lawfully occupying real property shall be required to move from a dwelling or to move his or her business or farm operation without at least ninety days written notice of the date by which such move is required.
(6) If an owner or tenant is permitted to occupy the real property acquired on a rental basis for a short term or for a period subject to termination on short notice, the amount of rent required shall not exceed the fair rental value of the property to a short-term occupier.
(7) In no event shall the time of condemnation be advanced, *on negotiations or condemnation and the deposit of funds in court for the use of the owner be deferred, or any other coercive action be taken to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.
(8) If an interest in real property is to be acquired by exercise of the power of eminent domain, formal condemnation proceedings shall be instituted. The acquiring agency shall not intentionally make it necessary for an owner to institute legal proceedings to prove the fact of the taking of his or her real property.
(9) If the acquisition of only a portion of a property would leave the owner with an uneconomic remnant, the head of the agency concerned shall offer to acquire that remnant. For the purposes of this chapter, an uneconomic remnant is a parcel of real property in which the owner is left with an interest after the partial acquisition of the owner's property and that the head of the agency concerned has determined has little or no value or utility.
(10) A person whose real property is being acquired in accordance with this chapter may, after the person has been fully informed of his or her right to receive just compensation for the property, donate the property, any part thereof, any interest therein, or any compensation paid for it to any agency as the person may determine.
[2011 c 336 § 282; 1988 c 90 § 12; 1971 ex.s. c 240 § 18.]
| *Reviser's note: The word "or" may have been intended. The language of subsection (7) of this section is similar to language found in 49 C.F.R. 24.102(h).|
Section captions -- 1988 c 90: See note following RCW 8.26.010.