Current as of: 2013
(1) The general power of condemnation conferred in this subchapter does not extend to property owned by the state, a municipality, public board or commission, nor to the condemnation by a railroad, public utility or electric cooperative of the property of either a railroad, public utility or electric cooperative unless such power is specifically conferred by law, provided that property not to exceed 100 feet in width owned by or otherwise under the control or jurisdiction of a public board or commission of any city, village or town may be condemned by a railroad corporation for right-of-way or other purposes, whenever a city, village or town by ordinance consents thereto. This subchapter does not apply to the acquisition by municipalities of the property of public utilities used and useful in their business, nor to any city of the 1st class, except that every such city may conduct any condemnation proceedings either under this subchapter or, at its option, under other laws applicable to such city.
(2) Any railroad corporation or pipeline corporation may acquire by condemnation lands or interest therein which are held and owned by another railroad corporation or pipeline corporation. In the case of a railroad corporation, no such land shall be taken so as to interfere with the main track of the railroad first established except for crossing, and in the case of a pipeline corporation no such land shall be taken except for crossing or in such manner as to interfere with or endanger railroad operations.
(3) Any public utility corporation, or cooperative association mentioned in s. 32.02 (10), upon securing from the public service commission, pursuant to written application and upon due notice to all interested parties, an order determining that lands or interests therein sought to be acquired by the applicant are owned by a public utility corporation or such rural electric cooperative and are not then being used by the owner for service to the public by the public utility or to its members by such cooperative association and will not be required in the future for such purposes to an extent and within a period which will be interfered with by the appropriation of the lands or interests sought to be condemned, may acquire by condemnation such lands or interests therein. No lands, or interests therein, belonging to a public utility corporation or to any such cooperative association which is being held by such owner as a site for an electric generating plant, and no other property so owned, or any interest therein, which is used or suitable for the development of water power, shall be subject to condemnation under this subsection; except that an undeveloped water power site, belonging to any such public utility corporation or to any such cooperative association and which is within the flowage area of any other undeveloped water power site, may be condemned pursuant to this subsection, but only if, upon application to it, the public service commission, after hearing held upon notice to such owner and all parties interested, shall by order determine the necessity of taking such lands or interest therein. Such order shall be subject to review as prescribed by ch. 227. Any condemnation of lands pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure and requirements prescribed by ss. 32.04 to 32.14.
(a) If an electric utility is required to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the public service commission under s. 196.491 (3), no right to acquire real estate or personal property appurtenant thereto or interest therein for such project by condemnation shall accrue or exist under s. 32.02 or 32.075 (2) until such a certificate of public convenience and necessity has been issued.
(b) This subsection does not apply to the condemnation of a limited interest in real property or appurtenant personal property, except structures with foundations, necessary to conduct tests or studies to determine the suitability of a site for the placement of a utility facility, provided that:
1. Such a limited interest does not run for more than 3 years; and
2. Activities associated with such tests or studies will be conducted at reasonable hours with minimal disturbance, and the property will be reasonably restored to its former state, upon completion of such tests or studies.
(c) This subsection does not prohibit an electric utility from negotiating with the owner, or one of the owners, of a property, or the representative of an owner, before the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, if the electric utility advises the owner or representative that the electric utility does not have the authority to acquire the property by condemnation until the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(a) In this subsection, "blighted property" means any property that, by reason of abandonment, dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provisions for ventilation, light, air, or sanitation, high density of population and overcrowding, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site or other improvements, or the existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes, or any combination of such factors, is detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare. Property that consists of only one dwelling unit is not blighted property unless, in addition, at least one of the following applies:
1. The property is not occupied by the owner of the property, his or her spouse, or an individual related to the owner by blood, marriage, or adoption within the 4th degree of kinship under s. 990.001 (16).
2. The crime rate in, on, or adjacent to the property is at least 3 times the crime rate in the remainder of the municipality in which the property is located.
(b) Property that is not blighted property may not be acquired by condemnation by an entity authorized to condemn property under s. 32.02 (1) or (11) if the condemnor intends to convey or lease the acquired property to a private entity.
(c) Before commencing the condemnation of property that a condemnor authorized to condemn property under s. 32.02 (1) or (11) intends to convey or lease to a private entity, the condemnor shall make written findings and provide a copy of the findings to the owner of the property. The findings shall include all of the following:
1. The scope of the redevelopment project encompassing the owner's property.
2. A legal description of the redevelopment area that includes the owner's property.
3. The purpose of the condemnation.
4. A finding that the owner's property is blighted and the reasons for that finding.
Questions & Answers: Eminent Domain