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MM&C Eminent Domain Attorney, Joseph P. Suntum, Quoted in Washington Post Purple Line Article

Posted October 7, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Purple Line light-rail system would bring new infrastructure to neighborhoods

A light-rail Purple Line, estimated to cost $2.15 billion, has no construction funding. Even so, the Maryland Transit Administration continues to refine its design, including an extensive rail infrastructure required to operate, maintain and house the trains.

That could include 20 power substations, 14 “signal bungalows” containing train-control equipment, a nine-story “ventilation tower” in the Bethesda Row entertainment district, and a tunnel three-tenths of a mile long to be blasted beneath a Silver Spring neighborhood.

The Lyttonsville area of Silver Spring would get a train storage yard, while part of Riverdale would get a maintenance facility.

Some Montgomery County residents face the double whammy of losing parts of their front yards to a transitway and living next to a power substation.

Joseph Suntum, a Rockville lawyer who focuses on eminent domain cases, said they might be the fortunate ones. People who lose any land to a public project are entitled to be compensated if their remaining property also has lost value, he said. Those who don’t lose any property are entitled only to financial compensation if a project’s impact on them is significantly worse than on their neighbors, Suntum said.

That might end up being a question for the courts — and a topic of increasing interest.

Read the entire Washington Post Article published on September 14, 2013.

Contact one of Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain attorneys if your business or property is affected by the proposed Purple Line in order to understand and protect your property rights.