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Section 2: Guidelines on Completing Form ROW-A-PAC

Procedure

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  • Acquisition - Note if the acquisition will be whole, partial or if only access rights will be acquired.
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  • Address of Property - If possible, note the physical address of the property, such as 2114 4th Street, 5400 Block of Brownfield Highway, 2 miles south of Shallowater on FM 179, etc).
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  • Property Owner - Note the address and phone number where the owner can usually be contacted and what day and time is normally most convenient. If necessary, note if there are multiple owners/trustees; or, if an attorney should be notified.
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  • Request Permission to Inspect - The interviewer should request permission to inspect the property for discussing such items as present and proposed uses of the property, zoning, leases, rentals, contracts of sale, sign and billboard data, liens, fence ownership, location and type of underground improvements, and any unusual features about the property.
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  • Occupant’s Name - Note all persons/businesses utilizing or occupying the parcel of land. Also, note which improvements to be appraised are occupied by tenants. It is advisable to ask the owner to explain to his tenant(s) that an appraisal(s) of the property will be made. If the owner or tenant will be displaced by the acquisition, their name(s), mailing address(es), and other pertinent data should be furnished to district relocation personnel.
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  • Type of Improvements - During inspection of the property, the interviewer should adequately describe each improvement by type and construction on the form to provide proper identification for assignment and review analysis (i.e., one story brick building, masonry residence, wood shed, chain link fence, etc). Notes should be made regarding any unusual feature about any improvements that may warrant special assignment instructions to appraisers and specific comments in review. Note if any improvements are to be bisected by the proposed right of way line (Chapter 3, Section 5, Bisected Improvements).

    Prior to the assignment of appraisal work, TxDOT, the owner, and tenant-occupant(s) of the parcel should agree upon those improvements to be considered as personalty (using Form ROW-A-9, Property Classification Agreement), releasing TxDOT from any payment for such items as realty. Discretion should also be used in not allowing an owner/tenant to declare a realty item as a personalty item in this agreement. A copy of this agreement should be given to the appraiser and be made a part of the appraisal report. See Chapter 3, Section 2, Personalty and Realty of this manual for further information.

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  • Hazardous Materials - Are there any environmental concerns such as hazardous wastes/storage/materials, or manufacturing processes that pose a threat to the environment or human health and natural resources? Are there any clean-up efforts being pursued on the subject parcel of land? Ask if there are any building materials that contain asbestos or other hazardous substances. Are there are any oil disposal or waste pits, etc? (See Chapter 3, Section 5, Environmental and Hazardous Material Issues).
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  • Underground Improvements - Are there any underground storage tanks? Are they registered as a LPST (leaking petroleum storage tank) with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), see their website at http://www.tceq.state.tx.us. What is their size? Who owns or operates these tanks or lines? Are there any water wells, private irrigation lines, septic tanks, etc.? Does the parcel plat accurately describe the current location(s) of any public utility easements (gas, water, electric, telephone lines, etc.)? Ask if there are private utility lines serving any of the parcel’s or abutting property’s improvements. Will there be any bisected public/private utility lines? See Public Utility Easements, and Utility Lines Having a Private Function.
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  • Fence Ownership (100% & Partnership Interest) - Who owns the fencing between neighboring parcels of land? Is it jointly owned 50-50%? Does any interior fencing belong to a tenant? The State cannot acquire the partial interest held by one owner and allow retention of the interest held by another owner. See Fencing.
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  • Use of Improvements - How are the improvements being used, for a commercial business, farm support operation, medical clinic, school storage barn, public swimming pool, strip shopping center, etc? Is any improvement being used for a current purpose that it was not originally built for (gas station now an auto repair shop, florist shop, etc.)
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  • Number of Lots Under Common Usage and Location Relative to Subject - Is there one common lot or tract of land, or is it an assembly of several lots or tracts of land? Are they separated by any public roads, streets, alleyways, etc.?
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  • Leases - Record the names/addresses of all tenants that have a valid lease agreement with the fee owner. If possible, secure copies of these agreements for the appraiser(s). Ask for the terms of the lease agreement(s), such as: it is a month to month lease, yearly lease, who pays taxes, maintenance, etc? Are there any access or private utility easements with other parties to use a portion of the subject parcel of land?

    During the pre-appraisal contact, it should also be determined if there are any real property improvements (located upon the parcel to be acquired) which are owned by a lessee. A title examination is also made to determine if there is a recorded property lease. When a valid leasehold estate, exists and it is determined there are real property improvements owned by a lessee, the owner of record is advised that TxDOT may negotiate with the fee owner for all interests, fee and leasehold. The fee owner is advised that he may have TxDOT negotiate separately, with the leaseholder. To do this, the fee owner must sign a waiver, form ROW-N-120, Affidavit and Disclaimer, stating that he has no ownership interest in the leasehold improvements and requesting that the interests be appraised separately and that separate offers be made for the fee and leasehold interests. There must be a clearly separate and defined leasehold interest that can be distinctly appraised separate from the fee interest. A copy of any executed Affidavit and Disclaimer should be given to the appraiser(s).

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  • Liens - Though an owner’s title policy commitment is often obtained, it is advisable to ask what lien(s), if any, are affecting title to the property. There may be an additional lien not of record; or, there may be a lien that has been paid but not properly released in the public property records. Ask the name of a contact person, address, telephone number, account number, with the lending agency/bank that is currently handling the owner’s lien to secure a possible partial release of lien instrument (or if eminent domain becomes necessary, to cite the lien holder in the State’s condemnation proceedings).
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  • Contract of Sale - Ask the owner if he/she has executed any type of contract of sale with another party. Is title in the other party while he/she makes payments for the property; or, does the owner have someone making payments to him/her and has promised to deed the property after final payment? Is the property listed “for sale”? on the market?
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  • Advertising Signs/Billboards on Property? - YES or NO? Even if the sign is located outside the acquisition area, a State quitclaim deed may have to be secured to extinguish any leasehold interest by the sign owner/company.
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  • Describe ownership and lease terms - Note the name of the billboard company or owner of the outdoor advertising sign, contact person’s name, address and telephone number. Ask for a copy of the lease agreement or note the terms of the agreement, how many years, annual lease payment, etc.
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  • Remarks - Use this portion of form ROW-A-PAC to make any comments about the property or its ownership that will assist the appraiser, negotiator or relocation agent.
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