Retail Gas Properties and the Economics of Access

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Abstract:

Bainbridge, R. “Retail Gas Properties and the Economics of Access,” Right of Way, (January/February 2010), pp. 26-31

This article from the retail industry perspective argues that certain land uses are more sensitive to changes in access and these should be compensated for economic losses. The author, an appraiser who benefits from damages claims, offers several examples of access changes (e.g. medians, loss of turning radius, slope changes, reduced sight distance, reduced throat length) with arguments as to how they adversely impact business activity. He notes: “The current position of the courts needs to evolve to a more informed and nuanced view of how access quality varies from differing property types, such as light-industrial to commercial to retail, when determining compensability.”
As concluded in the article: “The logical conclusion when comparing the differences in economic loss is that adequate access for one property type may be inadequate access for another type… However, economic impact studies should distinguish the different impacts on various property types. As further research on the economic impact of access management is conducted, the courts may one day find that degradation in access may be compensable for some property types and not for others.” The primary value of this article is as background on typical concerns of the retail industry and arguments used to oppose access changes or to increase compensation for damages.

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