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Acquisition & Relocation

Uniform Relocation Assistance/Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally-Assisted Programs

The purpose of this part is to promulgate rules to implement the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) (Uniform Act), in accordance with the following objectives:

a. To ensure that owners of real property to be acquired for Federal and federally-assisted projects are treated fairly and consistently, to encourage and expedite acquisition by agreements with such owners, to minimize litigation and relieve congestion in the courts, and to promote public confidence in Federal and federally-assisted land acquisition programs;

b. To ensure that persons displaced as a direct result of Federal or federally-assisted projects are treated fairly, consistently, and equitably so that such displaced persons will not suffer disproportionate injuries as a result of projects designed for the benefit of the public as a whole; and

c. To ensure that Agencies implement these regulations in a manner that is efficient and cost effective.

Fee Acquisition Checklist

Land Acquisition General Information

All airport land related documentation retained by MDOT is stored electronically. All land documents sent to MDOT are preferred to be in an electronic format (at least 200dpi and saved in PDF, TIF, or JPG format).

Questions? Contact MDOT Aeronautics at 517-325-2408. 

Airport Land Acquisition - The Basics 

Projects vary in scope and requirements. Airport sponsors should consult with MDOT before initiating a land acquisition project. Land acquisition projects may include, but are not limited to the following: 

  1. Sponsor identifies property rights needed for existing or future conditions.  
  2. Sponsor contacts MDOT to discuss project and parcels. 
  3. Sponsor should contact an experience land acquisition consultant to assist with the acquisition process. The land acquisition consultant may need to sub-contract with an engineering consultant to provide any required legal descriptions, drawings/sketches, and Exhibit "A" completion or update. All consultants (including appraisers and negotiators) interviewed or hired for Federal or State assisted projects must be properly licensed in the State of Michigan in compliance with PA299 of 1980 (Occupational Code). Consultant must be able to provide evidence of their license and qualifications on demand. Failure to do so will result in disqualification or contract termination as well as forfeiture of any fees associated with that contract.  
  4. Sponsor and land acquisition consultant prepare the Agreement for Professional Consultant Services. Airport sponsor then sends agreement to MDOT for review. To ensure future eligibility of costs, agreement should not be signed by sponsor without prior to written approval from MDOT.
  5. MDOT issues written approval for consultant scope and fees. Note: Per FAA Order 5100.38D consultant costs are not eligible until sponsor has obtained signed purchase agreements for all parcels included in the project.  Sponsor must pay all consultant costs and seek reimbursement for eligible costs after signed purchase agreements are obtained for all parcels identified in the consultant agreement.
  6. Consultant invoices are reviewed, approved, and paid by sponsor. 
  7. Land acquisition consultant prepares appraisal(s) and review appraisal(s) to determine value of property rights required for the project (fee simple purchase(s) or avigation easement purchase(s).  If purchasing property rights inside Runway Protection Zones the sponsor must provide adequate documentation supporting fee or easement acquisition.  In all cases fee acquisition must be considered for properties inside Runway Protection Zones.
  8. After appraisal(s) and review appraisal(s) are completed, sponsors approves offer amounts and land acquisition consultant makes Good Faith Offer (GFO) to property owner and negotiates purchase price. A Good Faith Offer should include, but is not limited to, the following documents: 
    1. Good Faith Offer - Fee Acquisition or Good Faith Offer - Avigation Easement (dependent upon property rights required for the project) 
      1. Offer language must include:
        1. Total compensation amount
        2. Description of property rights being acquired 
        3. All interested parties identified in title searches (including mortgage companies) 
        4. Breakdown of compensable items (reference appraisal) 
        5. Reserve right to recover costs (recovery costs for contamination, etc.) 
        6. Consistent legal description (same description in appraisal, GFO, etc.) 
    2. Copy of appraisal report 
    3. Land Acquisition for Public Airports (FAA handbook)
    4. Relocation handbook: Federal Relocation Assistance Program - "Your Rights and Benefits as a Displaced Person"
    5. Relocation Eligibility Notice
    6. Any negotiated amount over and above the appraised value (administrative settlements) must obtain MDOT approval to be considered an eligible project cost.  If using the MDOT recommended Good Faith Offer form, a separate settlement form must be used as the MDOT form must not be modified.
  9. After sponsor obtains purchase agreements for all parcels in the project the sponsor submits project costs to MDOT for Michigan Aeronautics Commission approval (sponsor contract).  If  sponsor contract is approved, MDOT prepares sponsor contract document which must be approved and signed by airport owner.  Costs included in the sponsor contract should include land consultant costs, Exhibit "A" and ALP update costs, parcel acquisition and closing costs, relocation costs (if required), demolition costs (if required). Contract must be signed by sponsor and MDOT before funds can be reimbursed to the sponsor for eligible costs paid locally. 
  10. For federally funded projects, airport sponsor must perform relocation  tasks in accordance with Federal Law (CFR 49 Part 24). If negotiations are unsuccessful, the airport owner initiates condemnation proceedings (obtaining an experienced condemnation attorney is highly recommended to ensure cost eligibility).  Additional Michigan Aeronautics Commission approval may be required for condemnation costs.
  11. Sponsor or consultant prepares/updates Exhibit "A", airport layout plan, and Land Summary and submits to MDOT for project closeout. Copies of project documents must be submitted to MDOT during the project or when sponsor requests closeout.  Scanned documents are preferred (.pdf or .tif format) at 200 dpi resolution or higher.