An important part of the process of delivering a flood control project involves acquiring the land rights necessary to construct and maintain that project. The Public Works Real Estate Division is responsible for three primary functions: property acquisition, property management, and titles and rights-of-way engineering, along with numerous secondary programs.
In addition to the appraisal and acquisition of the property, the District, in coordination with the Real Estate Division, also maintains the property until construction begins by keeping it secure and free from hazard, issuing use permits and making decisions for the best use of the property. Homes that are acquired are often leased or rented until it is time to demolish them for construction.
The Public Works Real Estate Division is also responsible for selling, leasing or auctioning the remaining pieces of land left over after a project is constructed. They are also responsible for selling any non-realty items; such as excavated dirt or personal property, if it is determined that these items are no longer needed for any District purposes.
The District acquires land for projects under the authority of the Arizona Constitution which allows government agencies to purchase private property for a public use, i.e. for flood control, transportation or water infrastructure.
Arizona Revised Statutes require that the District pay the property owner "just compensation" for their home and property. “Just compensation” is based on an independent appraisal. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties on the amount of the land right purchase, then the District does have the authority to utilize the power of eminent domain (condemnation). In addition to paying “just compensation,” the District also pays relocation assistance when applicable, and will relocate the property owner/occupant to another home that is decent, sanitary and safe, as well as a comparable replacement dwelling.
If you have questions, please use the following list to contact the appropriate person.