WOODSTOCK – A three-year eminent domain battle involving the Lake in the Hills Airport has ended after a settlement was reached Monday.
In order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the village of Lake in the Hills sought about three-quarters of an acre of land owned by George Athans. Efforts to acquire the land started in 2006, while an eminent domain lawsuit started in 2007.
Under the agreement, Athans will receive $780,000 from the village, $220,000 of which will be for the land, and the rest would be for damage to the remainder of his property, such as a new parking lot and landscaping.
The agreement avoids a jury trial that would have determined the price of the property.
Michael Smoron, attorney for Lake in the Hills, said that the fair market value would have been determined based on 2007 numbers – not current prices – because that is when the lawsuit began.
Village leaders previously offered $430,000, and at one point, Athans asked for $560,000.
Smoron said the difference was related to an easement that says Athans cannot build anything above a certain height on his property. Plus, the village previously expected to handle relocation efforts of Athans’ land that he now will handle himself.