There is a popular cultural belief that progress and development help everyone. People will sometimes say that a rising tide lifts all boats. That may be true, but the same tide could destroy a boat that is anchored at a level lower than what the water rises to eventually.
In other words, progress and development may have net benefits for communities and society, but there are definitely costs, including costs to individuals who see negative consequences from progress.
Adding new roads, expanding a highway from two lanes to four lanes or developing more utility infrastructure often comes at a cost to homeowners in the area where the development takes place. While some people will see positive effects, those with the properties closest to the area changing may experience negative consequences.
You may lose your quiet enjoyment of the property
If you bought a house on a two-lane road or rural highway, you probably didn’t move to that location because you wanted to see a constant stream of cars. However, when the road that your property abuts expands, the amount of traffic can go up too.
Not only does that mean that your view will change, but you will have to deal with the increased noise that comes with heavier traffic. This could affect everything from your ability to enjoy time out in your yard to your ability to sleep at night.
You could have difficulty safely accessing your property
If your driveway directly intersects with the main road, more traffic is going to make getting in and out of your driveway increasingly difficult for both you and any delivery drivers or service providers that come to your house.
Needing to slow down to complete a turn will increase your risk of someone hitting you while you drive. Delays and being able to enter the flow of traffic could also impact your commute time every day. You will suffer from an impairment of access and an impairment of safety in this situation.
You could lose some of your land to the development
If your property abuts the road and the state intends to expand the road from two lanes to four, then the chances are good that they will have to use some of your property for the construction of those new lanes.
While the state will likely reimburse you for any land that they seize through eminent domain, the smaller parcel will impact the price you can command for the property, as will the increased noise and the new difficulty in accepting the property quickly and safely.
Discussing your concerns about a possible eminent domain claim against your property or the impact of highway development on your property value with an attorney can give you an idea of what rights you have when you could be one of those victims of progress.