This is an appeal by the defendant commissioner of transportation from the judgment of a state referee, who, exercising the powers of the Superior Court, reassessed the damages resulting from the condemnation of a portion of the
The following facts were found: Prior to May 25, 1973, the plaintiff was the owner of approximately 3.6 acres of land located in a low-lying section of the town of Fairfield between the Connecticut Turnpike and Long Island Sound. On that date the defendant took from the plaintiff by way of eminent domain two drainage rights-of-way and an easement to install a chain link fence for a project to drain Turney's Creek and assessed damages at $3600. The purpose of that taking and others above and below the plaintiff's land was to control drainage from an area north of the Connecticut Turnpike and the Penn-Central railroad tracks and channel it through a series of open channels, box culverts, pipes and siphons to a point in Long Island Sound. The entire project covered an area about a mile in length with most of the work involved lying outside the area of the plaintiff's property. The construction of the entire project was to be performed in 780 days and included three box culverts and considerable sanitary sewer work.
Legal access to the plaintiff's land was over a driveway approximately sixty-five feet wide. One of the drainage rights taken from the plaintiff was for the purpose of enlarging the channel of Turney's Creek and involved the construction of a box culvert across that accessway to the plaintiff's land. No other access was available because of the elevation of the state highway next to the property. At the time of the taking and for twenty-five years prior thereto the plaintiff's property was undeveloped.
The trial court concluded that the value of the plaintiff's property before the taking was $345,000
The state is not contesting the reassessment from $3600 to $18,700 for the two drainage rights-of-way and the right to erect the chain link fence. The present controversy arises from the claims of the state that there is no basis in the eminent domain law of this state for the award of $34,500 for the purported two-year constructive easement, and that there is no evidence to support a finding that it would take two years to install a sixty-five foot box culvert across the plaintiff's driveway. The state contends that the trial court erred in reaching (1) the conclusion that the plaintiff would be deprived of the use of his land for two years during the installation of the box culvert; (2) the conclusion that the denial of access constituted a constructive easement; and (3) the conclusion that an award of $34,500 for that easement was appropriate.
When only a part of a tract of land is taken for the public use, "just compensation" includes recovery for the part taken and recovery for any damages visited upon the remainder which result from the taking. Bowen v. Ives, 171 Conn. 231, 238, 368 A.2d 82; Meriden v. Highway Commissioner, 169 Conn. 655, 659, 363 A.2d 1094. "The ordinary
The trial court's findings are in crucial respects deficient and do not support the conclusion of a damage loss of $34,500. In arriving at that figure,
Moreover, the trial court failed to find that the damages were a foreseeable, necessary, natural and proximate result of the taking. Such a finding is particularly required where as here the plaintiff sought an award of damages not arising directly from the taking but rather as a consequence of it.
Because the court failed to find that the constructive easement was the foreseeable, necessary, natural and proximate result of the taking, and because the finding fails to support the damage award reached, the judgment cannot stand.
There is error, the judgment is set aside and a new trial is ordered.
In this opinion the other judges concurred.