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Judge in airport case hears clashing views on eminent domain

January 23, 2019

WAKEFIELD, R.I. (AP) — A legal battle over a Rhode Island airport’s use of eminent domain for easements onto abutters’ properties is continuing.

The Sun of Westerly reports that lawyers for the Rhode Island Airport Corp., which manages Westerly State Airport, and four property owners who are suing the agency, offered opposing interpretations of the state’s eminent domain law during a hearing Tuesday.

An attorney for the property owners says the state erred when it took aviation easements to his clients’ land by eminent domain. The easements give the state the authority to enter the properties at any time to clear trees or other obstructions and subjects the properties to “noise, dust, vibrations, and fumes” from aircraft that fly over the properties.

The state wants the abutters’ lawsuit dismissed.

The judge didn’t immediately rule.

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Information from: The Westerly Sun, http://www.thewesterlysun.com

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