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UNITED STATES v. 50.34 ACRES

February 3, 1953

UNITED STATES of America, Petitioner-Plaintiff,
v.
50.34 ACRES OF LAND, more or less, situate in the VILLAGE OF EAST HILLS, County of Nassau, State of NEW YORK, and John William Mackay, Village of East Hills, County of Nassau, the Peopel of the State of New York, unknown owners, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: INCH

This is a condemnation proceeding by the United States of America against 50.34 acres of land, more or less, situate in the Village of East Hills, County of Nassau, State of New York, and John William Mackay and others. The proceeding was instituted on November 14, 1951, and title was vested in the government by the filing of a Declaration of Taking on December 12, 1951, as of which date the values involved herein must be fixed.

The only questions to be determined in this proceeding are (1) the fair market value of the 50.34 acres of land taken, and (2) the amount of the so-called 'severance damage' suffered by the 378 acres remaining to John William Mackay as a result of the taking of 50.34 acres from the original tract owned by him consisting of approximately 428.34 acres.

 Having inspected the property and considered all the evidence presented at the trial, as well at the able briefs submitted by counsel, I make the following findings of fact:

 1. The damage parcel comprises 50.34 acres of land in the Village of East Hills, Nassau County, New York and prior to the taking was part of a larger tract owned by John William Mackay comprising approximately 428.34 acres.

 2. The land was condemned by the government 'to provide for military facilities for the United States Air Force and for other military purposes * * * for use in connection with the establishment of an Air Force project in the Village of East Hills, County of Nassau, New York and for such other uses as may be authorized by Congress or by Executive Order.'

 3. The condemned land had been leased by the government since about 1942, and during 1942 and 1943 the government built most of the buildings and structures which were located on the land at the time of the taking.

 4. Since the taking, the installation has been used by the Air Defense Command of the Air Force as an 'Air Defense Control Center' from which interceptor aircraft stationed at various airfields are controlled and directed in the interception of potentially hostile or unindentified aircraft.

 5. The parcel taken is located generally in the southeastern part of the Mackay land and fronts on Harbor Hill Road, also known as Red Ground Road, for a distance of about 1781 feet.

 6. The property is surrounded by an 8-foot wire fence, and there are two radio towers located on the property.

 7. Approximately 5% of the parcel taken is occupied by buildings and structures erected by the government and the remaining 95% is vacant.

 8. Less than 500 members of the Armed Forces work on the reservation and approximately 250 to 300 live there.

 9. The activities carried on at this installation are of a highly technical nature, and 80% of the personnel stationed there are technicians.

 10. Approximately 200 to 250 vehicles go in and out of the reservation daily.

 11. The damage parcel, like the remaining Mackay land, is located in two zoning areas. The easterly part of the condemned parcel, comprising 26.14 acres, lies in an area zoned for residential use, where the minimum plot area for a home is 15,000 square feet. The westerly portion of the taken area, comprising 24.20 ...


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