Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a request for a review of potential excess right of way?
We require a request be submitted in writing. You need to identify yourself, provide contact information such as address and phone number, and identify the location of the tract in question.
How do I identify the tract I want to be reviewed?
The best way is to send us a marked map or plan. You can obtain a copy of the county appraiser's map that contains the tract in question, mark the tract and send it in. If a survey has been done that shows the property, this also works well too. We can also work from just the section-township-range or the quadrant of an intersection, but it may take longer to identify the tract.
How long does it take to get excess right of way released?
The entire process can take as long as 6 to 9 months. We are working hard to get this down to a shorter time, but as can be seen there are a number of steps involved and complications can arise.
How does KDOT handle a request for the sale of excess right of way?
A lot depends on the tract. When a request to release is first received we will do research to find out how and when KDOT acquired the tract and if there appears to be potential excess right of way.
If KDOT does own the tract in question, and if there appears to be potential excess right of way involved, the next step is the review process. Several KDOT bureaus and the District Engineer for the district in which the tract is located will examine the requested tract to see if it will be needed for present or future highway needs. If all agree that all or part of the property is excess to the needs of the state, a legal description will be written for the excess and it will be appraised.
An appraisal is necessary to determine fair market value for each tract as derived from similar sales in the vicinity of the property. Per K.S.A. 68-413 for K.S.A. 68-413, the statute that governs the sale of excess right of way, in no case shall real estate be sold for less than 2/3 of its appraised value unless an effort to sell has resulted in no sale being effected. At that time a reappraisement and additional sales effort may take place.
After the appraisal is completed, the next step depends on the nature of the property. K.S.A. 68-413 for K.S.A. 68-413 dictates that a tract will be advertised under certain guidelines and sold at public auction. If the Secretary of Transportation determines that a sale by auction would be inappropriate, the real estate may be sold in the manner deemed most expedient. In practice, if the tract is accessible by a public thoroughfare, an auction will usually take place. In the case of 'assemblage' properties, which may only be assembled with an abutting property, a sealed bid process will be most likely employed. If an assemblage property has only one abutting property owner, it may be offered to the abutting landowner by letter.
Keep in mind that KDOT sometimes does not acquire full ownership to a tract of ground. For example, the acquisition of a tract by the right of eminent domain (condemnation) after March 1, 1951, resulted in KDOT acquiring a permanent easement interest. This interest can only be sold to the underlying fee titleholder, which is often the original property owner from which the permanent easement was taken, or the heirs or assigns of that owner.
At times KDOT has teamed up with the underlying fee titleholder in a joint sale, in which the combined interests of KDOT and the underlying fee titleholder are offered at one time through auction.
In a bid situation, the highest bid meeting the minimum bid criteria will be awarded the property upon payment. Once a property has received a successful bid or an offer letter has resulted in acceptance, payment is expected to be received by KDOT within 30 days. Upon receipt of payment, a quit claim deed will be executed and recorded.
What about Joint Use Agreements?
KDOT has the ability to enter into Joint Use Agreements for the use of the highway right of way with abutting property owners and businesses, local governmental agencies, not-for-profit organizations, etc. The approval of a Joint Use Agreement takes place in much the same manner as a release of excess highway right of way. The payment for use of the highway right of way is judged by the intended use of the licensee. Joint use agreements are executed for a predetermined amount of time and are renewed periodically. Also, an agreement may be terminated with reasonable notice by KDOT in the event that a need is identified for the right of way covered by the agreement.
Kansas Department of Transportation
Bureau of Right of Way
Eisenhower State Office Building - 14th Floor
700 SW Harrison St
Topeka, KS 66603-3745
Toll Free: 1-877-461-6817
Hearing Impaired: 711