The acquisition of private property for public use is governed by a host of state and federal rules and regulations. On federal aid projects, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Real Estate Services (RES) Program has overall responsibility for the acquisition, management, and disposal of real property.
Through the Stewardship Agreement between WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), WSDOT is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of Local Public Agency (LPA) projects are carried out in compliance with federal statutes, regulations, and policies. WSDOT Local Programs is the lead office for ensuring this compliance. Partially funded by the Local Programs Office, the Headquarters RES Local Agency Program is the lead in ensuring LPAs are acquiring right of way in accordance with the
URA and 49 CFR Part 24.
The purpose of this web page is to provide information to LPA’s and their consultants on right of way related matters.
Business Relocation: Actual Direct Loss & Substitute Personal Property (Viable Options for Business Displacees) (pdf, 984kb)
Local Agency Guidelines Manual revised
Revision Notice - Local Agency Guidelines (LAG) M 36-63 revised April 2014 www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/manuals/m36-63.htm
Please forward this message to employees within your organization to inform them of this update.
WSDOT department manuals are available online at:
Publications Services no longer sells printed department publications to the general public, contractors, consultants, cities, or counties. This service is now available through the Washington State Department of Printing’s Fulfillment Center. Printed copies of the Department of Transportation’s most requested manuals are available through an online service called MyFulfullment. This is a secure website. Once you have established an account with them, you may purchase any product they have available.
To purchase WSDOT products, set up a login account, select Shop by Agency, and then select Department of Transportation from the alphabetical list. Once you have selected the products you wish to purchase, you will be asked to enter credit card information to complete your transaction.
WSDOT employees still order manuals from Publications Services.
For questions or suggestions on how we can improve our publications or our website, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington State Department of Transportation
PO Box 47304
Olympia, WA 98504-7304
Statewide Local Agency Workshop Presentation Information
2014 IRWA Chapter 4 Education Course Schedule (pdf, 1.5mb)
2014 Uniform Act Low Income Limits - effective immediately
The 2014 URA Low Income Limits, used in connection with rental assistance payment calculations under 49 CFR 24.402(b), have been revised for 2014. All income calculations made on or after December 18, 2013 must use the 2014 tables.
Additional information and guidance for making URA low income calculations are available on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) web page at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/ua/ualic.htm
Please Note: The Low Income Limits provide the flexibility to round the income results for families of 8 or more to the either the nearest $50 or to use the actual number. Whichever method an Agency chooses should be applied consistently.
The FAQ provides an example of the flexibility at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/ua/ualicfaq.htm
WSDOT has elected to use the actual number.
For low income situations a copy of the HUD Low Income Limits spreadsheet is required to be part of your rent supplement package that is sent to HQ for review.
Addition of New Chapter (15) to the ROW Manual
Addition of Chapter 17 to the Right of Way Manual
The first of three new chapters has been added to the WSDOT Right of Way Manual. Chapter 17 deals with the R/W certification process; it also adds a number of new forms that Local Agencies will need to use on new projects. A link to the Right of Way Manual is provided in the sidebar, left. Remember, this is the Right of Way Manual, not the LAG Manual.
For projects already in progress, you will not need to fully adopt the new procedures. For all new projects where your right of way phase commenced no earlier than April, 2013, all elements of Chapter 17 apply. If you have questions, contact your Local Agency Coordinator.
Note: separate portions of the new chapter are devoted to WSDOT use and to Local Agency use. Although these are clearly denoted, take care to use the appropriate section when preparing your agency's certification.
March 28, 2013
Administrative Offer Summary (AOS) Policy Change:
August 2014 - Topic: Implementation of MAP-21 - Uniform Act Benefit and Eligibility Change (pdf, 105kb)
July 2014 - Topic: Statutory Evaluation Allowance Information (pdf, 60kb)
June 2014 - Topic: ROW Plan Requirements (pdf, 114kb)
May 2014 - Topic: Relocation Appeal Procedure Guidance Update (pdf, 11kb)
April 2014 - Topic: Paying for Appraisals of Donated Property
Question: Can a local agency pay for an appraisal when a property owner is interested in donating property for a tax write off?
Answer: Yes, with as long as the estimated value of the property is more than the cost of the appraisal, so a PFE or TCE will need to be completed with an estimate of value for the proposed parcel for donation before the local agency works with the property owner to complete the donation form. If the property owner wants/needs to get their own appraisal, the appraiser must meet the appraisal qualifications in the LAG/WSDOT ROW Manual, and the owner will need to submit the invoice.
March 2014 - Topic: FHWA's position on moving marijuana
Question: Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, but it is now legal to possess small amounts in Washington state, would FHWA approve a local Agency's payment for moving expenses to relocate Marijuana that is considered personal property?
Answer: The position of FHWA HQ currently is that they do not participate in costs associated with activities that are not "legal" under Federal law. Until and unless that position changes, it means they would not participate in costs associated with relocating marijuana plants. However, if WSDOT chooses to do so with our own funds, that would not affect FHWA's ability to participate in those costs that are not directly associated with the "illegal" (per Federal) activity. So, they could participate in the other costs associated with the displacement.
February 2014 - Topic: 23 CFR 710.403(e) - Sale or Lease of Excess Real Property
Question: What are the procedures for Local Agencies for complying with this statement found in the quoted regulation?
“The Federal share of net income from the sale or lease of excess real property shall be used by the STD for activities eligible for funding under title 23 of the United States Code.”
Specifically, what constitutes “activities” and who is the final authority in defining said activities?
The bottom line is that it is up to the LPA to develop their own process to inventory property acquired with federal funds, as well as the sale of properties acquired with such funds, including where the sale proceeds went and what were they used for. In an audit, they would be expected to produce documentation to show they are incompliance with the CFR. (Also refer to LAG Manual Section 25.14 Property Management)
You also asked to define “activities” and “eligible”, specifically whether or not sale proceeds had to be used for another “federal aid” project. The answer is no, the project does not have to have any federal aid, but it does have to be a “title 23” project. There is no restriction on the “activities” the money can be used for as long as the project is considered “eligible under title 23”.
The money can be used for activities in any phase: design (PE), Construction (CN) or Right of Way (RW). For example, it can be used to buy pavement for a 100% locally funded project. However, it likely could not be used to purchase playground equipment for a park.