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AMI 2007 Definition—Highest and Best Use

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 2007
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 20. Eminent Domain
AMI 2007 Definition—Highest and Best Use
The “highest and best use” of the property means the most favorable purpose to which the property is adaptable and the most valuable purpose for which it could have been used in the not too distant future. Highest and best use means the most advantageous use to which the property could actually be put without entering into speculation. It is the use of the property that would produce the maximum economic value on the date of the taking.
COMMENT
This instruction is based on Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Delaughter, 250 Ark. 990, 468 S.W.2d 242 (1971); Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Pearrow, 1 Ark. App. 289, 614 S.W. 2d 695 (1981); and Rest Hills Memorial Park, Inc. v. Clayton Chapel Sewer Improvement District, 6 Ark. App. 180, 639 S.W.2d 519 (1982).
A landowner is entitled to compensation based on the fair market value of the land put to its highest and best use. Delaughter, 250 Ark. at 1001, 468 S.W.2d at 247.
“[A] verdict rendered by a jury, which was partially based on testimony relating to the commercial value of the land, and partially based on testimony relating to the land's value for residential purposes, would not be proper, but it is for the jury to determine the best and highest use of a landowner's property.” Ark. State Highway Comm'n v. Griffin, 241 Ark. 1033, 1039, 411 S.W.2d 495, 499 (1967).
“A landowner is entitled to show every advantage that his property possesses, present and prospective, to have his witnesses state any and every fact concerning the property which he would naturally adduce in order to place it in an advantageous light if he were selling it to a private individual, and to show the availability of this property for any and all purposes for which it is plainly adapted or for which it is likely to have value and induce purchases.” Ark. State Highway Comm'n v. First Pyramid Life Ins. Co., 269 Ark. 278, 283–84, 602 S.W.2d 609, 612–13 (1980).
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