Local Public Agency (LPA) Manual for Right of Way Acquisition

LPA Manual
LPA Manual

Welcome to the Local Public Agency (LPA) Manual for Right of Way Acquisition with link to related LPA forms. The LPA Manual is intended to assist local public agencies (LPAs) in the state of Wisconsin to secure funding for local road projects and is to be used as a guide to local government staff for right of way acquisitions.

Table of Contents

Title page

Table of Contents


Chapter 1.0 Project Development

  • 1.1 Notification Procedures
  • 1.2 Utility and Railroad Coordination
  • 1.3 Encroachments
    • 1.3.1 Revocable Occupancy Permits
  • 1.4 Hazardous Waste and Asbestos Abatement
  • 1.5 Advanced Acquisitions (Hardship/Protective Purchases)
  • 1.6 Early Acquisitions

Chapter 2.0 Project Staffing/Acquisition Capability Statement

  • 2.1 Separation of Function Requirement
  • 2.2 Minimum Qualifications for R/W Personnel
    • 2.2.1 LPA Staff
    • 2.2.2 Appraisers
    • 2.2.2 Review Appraisers
    • 2.2.3 Negotiation Agents
    • 2.2.4 Relocation Assistance Specialists
  • 2.3 Acquisition Capability Statement
  • 2.4 Contacts
    • 2.4.1 Contract Forms Required
    • 2.4.2 State and/or Federal Funding in R/W Acquisition Bidding Requirements
      • No State and/or Federal Funding in R/W Acquisition
    • 2.4.3 Procurement Procedures for Engineering Contracts (“turn-key” projects)

Chapter 3.0 Preliminary R/W Activities

  • 3.1 State and Federal Aid Cost Estimate
  • 3.2 Relocation Order
    • 3.2.1 Transportation Project Plats (TPPs)
    • 3.2.2 Exception to Relocation Order Requirement
  • 3.3 Relocation Plan
  • 3.4 Right of Way Plats
  • 3.5 Project Management Conference

Chapter 4.0 Appraisal Process

  • 4.1 Appraisal Formats
  • 4.2 Appraisal Inspection and Duty to Invite Owner
  • 4.3 Appraisal Review
    • 4.3.1 Offering Price and the Appraisal Review
    • 4.3.2 Appraisal Review with Only Local Funding
    • 4.3.3 Appraisal Review with State and/or Federal Funding
      • Objective Review of Appraisal
  • 4.4 Offering Price Approval Process

Chapter 5.0 Nominal Payment Parcels ($10,000 or less)

  • 5.1 Establishing Fair Market Value
  • 5.2 Nominal Payment Parcel Report
  • 5.3 Project Data Book/Sales Study and Nominal Report Approval
  • 5.4 Minimum Parcel Values
  • 5.5 Preparing Nominal Parcel File
  • 5.6 Exemption from “Separation of Function” Requirement
  • 5.7 Subsequent Changes to Nominal Offering Price

Chapter 6.0 Negotiation Process

  • 6.1 Brochure Requirement
  • 6.2 Negotiation Diary
  • 6.3 Negotiation Procedures
    • 6.3.1 Prohibited Conduct During Negotiations
    • 6.3.2 Initiation of Negotiations
    • 6.3.3 Offering Price Letter
    • 6.3.4 Clear Title updated 11/15/17
  • 6.4 Property Owner Appraisals
    • 6.4.1 Calculating 60-Day Deadline
    • 6.4.2 Reimbursement of Owner Appraisal Costs
  • 6.5 Written Statement of Commitments
  • 6.6 Conflict of Interest: Separation of Function
  • 6.7 Relocation Assistance
    • 6.7.1 90-Day Assurance of Occupancy
  • 6.8 IRS Requirements
  • 6.9 Increases to Original Offering Price
    • 6.9.1 Administrative Revisions
  • 6.10 Temporary Right of Entry Easement

Chapter 7.0 Donations and Temporary Interests

  • 7.1 Donations
    • 7.1.1 Valuation of Exchanges for Construction Features
  • 7.2 Temporary Limited Easements
  • 7.3 Construction Permits

Chapter 8.0 Closing Procedures

  • 8.1 Acquiring Property Interests
    • 8.1.1 Conveyance Types
    • 8.1.2 Conveyances of Permanent Property Interests
    • 8.1.3 Use of Approved Forms
    • 8.1.4 Closing Statement Requirement
    • 8.1.5 Notice of Appeal
    • 8.1.6 Recording Conveyance

Chapter 9.0 Condemnation Process

  • 9.1 Revised Offer Letter Requirement
  • 9.2 Jurisdictional Offer and 60 Day Appraisal Deadline
  • 9.3 Notice of Lis Pendens
  • 9.4 Award of Damage

Chapter 10.0 Miscellaneous Procedures

  • 10.1 Outdoor Advertising
  • 10.2 Property Management
  • 10.3 Selling Surplus/Excess Property
  • 10.4 Building Removal
  • 10.5 Federal Land Transfer

Chapter 11.0 Certification and Records

  • 11.1 Right of Way Certification
  • 11.2 Records Management
    • 11.2.1 Project Files and Parcel Folder Contents
    • 11.2.2 Records Retention
  • 11.3 Compliance

Chapter 12.0 Reimbursement of State/federal Aid

  • 12.1 General Procedures for Obtaining Reimbursement
  • 12.2 Reimbursement for Litigation Expenses
  • 12.3 Reimbursement for Incidental Expenses


LPA Manual/Appendix

LPA Manual/Index

Forms and documents

  • LPA forms - for use on eminent domain LPA acquisition projects only!

Related links

WisDOT approved LPA staff and consultantsWIsDOT LPA logo


LPA manualThis LPA manual is a compilation of information from many sources and is intended as a reference for administrative and field personnel in local governmental agencies. It is not intended to be a comprehensive document. Local Public Agencies (LPAs) must follow the minimum procedures outlined in this manual to secure the approvals needed to proceed with right of way acquisition on state or federal aid projects. The request for use of federal funds in right of way is to be coordinated with the regional Real Estate (RE) coordinator for WisDOT assigned to the area in which the local project is located. It is the responsibility of the LPA to ensure that all state and federal procedures and laws are followed. Also be aware that this manual is a sub-section of the larger Real Estate Program Manual (REPM). To obtain additional detailed information, direction and guidance relating to the policies and procedures as outlined and discussed throughout this manual, you should make frequent reference to the REPM, except that any form(s) linked as part of the REPM should be substituted for the equivalent LPA form(s). It is impractical, if not impossible, to address or anticipate all possible situations. The information contained within this manual is offered for use in understanding the policies of the WisDOT real estate program and is not meant to be the basis for creating absolute requirements or law except where state or federal law or administrative rules with the force of law apply. The Bureau of Technical Services-Real Estate (BTS-RE) management, on behalf of WisDOT, has the ability to exercise discretionary judgment in the use or application of this manual. Updates are made when practicable, but not instantly. BTS-RE is not responsible to provide notice to users when modifications are made. Insignificant format updates and/or corrections may not always be announced with an official revision date. Be aware that the official and current version is this electronic publication. Any use of a printed copy is discouraged as format and policy is subject to change. The existence, distribution, application and use of this manual do not constitute an acknowledgment or guarantee of outcome, expressed or implied, by WisDOT. Frequent references are made to the Wisconsin Statutes, the Real Estate Program Manual (REPM), and to the Facilities Development Manual (FDM). For assistance in using this manual, contact WisDOT Real Estate/Central Bureau Office. 

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