July 6, 1967
The State appeals from a judgment of the Court of Claims awarding damages in the sum of $32,150 as direct and consequential damages in the taking of 7.028 acres of land for highway purposes. As a result of the taking, 9.13 acres were left with access to the highway, some of which fronted thereon, and some 58.3 acres were completely landlocked. The court found that the highest and best use prior to the taking was for homesites along the highway frontage and for farming purposes for the balance. With reference to the farming land he further found that it had a potential for subdivision when other, more suitable, land in the area was fully developed. The court also found that property was worth $43,250 before the taking, computed at $10 per front foot for the eight lots on the highway, and 70.5 acres of land at $500 each; and further found direct damages to be $3,500. The after value of the property was fixed by the court at $11,100 and consequential damages at $28,650. The method by which the trial court arrived at a value of $500 per acre for the farming land cannot be determined upon the present record. As stated in Golden Park Realty v. State of New York ( 28 A.D.2d 605, 606): "if the Court of Claims determines, as was done here, that the highest and best use was for a potential subdivision site and that the method of valuation should be based upon giving the acreage value an increment value because of the potential use in accordance with Hewitt v. State of New York ( 18 A.D.2d 1128); see, also, Fort Amherst Realty Co. v. State of New York ( 27 A.D.2d 582), the found acreage value and the found increment should both be set out so that this court can make a proper review of those determinations. Here all we are presented with is a final per acre valuation figure." Regarding the land fronting on the highway the trial court found an after value of $6 per front foot. Claimant's expert testified it was valued at $18 and the State valued it at $8 per front foot. Not only must a total award be within the range of expert testimony, but also its various components, or it must otherwise be supported by independent evidence ( Spyros v. State of New York, 25 A.D.2d 696; Pilon v. State of New York, 25 A.D.2d 697). There being no such other evidence in the record, new or additional findings must be made with reference to this part of the award, as well. Determination of appeal withheld and case remitted to the Court of Claims for further proceedings not inconsistent with the decision herein. Upon the making of new or additional findings by the Trial Judge, and the filing of the record thereof in this court, the case will be restored to the calendar. Gibson, P.J., Reynolds, Aulisi, Staley, Jr., and Gabrielli, JJ., concur in memorandum by Gabrielli, J.