Jay’s Donuts, the iconic mom-and-pop shop at O’Neal Lane and South Harrell’s Ferry Road in Baton Rouge that closed in 2010 after a road widening project expropriated a chunk of its property, was justly compensated to the tune of more than $887,000, a state appeals court has ruled.
Jay’s, a casualty of the city’s Green Light Project, contends state District Judge Wilson Fields should have awarded the business $1.5 million.
Jay’s claims the judge erred in awarding just compensation based only on the market value of its land and business instead of also taking into consideration the value of discretionary cash flows to the owner generated by the business.
A divided five-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Baton Rouge on Wednesday rejected that argument.
“The City/Parish presented evidence by which to calculate an amount to fully compensate the business for the expropriation of its property; therefore, it cannot be said that the trial court’s decision to credit the City/Parish’s proffered valuation formula was manifestly erroneous,” Circuit Judge Mitch Theriot wrote for the panel.
Chief Circuit Judge Vanessa G. Whipple and fellow Circuit Judge William Crain joined Theriot. Circuit Judges James Kuhn and John Pettigrew dissented, indicating $1.5 million would have represented just compensation for Jay’s.
Jay’s operated at the O’Neal-South Harrell’s Ferry location for more than two decades.