Feb 8, 3:15 AM EST

Property owners suing city over land condemnation payouts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Property owners who claim they weren't paid enough when Scottsdale condemned their land are suing the city.

CGP-Aberdeen, a partnership between Crown Golf Properties and Aberdeen Investments, owned 50 acres of undeveloped desert near The Golf Club Scottsdale.

Scottsdale condemned the land in January 2003 to make it part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, said Bruce Washburn, an assistant city attorney.

However, the city did not actually take possession of the land until July 2004. By that time, the value of the land had increased beyond the $4 million the city paid, the owners claim.

The owners had constructed a golf course near the property in that time, and property values shot up, said Dale Zeitlin, attorney for CGP-Aberdeen.

"The city waited 18 months to pay them some money," he said. "They didn't think the payment was just compensation or fair."

The landowners already have tried to sue for their money and lost in an earlier court case.

In a condemnation case, Arizona statute says the property is valued on the date of the issuance of the court summons, not on the date the land is actually seized, Washburn said.

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