If you have received a “Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation” from INDOT or an INDOT representative, you may be wondering what it means. In the early stages of a project’s development, INDOT must collect as much information as possible to ensure that sound decisions are made in designing the proposed project. Before entering onto private property to collect that data, INDOT is required to notify landowners that personnel will be in the area and may need to enter onto their property. Indiana Code, Title 8, Article 23, Chapter 7, Section 26 deals with the department’s authority to enter onto any property within Indiana.
Receipt of a Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation does not necessarily mean that INDOT will be buying property from you. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that the project will involve your property at all. Since the Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation is sent out in the very early stages and since we want to collect data within AND surrounding the project’s limits more landowners are contacted than will actually fall within the eventual project limits. It may also be that your property falls within the project limits but we will not need to purchase property from you to make improvements to the roadway. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you receive a Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation, very few specifics have been worked out and actual construction of the project may be several years in the future.
Before INDOT begins a project that requires them to purchase property from landowners, they must first offer the opportunity for a public hearing. If you were on the list of people who received a Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation, you should also receive a notice informing you of your opportunity to request a public hearing. These notices will also be published in your local newspaper so interested individuals who are not adjacent to the project will also have the opportunity to request a public hearing. If a public hearing is to be held, INDOT will publicize the date, location, and time. INDOT will present detailed project information at the public hearing, comments will be taken from the public in spoken and written form, and question and answer sessions will be offered. Based on the feedback INDOT receives from the public, a project can be modified and improved to better serve the public.
So, if you have received a “Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation”, remember:
- You do not need to take any action at this time. It is merely letting you know that people in orange/lime vests are going to be in your neighborhood.
- The project is still in its very early planning stages.
- You will be notified of your opportunity to comment on the project at a later date.