Expropriated Cornwall landowner looking for double what government paid

The second day of an arbitration over the expropriation of a farm in the path the Cornwall Bypass continued Tuesday, as the hearing listened to testimony from an appraiser, an accountant and a real estate agent.

Province paid Ellen Jones's family $536,800 to expropriate land, house and arena

The land includes a 3-storey custom-built home and attached arena. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The second day of an arbitration over the expropriation of a farm in the path the Cornwall Bypass continued Tuesday, as the hearing listened to testimony from an appraiser, an accountant and a real estate agent.

The 79-acre property is home to the Hughes-Jones Centre for people and animals. The property is owned by the family of Ellen Jones and also includes a 3-storey home and office along with a riding arena. Jones owns the business on the property.

It was expropriated March 31 for $536,800, but Jones says that's not enough to also relocate her business.

The appraiser hired by the province, who testified Monday, valued the farm at $488,000. The province also paid the Joneses a 10 per cent incentive fee to help cover moving expenses, bringing the total payout to $536,800.

On Tuesday, court heard from Daniel Moase, a licensed realtor, Michael Fitzpatrick, the Jones' accountant, and Scott McEwen, director and general manager for Altus Group PEI, the company the Jones family hired to appraise their property.

Jones family estimates costs to be double 

Moase testified that a similar property in Cornwall was valued at $13,500 per acre.

McEwen testified as an expert in appraisal in expropriation. He prepared two reports. The most recent, from March 31, valued the land at $696,000 plus $370,000 for reinstatement costs of a full relocation.

Fitzpatrick testified that upon evaluating the Jones's finances, he estimated a further cost for disruption of $73,785.

In total that put the Jones's estimated value and costs over $1 million — double what they were paid by government.

Ellen Jones is now a tenant on the property which is owned by the province. She can remain on the site until May 2018.

The hearing is expected to wrap up on Wednesday. This is the first expropriation case on P.E.I. to reach the point of arbitration.