The larger parcel concept, as it is currently understood, leaves much room for
interpretation, confusion and abuse. Because it is defined by the courts, it is not
static, and our understanding of the larger parcel continues to change as cases
are brought before the courts and appraisers are retained to value condemned
properties. But for now, the larger parcel remains a vaguely defined, often
misunderstood, and yet critical element of condemnation appraisals with the
burden of proof often left upon the shoulders of the appraiser.
BY ORELL ANDERSON, MAI, JACK WILLIAMSON, PH.D. AND ALEXANDER WOHL
One of the more vexing problems facing condemnation appraisals today
Reviewing the Literature
For such a key concept, there is little in the scholarly or practitioner literature that
discusses the larger parcel and its complexities in much detail, if at all. The Dictionary
of Real Estate Appraisal offers a useful definition of the larger parcel, but the term is
not mentioned in the Appraisal Institute’s, The Appraisal of Real Estate and is only
briefly defined in IRWA’s Principles of Right of Way.
The Uniform Appraisal Standards
for Federal Land Acquisitions or
“yellow book,” which is published by
the Appraisal Institute and the U.S.
Department of Justice, offers useful
guidelines for determining the larger
parcel. However, these are practical
guidelines for the appraiser, and they do
not venture into the nuances of highest
and best use and the larger parcel.
While articles discussing the larger
parcel have been published in Right
of Way Magazine and the Appraisal
Institute’s Valuation Magazine, these