The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear an eminent domain case Tuesday that could impact nearly two hundred property owners in the future Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. The property owners hope the high court's ruling will finally mean compensation for their homes.

The design for the proposed 34-mile beltway has been in the works since the 1990s. There are more than 2,000 properties in the road's corridor. The state has bought some of them over the years, but hundreds more remain.  Several residents have since sued the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

"It's unconstitutional. The two questions that I get asked the most is how much longer is this going to go on, since it's been more than two decades and am I going to get paid fairly," says Matthew Bryant, a Winston-Salem attorney representing several landowners in the case.

Under the Map Act, the NCDOT can enforce a ban on applying for building permits and place restrictions on development.

Last year, the N.C. Court of Appeals said the state has to pay landowners. NCDOT appealed that ruling. Now the state Supreme Court is reviewing the lower court's decision.

Elaine Smith Eurey lives on the western side of the project's pathway on Village Oak Drive. Her home is only one of a handful left standing in her neighborhood. She says the state has forgotten that it's dealing with human beings and not just property.

“When we purchased our properties we were young people but we are no longer young and what I fear the most is that this is going to become my child's problem," Eurey says.

The landowners claim that in addition to not being compensated, the designation has depressed their property values and limited the use of their land.

Larry Myers has lived in his home in Pfafftown for more than 20 years. He's battling cancer and worries he's leaving a burden on his family.

"If they can buy a church out for $1.6 million, why can't they buy me out for $250,000?," says Myers. "I would like for my wife to have a place to go and not have to worry about it, because I probably won't be here much longer.”

NCDOT was contacted. Miracle King, a communications officer with agency released a statement saying, "The NCDOT doesn't comment about ongoing legal cases."

This story was changed to reflect that DOT did respond to request for comments. A previous version said DOT did not respond.

*You can follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news .

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