O Brien Anor Department of Natural Resources AV by benbenzhou


									                                                                               LAND COURT


                                                                         14 FEBRUARY 1997

               Re:     AV95-293
                       An appeal against an unimproved valuation -
                       Valuation of Land Act 1944 -
                       Town of Roma

                         Vincent J O’Brien and Jennifer L Bobart
                     Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources

                                      (Hearing at Roma)


        As at 1 January 1995 the Department of Natural Resources as it is now, assessed the
unimproved value of land described as Lot 1 on RP 194087, Parish of Roma, in the amount of
$46,000. The land contains an area of 4.167 ha and is situated on the western side of Edwards
Street, Roma, about 1.4 km radially north of the Roma PO. It is zoned “Rural B” and is
serviced by town water, telephone, electricity, sewerage and garbage collection.
        Mr R.E.D. Allison, a registered valuer employed by the Department was responsible for
the valuation. He described the nature of the land, which is vacant, as a level to low-lying
irregular shaped inside lot with an area of sand ridge along the road frontage. It is his opinion
that the highest and best use of the land is as a rural homesite.
        Mr O’Brien, one of the appellants, conducted their case. The grounds of appeal allege
that the valuation of the subject land is “not in relativity to values of other/adjoining land in
same street”. Valuations ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 and of four parcels with areas from
6.03 ha to 23 ha were offered as examples of the relativity allegation. Further grounds were
that the land was 80% flood prone and that the shape of the land “has no future subdivision
potential with small frontage”. The appellants’ estimate of unimproved value was $25,020.
        Mr O’Brien tendered a statement which further set out the grounds of appeal together
with a comment that there were excessive odour levels from a nearby piggery. Although not a
ground of appeal, there was no evidence to suggest that any disability emanating from the
piggery was not common to the locality. Also tendered were a photograph which depicted
flooding of the locality (Mr O’Brien thought in about 1983 or 1984) and a flood map.
        Mr Allison agreed that 80% of the site was flood prone, the flood-free area being the
sand ridge at the road frontage. As he had valued the land as a single rural homesite, he had not
investigated the subdivisional potential, relative to its shape and frontage. Minimum lot size of
1 ha was permitted, however, in the “Rural B” zone in which the subject land was located.
        The chief executive did not set out to answer the appellants’ claim that the valuation
was too high on the basis of relativity with other valuations. The valuation appealed against

was based on the evidence provided by sales of three rural sites.
        A 15.4868 ha “Rural A” zoned site near opposite the subject land had sold in June 1994
for $56,000, showing an analysed unimproved value of $52,280, with an applied valuation at
the relevant date of $50,000. Although much larger in area, Mr Allison described the land as
physically inferior and having inferior services and zoning. It was his evidence that the sale
land was totally flood prone. It is observed that this sale land adjoins, on the southern side, one
of the relativity examples provided by Mr O’Brien - a 23.1 ha lot also valued at $50,000.
        The second sale used by Mr Allison was of a 1 ha site in Edwards Street to the north of
the subject land and on the opposite side of the road, serviced with electricity and town water
but not sewerage. This land had sold for an analysed unimproved value of $21,400 in
September 1993 and a valuation of $17,400 had been applied as at the relevant date here. The
sale land is completely inundated during a major flood.
        The third sale is in close proximity to the north of the subject separated by three
surveyed lots at the street frontage and then adjoining at the rear. It has an area of 2.481 ha and
is similarly zoned “Rural B”. That land sold in June 1992 to show an analysed unimproved
value of $39,570 with an applied relevant date valuation of $38,500. About 90% of that sale
land is subject to flooding with a flood-free sand ridge at the street frontage somewhat similar to
the subject land. Similar services as available to the subject land are capable of being
connected. Mr Allison described the sale land as being generally similar although of better
shape. He considered it to be less valuable due principally to its smaller area.
        None of Mr Allison’s opinions relative to the sales evidence was challenged. Mr
O’Brien’s case relied on relativity issues although he provided no detailed information other
than the owner, size and location of the properties with which he made his comparisons.
        The legal principles to be applied in such matters where the relativity of valuations
becomes an issue were summarised by the Land Appeal Court in Grahn v. The Valuer-General
(1992) 14 QLCR 327 and repeated in Land Appeal Court judgments since. As is seen to be
relevant here, included in that summary were comments made by the Land Appeal Court in
Fischer v. The Valuer-General (1983) 9 QLCR 44 at 46:
       “Whilst maintenance of correct relativity is of considerable importance for
       rating valuations, the use of the principle of relativity should not be preferred to
       the exclusion of relevant (even if not ideal) sales evidence.”

        I am satisfied on the evidence that the appellants have not proved the valuation of the
subject land to be wrong. The appeal is dismissed and the valuation of the chief executive

                                                                          RE WENCK
                                                          MEMBER OF THE LAND COURT

To top