and the enlargement of the project in 1963. The 106 acres originally included in the project, however, were valued without regard to the effect of the project itself on land value.
This case therefore clearly demonstrates that changes subsequent to the original disclosure are to be disregarded, even if the formal taking itself occurs long after such disclosure. The rule that value is determined as of the date of taking cannot be applied in mechanical fashion.
Obviously the Miller principle is not a one-way street. When it is applicable it applies regardless of whether its application benefits the Government or the landowner. Intervening changes of valuation are to be disregarded whether they are increases or decreases. The movement of the market may be either up or down, but the valuation for just compensation purposes will disregard fluctuations either way.
We therefore conclude that, under the circumstances of the case at bar, developments subsequent to 1957, when the scope of the project was announced, are to be disregarded. Hence the landowners are to be compensated for the triangle shaped area which was submerged by their own activities after 1957 but before the actual taking or flooding when the higher water level became effective in 1965. The "before value" of the land taken is to be determined as of its extent in 1957.
It remains to translate these principles into dollar amounts. Tract 628 was substantially unaffected by the flowage. The Government's brief says 0.68 acres of Tract 628 were flooded.
Tract 702 embraced in toto 17.289 acres, and Tract 628 embraced 2.758 acres (Exhibit 2). According to the Government's brief, the triangular area was 3.5 acres, and the lagoon approximately 4 acres or a total of 7.5 acres; but 12.42 acres would have been flooded had no work been done by the owners. According to Harry D. Ford, one of the owners, he concluded that 7 acres were taken by the flooding, and that 14 acres would have become swamp at water elevation 762. According to the Government's appraiser, 2.58 acres were flooded, taking the state of the land as it had been altered by the work done by the owner before flooding. The small peripheral inundation along the edge of both tracts at that time is shown in green on the overlay to Exhibit E.
As stated above, we consider the compensable taking to include not only the peripheral inundations on both tracts, but also the triangular area and the lagoon (which we compute from the foregoing figures as amounting to approximately 10 acres).
As a rough maximum and minimum on the average value per acre of land in the area, we may note the $3,333.33 per acre paid by the landowners to the Penn Central for the intervening tract which was absolutely necessary for the use of their tracts as a unit, and the $400 per acre paid by Edwards, one of the landowners, at the time of his original purchase in 1962 of Tracts 702 and 628. Since the acreage flooded was along the low edges of the tracts, where flooding occasionally had occurred before the improvement, a figure in the higher range would be inappropriate as a ceiling.
The landowners' appraiser gave a valuation of $66,000 before, $45,000 after, or damages of $21,000. The Government's appraiser for a taking of 13.1 acres, gave values of $8,700 and $9,000, or a benefit of $300.
We find and conclude, upon careful consideration of all the evidence, that the before value was $9,000; the after value $4,000, and the just compensation to be paid $5,000.
Judgment is entered in that amount in favor of the landowners and against the United States. This opinion shall be deemed to include the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.