Court Construe Ambiguous Land Orders

Because land orders are administrative rules, they are subject to the same rules of construction as statutes. Poracky v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 635 N.E.2d 235, 236 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1994). Thus, this Court will construe terms within a land order only if they are ambiguous. See Zakutansky v. State Board of Tax Comm'rs, 758 N.E.2d 103, 108 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2001). When terms within a land order are susceptible to more than one interpretation, they are ambiguous. See May Dep't Stores Co. v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue, 749 N.E.2d 651, 658 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2001). "Although a disagreement between the parties does not necessarily indicate ambiguity, opposing interpretations are persuasive in suggesting that an ambiguity exists." Id. In construing a land order, "the first and foremost rule of construction is to ascertain and give effect to the land commission's intent, and the most reliable guide to that intent is the language of the land order itself." the Precedent v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 659 N.E.2d 701, 704 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1995). Where the language of a land order is undefined, however, the Court will give the language its plain and ordinary meaning; the Court may do so by referring to a dictionary. May Dep't Stores, 749 N.E.2d at 658, 661. The term "corridor" is defined as "a . . . narrow passageway or route." WEBSTER'S THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY 512 (1981). Given that definition, "a narrow passageway or route" would be a geographic area that includes only those properties fronting a highway that runs down the center of the area.