What to do with trash is a problem for which many jurisdictions must find solutions. One Texas city has proposed a new landfill in a wide, rural area and has already spent over $5 million to purchase the 1,200 acres for the landfill and a buffer zone surrounding it. The project also requires major upgrades to the rural road that will provide access to the landfill. Unfortunately, part of that land belongs to a privately-owned business and may require the exercise of eminent domain to obtain.
The city wants to acquire the land adjacent to the proposed entrance to the landfill so it can expand the road to accommodate the increased traffic. However, the owner of the land is not willing to sell and is strongly opposed to the landfill planned so close to his business. The business involves breeding deer to sell to ranchers.
The business owner claims that the entrance to the landfill and the land the city wants from him will disrupt the operations at that end of the property, which is where the doe breeding facility currently stands. He will also have to relocate the entrance to his ranch. Since the owner refuses to sell the 0.4 acres of land to the city, officials may exercise the city’s right to take the land. While the property owner will receive compensation for the land, it is not always a guarantee that such compensation will adequately make up for the financial loss.
Those business owners in Texas facing similar issues with eminent domain should understand that their rights are on the line. While there may be little they can do to stop the acquisition of their property, but they can fight to obtain complete compensation for their losses and damages. Property owners who have received a statement of eminent domain have every right to discuss the matter with an attorney before accepting an offer.