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eminent domain Archives

Case of he said/she said - landlocked property case ruling in Amarillo County

Landlocked property is property that does not have its own means to enter or exit without crossing someone else's property. This was the case for the Gordon's. When the Gordon's purchased the land in 1971 from the Bremser's they had a verbal agreement. They had access to their property from 2 separate roads. However, Mr. Bremser died and the new owner Mr. Demmon wasn't as neighborly. In fact, Mr. Demmon put up a locked gate denying Mr. Gordon access and forcing him to take him to court. The court did grant Mr. Gordon partial easement but not what he wanted. The bottom line is you have to put things in writing. In the old days, if you gave your word it was a binding contract. People die and take that contract with them to their grave. So, it is always best to have it in writing.

TXDOT WANTS THE PUBLIC'S INPUT

The Fredericksburg Relief Route Study is analyzing a proposed route to allow drivers to drive around the town instead of going through town to alleviate traffic congestion. They are having an open house to gather input from the public. If you are unable to attend you can also submit your input by phone: (512) 517-7251 - Email: [email protected] or mail

The Meaning of "Public" Use is Stretched in Recent Texas Supreme Court Ruling

Commercial real estate developer KMS lost its recent battle with the City of Rowlett over the condemnation of a private drive built to allow access to its 9-Acre property sites. Tensions began to rise after KMS refused to come to terms on a deal to allow the creation of an easement between their private drive and a project being developed by neighboring land developers, Briarwood. The project in question, the building of a Sprouts Grocery Store; which had heavy investment from the City in the form of $225,000 worth of incentives. The amount would be guaranteed, provided that Briarwood could create access to the grocery store via the easement in question. The City had been attempting to draw in a high end grocery store project for nearly a decade. When KMS refused to sell, the city filed condemnation proceedings in order to acquire the land for the project themselves.

A Boost from the Unites States Supreme Court

Property owners' rights got a boost from the United State Supreme Court on June 21. The case, Knick v. Township of Scott, Pa, overturned 34 years of precedent, holding that a municipal ordinance deprived the owner of rights in her property, and most importantly determined that she was able to pursue this claim before waiting for years of State court litigation to conclude. An interesting side note was the concerns expressed by the dissenters, that the failure to follow precedent is a sign we can expect ground-breaking rulings by the Court as it gives less respect for its decisions from the past.

Hill Country ranchers are facing serious threats due to Permian Highway Pipeline

Property owners throughout the hill country voice their concerns over the Permian Highway pipeline which could invade their personal properties. Not only will it destroy natural habits for wildlife and water resources but it is personal for them. It hinders on their serenity and peaceful country life that they have worked their whole life to enjoy. They didn't sign up for this and yet their concerns seem to be ignored. 

I-45 Project still facing much uncertainty and ongoing protests.

Some say this project is a big waste of time that will not fix the congested highways. Houston drivers face the 2nd most expensive commute in the nation. The city ranks as the worst in the National Fatality rate due to drunk driving and excessive speeds. TxDOT believes this project will decrease crash rates by 30%. Others believe the project will cause pedestrians more hardship to commute, and will also put a damper on making our streets and travel by pedestrians safer.

Direct Air Capture - What Does It Mean?

In an effort to improve climate change, a Houston based oil & gas exploration and Production Company (OXY) is designing the first "Direct Air Capture" plant in the Permian Basin. The purpose is to remove harmful carbon dioxide from the sky and inject it into the ground which would in turn assist with oil production. This facility will be based somewhere in West Texas. According to (OXY), they expect to start development by 2021 and is expected to be in production by 2023.

Judge's Ruling - Impacting High Speed Rail

A ruling made this month by a San Leon Judge, Deborah Evans, could have major implications for the proposed high speed rail between Houston and Dallas, by preventing the rail line developers, Texas Central, from using "Eminent Domain" for acquiring land for the project when landowners don't want to sell their land voluntarily. The company contends it has authority under the Texas law, but a Leon county judge disagrees. Texas Central isn't actually a railroad company; therefore they do not have the authority to sell or provide access to their properties. That ruling came in the case of a Leon county couple who sued after the company wanted to survey on their property.

Houston's Grand Parkway Receives $605 Million Federal Loan For Further Expansion

Upon completion, the Grand Parkway will make a 180-mile loop around greater Houston. Portions of the massive toll road are currently open, but to finance the next phase of construction, the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $605 million loan to Grand Parkway Transportation Corporation, to build the road. Funds will be used for two eastern segments between U.S. 59 and I-10 - that's the portion that goes into Liberty and Chambers Counties. The new lanes will add about 44 miles to the project and they're expected to be finished in 2022 as construction is already underway. This investment will aid regional and local agencies to develop the infrastructure that best meets the needs of their communities, increase connectivity, alleviate congestion, and enhance safety. Currently, drivers can take the Grand Parkway from Sugar Land north to the Eastex Freeway. A portion of the toll road is also open near Baytown. Please Call: (281) 341-5577 for more information.

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