Recent Eminent Domain News – April 3 Update

Here’s a quick roundup of eminent domain related stories news around Texas.

Texas Central to ramp up land acquisitions along train route

Source: Community Impact Newspaper

The proposed high-speed train that will connect Houston to Dallas still needs to acquire 70 percent of the land parcels needed to support route development, said David Hagy, Texas Central’s regional VP of External Affairs. However, acquisitions are expected to ramp up in the near future, he said.

The planned train route passes through multiple counties, including Harris, Grimes, Leon and Navarro, and includes a section west of Hwy. 290 just outside of Spring and Klein.

Texas Central has secured roughly 30 percent of the land estimated to be needed for the entire project, Hagy said at a Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce luncheon Feb. 14.

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Recent Texas Eminent Domain News April 3 Update

Montgomery County Commissioners Court continues opposition to high-speed rail

Source: Community Impact Newspaper

A resolution to oppose the Texas Central high-speed rail line was passed unanimously by Montgomery County Commissioners Court on March 19.

“This request was brought to my office by [state Rep.]Steve Toth, [R-The Woodlands],” Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said. “We passed this resolution in some fashion twice before.”

“We all know how we feel about the high-speed rail,” Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said.

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Grappling with eminent domain controversy and more: Q&A with Texas Farm Bureau leadership

Source: Waco Tribune-Herald

Republican state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst’s latest legislation pressing protections for Texas property owners facing the spectre of eminent domain as pursued by private, for-profit entities has already sparked pushback from the powerful oil and gas lobby and its allies. This legislation would provide for public meetings to better ensure property owners understand the process and can get questions answered; lay down minimum protections required in contracts; and hold private companies accountable if they offer property owners less compensation than owed. During Texas Senate testimony last week, some landowners said they have spent more than $100,000 in legal fees fighting condemnations.

Texas Farm Bureau representatives, including board member and South Texas farmer and rancher Scott Frazier (left) and Regan Beck, director of government affairs, sat down recently with the Tribune-Herald editorial board to answer questions.

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Buda joins neighbors with resolution opposing Permian Highway Pipeline

Source: Community Impact Newspaper

After an inquiry from Hays County, Buda City Council unanimously approved a resolution on March 26 opposing the Permian Highway Pipeline and asking the legislature to take action.

Similar resolutions have been passed by the cities of Woodcreek, Wimberley, Kyle and San Marcos as well as by Hays County.

“We have received a request from the county and several of our surrounding communities—Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley—in support of the opposition of this pipeline,” City Clerk Alicia Ramirez said. “We present it to council for your review and consideration to see if you would also like to be a part of the opposition.”

The preliminary route of the 430-mile, $2 billion pipeline does not go through Buda city limits but council members said they wanted to support neighbors.

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Eminent domain: Corporate greed or public interest? You decide

Source: Victoria Advocate

An oak tree estimated to have been alive before Texas became a state (1845) has been destroyed by the Gray Oak Pipeline Project. Gray Oak Pipeline is a new pipeline company that is a joint venture between Phillips 66 Partners and Andeavor and will be built and operated by Phillips 66. The pipeline will run about 850 miles from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast and has a capacity of 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Gray Oak has utilized eminent domain and condemnation to assure the project goes through despite some landowners objecting to it. This tree is located in Victoria County on the Kyle Ranch near Nursery. The ranch was established in 1878 and the fifth generation of the family still lives and operates on the property.

Our family finally settled our condemnation lawsuit with Gray Oak a few days before a court hearing was to take place, but we were unsuccessful in efforts to reroute the pipeline around the tree.

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