A high-speed railway from Houston to Dallas Fort/Worth currently in development by Texas Central Railway and Texas Central Partners has introduced several concerns regarding eminent domain. The train, an updated version of the Tokaido Shinkansen already in service in Japan, would allow commuters to travel from Dallas to Houston in as little as 90 minutes. Despite the luxury that this project would bring, property owners whose property lays in the path of the proposed railway are at risk of being forced to sell their property under the state’s power of eminent domain.
How Does Eminent Domain Work?
In simple terms, eminent domain is the power of the state and public utility companies to condemn private property for the purposes of being used in a public project in exchange for reasonable compensation. In most scenarios, reasonable compensation equates to the property’s fair market value. This power is often exercised in order to make way for public utility buildings, highways, bridges, civic buildings, and the widening of roads.
In this particular instance, all privately owned property within the path of the railway would be subject to condemnation if the project is approved by the state. As a result, this project has faced considerable backlash from legislators and citizens alike. On March 11th, 2016, the project suffered a considerable blow when the Brazos Valley Council of Governments passed a resolution opposing the railway due to its use of eminent domain, despite the area’s former support for the project.
Only time will tell if this is enough to kill the project, but one thing is for certain: all property owners who feel they may be affected by this project should seek legal assistance as soon as possible to make sure their rights are protected. If you believe you are at risk of losing your property to the proposed Texas bullet train, an attorney can help you fight to keep your property and negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf in the event that the project should move forward.
Knowledgeable Eminent Domain Lawyers in Houston
At McDowell Law Group LLP, our skilled Houston eminent domain attorneys have more than two decades of legal experience and can provide the premier legal advocacy you need during this time. Having earned a ranking on The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 and an AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for superior ethics and skill, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.
Call (713) 496-0504 or request a free consultation online today to review your legal options.