Property Owners Triumph Over Eminent Domain Taking

After a 27-month battle with the $80-billion Texas Department of Transportation backed by the Spanish corporation Cintra-Zachary, with the strong support State of Texas’ Governor, Rick Perry, property owners won an injunction to stop the confiscation of their land. Texas has a unique statute that allows for local governments to join together creating a planning commission, which then allows them to invoke coordination with state agencies. Five towns and school districts combined representing approximately 6,500 people and their jurisdiction covered 30 square miles.

The five communities would have been destroyed by the creation of the I-35 Trans-Texas Corridor, a quarter-mile wide super transportation corridor. The corridor itself was to hold six passenger lanes for commuter travel, four truck lanes for long hauls, freight rail and high speed rail.  The right-of-way that would be condemned for the project was a quarter-of-a-mile wide, taking 146 acres per mile from Americans. Fire stations would have been cut off from the communities they protect.  School districts across the state would have to be redistricted.  School buses would be adding hundreds of miles a day navigating around the limited access super highway.  Residents would be forced to pay a toll to get to work.  500,000 private acres would be confiscated to accommodate not only the internationally funded highway system, but also to provide lease pads to gas, hotel and restaurant services.  The people impacted in these small rural communities would suffer all the economic and social damage for this international project.

No one could stop the Trans-Texas Corridor.  It had the aggressive backing of Governor Rick Perry, the full support of the Texas Department of Transportation (the largest state agency in the nation), and was internationally backed by Cintra-Zachary.  This $80 billion project was on a fast pace to connect the Chinese owned Mexican seaports with Canada, that is, until these five courageous towns and their school districts invoked coordination and took a stand equal in spirit to the Alamo, but with a much better result — Texans won.

The cities are now working to make this injunction permanent so that this debacle canot be revived at a later time. To read the full case story, click the link: Full Case Study

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