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What projects can constitute public use in eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is a complex topic that could be intimidating for the average Texas resident. When the government decides to condemn your land or property using this legal action, you may feel hesitant to fight back, considering your entitlement to fair compensation. Still, the circumstances surrounding it can signify issues or complications that could violate your rights as the owner, such as the type of project that will occupy the space.

Eminent domain laws can vary per state, but in Texas, specific restrictions exist when meeting its public-use element. When invoking authority to condemn a private resident’s or party’s land, the government must have planned a purely public project, including the following:

  • Structures with transportation-related purposes —These projects include bridges, railroads, highways, airports and other infrastructure necessary to improve transportation. These structures often follow thorough planning and require construction in strategic locations, making eminent domain necessary.
  • Any form of construction work for public utilities — Significant infrastructure could be essential for utility systems involving water, electricity, sewage, oil and gas. Planning for these utilities and prioritizing secure delivery could present limited options.
  • Government projects for public benefit — Structures, such as hospitals, schools, stadiums, arenas, public parks and other projects, could qualify if they benefit or provide services to the public.

Additionally, Texas law has specific prohibitions concerning projects under eminent domain. If the structure can yield benefits for a private party directly, it may be ineligible to meet the public-use condition.

Paying close attention to the details

After learning about your property’s condemnation due to eminent domain, you may feel the need to react emotionally. Still, these situations could be unavoidable and have legal repercussions, calling for a calm and practical response.

Consider seeking experienced counsel to assess the situation thoroughly before determining appropriate legal remedies. By doing so, you could learn whether the action is valid and proceed to exercise your rights as the owner.

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