People don’t like to leave the place they’ve called home for years, but sometimes, they don’t have a choice. Because of Texas’ proximity to Mexico and large energy sector, many in the state experience the repercussions of eminent domain firsthand. Whether they are living near the border wall, the Texas Bullet Train railway or the site of a new pipeline, it could leave some homeowners at higher risk for annexation.
However, to seize someone’s land, the entity that wants to do so must have a legal reason for their actions. Often, that reason is for the benefit of public use.
Determining public use in Texas
According to Texas law, public use in eminent domain is defined by expanding infrastructure that provides value to all Texans. That includes bridges, railroads, retail shops, schools and more. But economic development cannot be the only reason for taking citizens’ private property. To qualify, it must prove the following to move forward with the request:
- Ignoring infrastructural needs could cause societal harm.
- The land taken will not be used for private purposes.
Displaced homeowners deserve compensation
While some reasons behind eminent domain are valid, it can still cause hardship for those who are impacted by it. Luckily, the state cannot legally take, damage or destroy property without giving homeowners the proper market value compensation.
In these instances, an experienced eminent domain attorney in the Waco area can assist people and their families in getting the just compensation they deserve.