Eminent Domain | KERA News

Eminent Domain

A section of the border fence along the Rio Grande in South Texas was built under George W. Bush's administration.
Callie Richmond / The Texas Tribune

When David Acevedo attended a meeting with officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Webb County last month, he thought he would come away with more information about the Trump administration’s border security plans.

Charles Chaney Jr. has Utopia on his mind. The Texas City resident is a month away from retirement, and Utopia is the name of the scenic Hill Country town where his family has lived for generations. He had planned to build a house on land he owns there near his brother and sister.

Now, he’s not so sure.

Could Texas High-Speed Rail Hit A Speed Bump This Legislative Session?

Apr 25, 2019
The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed train used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.
Norihiro Kataoka

High-speed rail developers have been eyeing a 240-mile stretch of mostly rural land sandwiched between the urban hubs of Dallas and Houston for years. Their goal: buy it up and build America’s first bullet train.

But several rural landowners don't plan on giving up their private property without a fight. 

President Trump last week vetoed a congressional measure aimed at blocking his national emergency declaration. The next battle over that emergency declaration will likely be in the courts.

Meanwhile, planning for extending the border wall is already happening in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

A public meeting Tuesday on a planned natural gas pipeline in Central Texas often felt more like a protest, as Hays County residents shared concerns about the project and speakers vowed to fight it.

A fight over a pipeline is never only about the pipeline. It’s about the environment, property rights, public safety and a community’s sense of itself. Just such a fight is now brewing in the Texas Hill Country, where company Kinder Morgan plans to lay a part of its 430-mile natural gas Permian Highway Pipeline.

If you want to cook up a battle over private property rights in Texas, here’s the recipe:

Take a handful of sprawling cities and growing populations that are expanding into once-rural areas, add a booming oil and gas industry with a desperate need for new pipelines to move record-high volumes of hydrocarbons, and sprinkle in the new electric lines needed to power both of those trends.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The government has the power to seize land from citizens to build things like schools, roads and border walls although it is required to fairly compensate them. 

A rendering of the Dallas-Houston bullet train
Texas Central Partners

Plans continue for a bullet train that would connect Dallas to Houston in just 90 minutes. While residents and officials in these big cities welcome high-speed rail, landowners along its path have concerns

Texas Dept. Of Public Safety

Another person has died following the crash of a pickup truck overloaded with illegal immigrants in South Texas.

Jim Ellwanger (cc) flickr

Austin, TX – Right now early voters are considering 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution. Supporters of Proposition 4 say it would give counties new opportunities to develop blighted areas. Opponents claim it could lead to eminent domain abuse. Andy Uhler from KUT in Austin takes a look.