Property Rights in Denton
Condemnation of residential and business properties is a big issue in counties experiencing profound population growth and expanding traffic corridors. Denton County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state over the last several years, and changing infrastructure to meet the population growth has led to a lot of eminent domain cases. If you find yourself in the midst of an eminent domain issue, Loveless and Loveless can assist you.
What is eminent domain?
Eminent domain is the power of a governmental entity to convert (or “condemn”) privately owned property to public use, subject to reasonable compensation for the taking. Federal, state, and local governments have power to condemn private property, as do public transportation and utility companies.
How can this affect me?
If you are a property owner in Denton County, you could be affected by eminent domain. Condemnations occur when an authorized entity (government, transportation, utility) is making way for new or improved roadways, electrical corridors, waterways, or other types of public uses that outweigh your interest in keeping the property you own.
Recent examples of areas undergoing eminent domain within Denton County include the highly public road FM 1171 in Flower Mound, and the more residential Chisum Road in Sanger, for which condemnation proceedings will begin in the near future. Another major upcoming project is the expansion of Interstate 35. Letters from TXDOT about expected right of way aquisitions may have already been received by affected landowners in Carrollton, Lewisville, Highland Village, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, Corinth, and Denton. Affected landowners need to consider their options for legal representation at this time to handle negotiations with TXDOT and maximize the value of the property.
Every case involving eminent domain is unique and requires careful review by a knowledgeable and competent legal professional. Please contact Loveless & Loveless to set up an initial consultation to review your needs and to realize the full marketable value of your property.
Construction of venues like the Texas Motor Speedway and the new Cowboy Stadium are examples of the power of eminent domain being extended to obtain land for a private or semi-private enterprise.
Loveless & Loveless negotiated and tripled the initial offer (an award increase of 300%) from the State in an eminent domain case in Denton County.*
Why do I need representation?
You have worked hard for the property you own. In some instances, a condemnation can be avoided. In most, however, some or all of your property will be taken, and you deserve to receive the full fair market value of the property taken. Legal representation will help make sure you receive this value. Legal representation can also help you:
- Identify damages that may occur to the rest of your property and negotiate reasonable compensation;
- Decide if the amount of land being taken is the smallest amount of land needed by the entity, and if not, to work on negotiating a smaller part of your land to be condemned.
- Determine if there is a different way to take the land that will leave you better use of your remaining property, and if so, to try and negotiate a different part of your land to be condemned.
Generally, you will have some advance notice that an activity is happening that will subject your property to a taking by eminent domain. For instance, the Interstate 35E Expansion Project has recently been holding public meetings. Regarding the right of way aquisition (i.e., I-35E Right of Way Expansion) the landowners whose property will be taken have been given notice of their right to attend those meetings. Although no taking of property has yet begun, this would be an ideal time for those property owners to consult with legal counsel and begin being educated about what might be a fair value for their property. Upon receipt of an offer for your property, it is time to put your lawyer to work. If the offer is not consistent with the fair market value of your property, your lawyer will negotiate with the entity condemning your property and work to obtain reasonable compensation for you. If no agreement is reached, your lawyer may represent you at a condemnation hearing, before a panel of commissioners, who will listen to the condemning entity’s evidence and your evidence and decide the fair market value that will be paid to you.