Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Eminent domain letter is delayed

By ANNA M. TINSLEY - Star-Telegram Staff Writer - Wed, Jun. 06, 2007
Tarrant County commissioners must wait to send a letter to Gov. Rick Perry asking him to veto an eminent domain bill, because the full court must approve such a move, and one member wasn't present at Tuesday's meeting.

Even so, Arlington property owner Linda Lancaster spoke to the Commissioners Court, urging them to instead send a letter supporting the bill.

"Why on earth would elected officials think citizens want less protection from eminent domain?" she asked. "We depend on you for protection and representation."

The issue: House Bill 2006 would give landowners more rights when governments take property through eminent domain, a controversial practice in which local governments appropriate land for public projects. The bill would ensure that landowners receive good-faith offers, be compensated for damage done to adjoining property, and have a chance to buy back their land -- at the same price they received -- if it isn't needed in 10 years for the development.

The cost: Officials have said the measure could cost the state an extra $1 billion a year in transportation projects.

The status: Perry has until June 17 to sign or veto bills. Commissioners say they hope to vote on sending a letter asking for a veto Tuesday.[Tuesday, June 12th at 10:30 a.m.]

Roll call: Commissioner Gary Fickes was not present Tuesday, preventing the vote.

Read Linda Lancaster's address to the County Commissioners

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