College Station has been a hub for growth in recent years, and this growth has triggered the development of several large-scale infrastructure projects that will require the use of eminent-domain to reach fruition. In an effort to help educate local landowners of their rights in these proceedings, Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge hosted the Property Owner and Land Owner Rights Conference on May 9 in College Station.
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist who focuses on Agricultural Law at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, spoke to those in attendance about easement negotiations and rights. Lashmet writes and maintains the Texas Agriculture Law blog for A&M, a site that has been regarded as one of the top legal blogs in the nation.
“Condemnation proceedings have very different procedures than other civil cases,” she wrote in one blog. “It is important for landowners to understand the condemnation process in case they ever find themselves faced with a condemnation suit.”
JMEH partners Luke Ellis and Justin Hodge also presented at the conference and provided a summary of Texas Senate and House bills pertaining to eminent domain. Most of the bills discussed did not make their way into legislation at the close of Texas’ 84th Legislative Session. The two also went over what the landowners affected by nearby projects could expect in an eminent-domain lawsuit.
“There were dozens of concerned landowners in attendance who are deeply impacted by these projects,” Hodge said.
The conference also included discussions about land valuation, typical valuation disputes in condemnation cases, and information about what to look for when obtaining an appraiser.