Texas Farm Bureau launches Eminent Domain Assistance Program for landowners
(WACO, Texas)--Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) launched an Eminent Domain Assistance Program to provide Texas private property owners more information about the eminent domain process.
The state’s largest general farm and ranch organization says landowners across Texas are facing condemnation of their property for pipelines, transmission lines, railroads and other infrastructure projects, both public and private.
TFB published Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide and has updated resources, project information and news stories on the organization’s website at www.texasfarmbureau.org/eminentdomain.
“We understand that infrastructure is needed and that the Lone Star State is booming,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “We know that we must have the means to move people, goods and energy across Texas, but private property owners should be treated fairly when forced to give up their property.”
The landowner’s guide, available for free download on the TFB website, details the rights of property owners to just compensation, including fair market value based on the highest and best use of the property, being compensated for damages to remaining property and moving and relocation expenses. It covers the entire condemnation process from the initial offer to a final settlement for just compensation.
Another important topic in the landowner’s guide is the easement negotiation process. The easement agreement between the landowner and the condemning entity is critical, because it defines the relationship between the two parties for the use of the easement for many years into the future. The landowner’s guide also covers other topics such as right of entry permits and selecting an attorney.
“It’s important to be an informed landowner. Know your rights, and know what those entities are allowed to do,” Boening said. “You are your strongest advocate for your property and your rights.”
TFB worked with Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, who is an associate professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist, to create the landowner’s guide. Lashmet focuses her work on legal issues affecting Texas farmers, ranchers and landowners on a variety of topics, including agricultural leases, water law, eminent domain, easements and landowner liability.
The website will be updated throughout the year to keep landowners informed.
TFB also plans to host meetings across the state to help landowners learn more about eminent domain and their rights. The website will include meeting dates, times and locations.
For more information, visit www.texasfarmbureau.org/eminentdomain.