Thousands of Acres in Jeopardy of Eminent Domain due to Proposed Rail Yard by Union Pacific in Mumford, TX
Union Pacific has set their eyes on Mumford, TX as the potential site for a new large rail yard, and has recently began speaking with local lawmakers and landowners about the possibility of acquiring several thousand acres for its construction. It is unclear at this time whether or not Union Pacific has settled on Mumford as the final location of the rail yard, but the threat of eminent domain has caused quite a buzz of concern among potentially affected landowners.
Condemnation, or as its sometimes referred to as, ‘eminent domain’ is a process used by government, and other private entities to acquire private property for public use. Condemnation comes in many forms- roads, transmission lines, pipelines, rail systems, sewer lines, surface and groundwater etc.- but its purpose is universal: to devote private land to civic use or, in some instances, for economic development.
But in order for Union Pacific to move forward with construction, they must first a) prove that the public will benefit from the land acquisition, and b) make a “bona fide offer” to acquire the property voluntarily before wielding their powers of eminent domain. They are also required to provide affected landowners with the State of Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights prepared by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas (to read more about the complex condemnation process, read our 3-part blog series HERE).
If you have been contacted by Union Pacific, contact Patrick Reznik today to learn more about your rights and to get connected with an alliance of potentially affected landowners that has recently formed. The important thing to remember is that even if you’ve received a letter in the mail, or talked to a “friendly” land agent from Union Pacific informing you of their intentions, this does not mean that it’s a done deal. It’s your land and we can help you protect it, or ensure that you receive just compensation for its taking.
Links to other resources:
“Part 1: I Received a Letter Saying They’re Taking My Land…Now What?,” Blog post by Patrick Reznik on the complex condemnation/eminent domain process.: http://www.braungresham.com/2012/07/part-1-i-received-a-letter-saying-theyre-taking-my-landnow-what/
“Union Pacific plans new rail yard between Hearne and Mumford,” The Eagle, July 22nd, 2012: http://www.theeagle.com/article/20120722/BC0101/120729865/1004/BC0101&slId=1
“Union Pacific Hopes to Build Major New Local Yard,“ Press Release by Ruben Gomez, Mayor of Hearne, TX: http://wtaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HearneMayorUP071812.pdf
2010 Texas Rail Plan: http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/rail_plan/trp.htm