Under eminent domain and condemnation laws, the government may have the rights to take your property, pay you a fair value for it and use it for a project that is deemed necessary for the general good of the country.

In a place like the United States, where personal property rights are generally very important, this can be a controversial move. Even though you receive compensation in exchange, you likely never wanted to make that sale in the first place.

Examples of potential projects

One thing that people tend to wonder is what types of projects the government deems important enough to use condemnation and eminent domain. Contrary to what some might think, the government likely will not take your land just for any purpose. A few examples of potential projects include:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Pipelines
  • Railroads
  • Utility lines
  • Roads

Typically, the government focuses on public projects that are necessary in Texas. People must have hospitals and schools to have a high quality of life. They need to have utility lines for new building projects or pipelines to move necessary fuel. Essentially, the government believes that it is worth the outcome to the population as a whole, even if it does not sit well with one property owner.

Things do shift a bit over time. For instance, at the height of the railroad boom, laying down connecting tracks was very important. In more modern times, the goal has shifted to building and expanding the interstate highway system.

Texas property owners can benefit from understanding how eminent domain works and knowing their rights. After receiving notification that the government wishes to take your land for a project, consider your legal options to either determine whether retaining your property is possible or fight for the compensation you deserve.