Skip to comments.Arlington turning to eminent domain for (Dallas Cowboys) stadium land
Posted on 10/02/2005 6:12:29 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
While planning for a new Dallas Cowboys stadium, Mayor Robert Cluck said the city would use eminent domain only as a last resort to assemble the needed land.
But condemnation has become the rule rather than the exception.
The City Council has condemned or sought to condemn more than three-quarters of the properties it has acted on in the past four months, an analysis has found.
"We were hoping that this would be the last resort," Dr. Cluck said last week. "We were hoping there would be more willing sellers."
He said that before the land acquisition started, city officials had no idea what percentage of property owners would sell willingly.
Although the number of condemnations is much higher than he would like, Dr. Cluck said, the city is making fair offers, and sometimes eminent domain is the only option.
Glenn Sodd, an attorney representing some people in the affected area, said the high percentage of eminent domain cases shows that the city has low-balled residents and business owners and that its incentive program is inadequate.
"The offers obviously aren't sufficient otherwise they wouldn't be hiring lawyers and forcing condemnations to be filed," Mr. Sodd said.
In comparable cases, he said, he would expect three-quarters or more of the property owners to sell and the rest to go to court, not the other way around.
< snip >
BY THE NUMBERS
55: properties purchased by the city
24: properties that were condemned before a settlement was reached
$45.6 million: value of the 55 properties purchased
88: properties still facing condemnation proceedings
$20.8 million: value of those properties still facing condemnation
168: properties needed for the stadium and parking
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
Incentives are as follows:
Renters would receive $5,250. Business owners would be paid fair market value plus $10,000.
Homeowners would receive a flat rate of $22,500 in addition to fair market value.
Limited moving expenses were also included in the package. But those were only available to people who didn't take their cases to court.
The number of condemnations, however, suggests that the incentives weren't effective in many cases.
Mr. Rivera said condemnations are inevitable no matter what incentives the city gives.
"In these types of cases, there are always going to be those who will hold out for additional dollars," the council member said.
Attorney Bob Cohen, who is representing some of the property owners, said the city gave many of his clients little incentive to sell.
He said he represents the owners of some rental properties who were counting on that monthly revenue for their retirement.
Most homeowners can't afford to re-build or buy in that area with this incentive package.
A stadium does not equal public use. This is an abuse of power for a vanity project.
Have you no sympathy for Jerry Jones? The poor man needs to boost the value of the Dallas Cowboys using eminent domain. Sounds like a public purpose to me...actually a public travesty.
Using eminent domain probably is not a good idea when the people whose homes you are seizing have weapons.
More of a reason for GWB to nominate JRB for Supreme Court!
After reading the SCOTUS decision on Kelo, I can actually see why they decided why they did, although I don't completely agree with it. But the stadium issue is nowhere near the complexity of Kelo v. New London. This stadium will not provide jobs nor can it guarantee revenues.
And it does not help that ED was enacted to build The Ballpark in Arlington.....
If this statement is true; then, by definition, the city is not offering fair market value.
It is my contention that the government has a responsibility to always provide just compensation to property owners without regard to the sophistication/intelligence level of the property owner. This is regularly not the case. To get anywhere near just compensation, property owners are usually forced to hire lawyers and go to court. Those property owners who are less sophisticated will often end up accepting a fleecing from the government.
The constitution says, "no one will be deprived of property without just compensation". IMO, this means no one should ever have to take the govt. to court to get a fair price.
Of course, this is not a valid use of eminent domain in the first place.
Since this stadium falls under "public use," can I sit on the 50 yard line Saturday afternoon and barbecue a hot dog and drink a beer?
However, Mr. Rivera said, the city is obligated to pay "fair market value" for the property. He said that when the cases wind their way through court, the city's offers would be vindicated.
Mr. Sodd said that market value isn't always enough.
People are digging in their heels because the city's estimate of the market value wouldn't allow them to buy a comparable home, he said.
The stadium site is centrally located near major highways State Highway 360 and Interstate 30 and the city's entertainment district.
"Finding replacement property as well located as this area in Arlington is going to cost much more money than what these offers are based on," Mr. Sodd said. "This is a nice location for a lot of different reasons."
Also, he said that home builders aren't constructing houses in this price range most of the house are valued at less than $70,000 so that further limits homeowners' options.
Walter Herrington, a landlord with rental houses in the area, said replacements for the post-World War II homes are tough to find.
"You can't go out and buy anything for these prices," he said.
Mr. Herrington has sold three houses to the city, but seven others have been condemned.
That's because he is a total greedball.
Jones thought the offer of season tickets was fair enough.
Yeah, Jones and many other owners are complete "arses"
However if I was a landowner and he made me a offer for percentage of the franchise I might reconsider...
But, as you imply, it is fantasyland thinking.
My parents lost their home when I was 20 to the DFW airport. They were expanding, therefore the nieghborhood we lived in all of my life had to go. It was sad really and to this day I still have some sore feelings over it. Why can't people understand these are people's homes? lives?? You can't just take them away like this and think it will all be ok!! It is just not right!
The City of Hurst, TX, did that when they expanded Northeast Mall in the 1990s. They forced people out of residential areas adjoining the mall, so the Mall could expand.
Oh the poor man, he is going to have to build a new 12 person hot tub shaped like the new stadium. How stupid is the man to be doing those commercials bragging how rich he is, while kicking the average guy out of their homes.
Compounding the problem, the highway contractor failed to properly buttress a bridge over the adjacent roadway with the result that every large truck passing by created a large whump noise.
It was noticed 20 years later that virtually every residential property within 150 feet of this highway had been abandoned!
No compensation was paid to the people whose homes and businesses were destroyed through improper highway construction techniques, and unacceptably high (noisy) speed limits.
I am not convinced eminent domain is applied fairly in this country.
I don't think you understand which side of this issue GWB sits on. Remember, the Rangers' ballpark was built much the same way, complete with taking private property.
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