Is your property affected by a road expansion project in Texas? In this video, eminent domain and property condemnation attorney Philip Hundl talks about information you should be aware of if you are impacted by road projects anywhere in Texas. Call 800-266-4870 to meet with Philip.

Is Your Property Affected by Fort Bend County Road Expansion Projects?

Summary of Eminent Domain and Landowners Affected by Road Expansion Projects

Hi, I’m Philip Hundl, and I practice eminent domain law, representing landowners facing condemnation cases by pipeline companies, the State of Texas through TxDOT with road expansion projects, or high voltage transmission line projects by companies like CenterPoint and Entergy.

Today, I’d like to talk specifically about these road expansion projects. We’re seeing a lot of road expansion projects in Fort Bend County, Texas, as well as all over the place. Fort Bend County is experiencing a lot of expansions of highways and roadways, which we refer to as TxDOT projects. I’d like to talk to you briefly about those and give you some things to think about.

Road Expansion Projects Can Have a Long Timeframe

Let’s start with these projects, which are often listed on the TxDOT website or different county websites if it’s a county project or county condemnation project. A lot of times, we hear about these projects years before anything happens, and sometimes these projects don’t happen within a landowner’s lifetime. But they hear about these upcoming projects, such as the Grand Parkway’s southern portion, southeast, and southwest portions, among many others.

Keep in mind that the timeframe on these projects is often very long, so you need patience. Even once the project begins, the state hires right-of-way agents or right-of-way acquisition companies. This acquisition or surveying valuation process can be lengthy, and many landowners become impatient or insistent on why things aren’t moving as fast as they’re used to with maybe a private condemnation through a pipeline or power line. The first thing I always like to say is that TxDOT projects just have a longer timeframe.

Don’t Just Sign a Right of Entry Agreement without Talking with Your Lawyer

When they want to enter your property for surveying purposes, they’ll have their own simple one-pager for right of entry or inspection. Be careful with that. At that point, I always suggest landowners find an attorney familiar with eminent domain, condemnation, and representing landowners. They can help you with a more limited right of entry agreement so that the state can have the ability to go on your property for surveying and also their appraisal of your property, but it’s limited, and there are some protections for you. Also, visit with an attorney so they can talk to you about what information you do or don’t need to share with them at that time. It’s really important.

Your Property Appraisal Should Reflect Highest and Best Use

And then also be mindful for road expansion projects in Fort Bend County or any metropolitan area, the valuations of this land will be dollars per square foot of property taken looking at its highest and best use. Most of it, technically along these larger roadways is considered highest and best use as commercial property. And I’m not talking about just highways or freeways but even just these larger roads that were once county roads now being expanded or farm to market roads

Appraisals are very subjective. One appraiser may believe that the highest and best use is something other than what different appraisers believe. So, I strongly recommend that you visit with an experienced eminent domain and land condemnation attorney. They can explain to you the valuations of your property and what is included in your damage calculation, and as importantly, the timeframe and steps in the process.

We’ve got lots of clients that we’re representing. So just be careful. I’ve seen some other landowners near clients who have fallen into some pitfalls. Be careful with that. We will, from time to time, link some of the TxDOT projects to the website. So check that, and also on the YouTube channel, click subscribe if you’d like to get updated with new videos when we come out with them.

So with that, good luck. Like I said, there are lots of TxDOT projects happening specifically in Fort Bend County. We’ve got our eyes on them.

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