Eminent Domain Gone Awry in Duncanville, TX

Eminent Domain Gone Awry in Duncanville, TX

We had the opportunity to speak to Joey Daubin, publisher/president of the Freedom Press Group regarding the use of eminent domain for an easement taking in Duncanville, TX.  The Duncanville City Council recently voted in favor of utilizing eminent domain to acquire an easement from the Duncanville Nursing Center in order to provide access for a proposed RaceTrac gas station.

Councilwomen Leslie Thomas stated:

“This is an agenda item that had been before the council many times before I got there. I don’t want RaceTrac at that location. But with a majority of the Councilmembers supporting this venture, my objective is to make the best of it. The vote for the eminent domain of an easement is to guarantee an access into and out of the location that is the safest and best for traffic congestion……This is not for economic development. RaceTrac submitted a plan that included a separate drive. The city’s fire and police chief and public works dept. head analyzed the plan and the location and brought their concerns of original drive and a proposal of a shared drive to the council. Knowing that intersection, I could not disagree with their concerns.”

The reality is that councilwomen Leslie Thomas and the rest of the city council members are wrong. If RaceTrac does not currently exist at this location, then using eminent domain to acquire property from the nursing home to provide better access to RaceTrac is a violation of Texas law. This taking would be for economic development purposes and Texas law strictly prohibits the use of eminent domain for economic development. The existing access might be a public safety issue, but if you didn’t build the RaceTrac then you wouldn’t have the problem. The lack of reasonable access is RaceTrac’s problem and the law does not support taking private property via eminent domain from the nursing home in order to resolve RaceTrac’s access problems.


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2 Comments to “Eminent Domain Gone Awry in Duncanville, TX”

  1. I believe the “taking” was for an access easement, not fee simple. There would be no actual taking of property but a creation of a mutual access easement , with Racetrac being fiscally responsible for the upkeep of the mutual , larger driveway. The property owner of the nursing facility would not lose the use his driveway and would gain financially as well by not having to pay for the upkeep of the driveway.

    I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with this , unless they are afraid of the words “eminen domain” and “city counsel elections” being used in the same paragraph. I personally would rather have a full service hardware store or decent bookstore in our city.

  2. Susie Jack says:

    If the property is transferred to the city and the city of Duncanville owns it, that is a taking. You do not have to eminent domain for an easement. This is a blatent abuse of power and the city is an absolute bully. The city council shouild either be educated in property rights and what they are or be replaced.

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