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.
The key thing is that no legislature ever voted to permit the "state" to seize these properties. The law that permitted what is being called eminent domain granted seizure powers only in the case that the land was condemned. So the "state" (actually Jerry Jones, of course) is taking property by condemning the land. In other words, by ruling that the land is unfit to be dwelled in.
Once authority is given to a state to seize a land based on conditions set by that state, the state will inevitably be corrupted by that authority. THAT is why the founding explicitly denied the state that authority. It was NOT because it was concerned about people being asked to sacrifice for the good of the state. If it truly were for the greater good, then the state seizure of personal property could be justified. The issue is that the founding fathers recognized that states were not God; they were inherently corruptible. Thus freedoms and protections are granted to individuals, not because they believed that it was good that individuals did bad. That belief would be simply illogical. Rather, they believed that the state possessing such authority to determine for others what was good or bad would be corrupted by such authority, and thus the good of the many would be destroyed as well. And so the founding fathers created a system which sought the common good by ensuring that the manifold pursuit of individual interests led to the common good.
They took the wrong tack. Primary use should have been for a shelter in a time of disaster. Yeah, that'd work. ;/)
Well I don't care for pro sports of any kind requiring stadiums and their financings being intermingled with public funds, taxes, local governments and the like.
I don't know that voting in legislature is necessary, although I am probably wrong. I think in this case, the plans just needed to be approved by a voting quorum of the city government.
Takings can actually occur in three ways: actual condemnation for safety or health reasons, developments to land or buildings which restrict access to property and cause hardship upon the owner, or takings of property for public use with just compensation. All levels of government -- local, state, and federal -- must adhere to the principles of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. In the past, SCOTUS usually ruled that certain strictly authored zoning restrictions or building permits were violations of the takings clause, mainly because the government must prove a tight fit between the taking and its purpose.
I just don't see this ending as quickly as Jones might wish, although in the end he'll probably prevail.
Love them Cowboys, but this ain't right
The "offers" have nothing to do with the issue.
A stadium for a multimillion $ private corporation, sports team, does not constitute public use.
Dozens of economic history studies have been done that show that the local taxpayers never get back the $$ they invest in grand stadiums for private sports teams, except decades after the public was supposed to be repaid.
The reason is that the amount of annual income/revenue gain to the locality has never been what any of the stadium promoters said it would be. Never.
Publicly built/funded stadiums for major sports teams are no more than economic-political blackmail based on false premises.
Premise one - they need public support to build the stadiums. False. If that were true, then they could not afford the multi-million dollar salaries for players, and the owners would not all be multi-millionaires themselves. And if it is a good venue, economically, then there really is no problem for the team to obtain commercial bank financing. But banks have different standards than politicians and that would crimp the ROI the team owners want for themselves. Politicians are more generous with your money than banks are with theirs.
Premise two - they can build the stadium anywhere. False. They will build it where it is economically advantageous to them. But that would never be in the middle of nowhere because without the TV broadcast rights there's not enough money in it - TV viewers are not going to keep watching games played in empty stadiums. So, unless they finance the stadium themselves, they will blackmail some large city into the venture and play-off different cities against each other.
Premise three - Local revenue. The blackmail only works because the politicians promise the public what they cannot deliver - revenues from the team will pay off the public investment in a certain amount of time and after that it will continue to generate great income to the city. But they never have, ever. The stadiums get tax rebates usually, so right away local property owners will wind up paying more than if the stadium property was fully taxed. Most of the payroll is with the teams and most of the people connected to the team do not live in town and do not spend their money in town. The TV networks and the team owners receive the bulk of the large money and most of their money does not stay in town either. Per square foot of space - land or building - sports stadiums create far less permanent, fixed local jobs than any other industrial or commercial enterprise of the same size. And, their temporary but huge game-attendance creates traffic conditions that actually increase commercial transportation costs in the surrounding local area.
Premise four - they will "attract" other businesses. There are very few neighborhoods around a major stadium where the stadium alone has brought in alot of additional businesses and few stadium neighborhoods are considered areas that people desire to go to for reasons other than a game. Most stadium areas become single-venture areas that are deserted when there is not a game. The economic magnet never happens. The hotel/resturant business is helped far less by stadiums than other types of tourist venues because most of any additional business comes from the teams, not the fans.
I wish there was a league of major American city governments where they jointly told the sports teams to pay 100% of their own money for their stadiums and where the economics was understood well enough that the mayors did not give in to blackmail. Some big cities might then lose teams for purely economic reasons. That's O.K., they shouldn't worry or cave-in to pressure, there are greater economic uses that the land can be put to.
gee, how about nuking the old stadium in Urving, and building a new one in it's place?
I guess that's thinking too far outside the box.
I agree, now that would be a good idea!
Just another reason for me to hate and not watch professional sports.
Let the owners and PRIVATE financers of the stadium negotiate one on one with each property owner in the free market. No government involvement
those home values will drop
Irving doesn't want to pay for a new stadium. Jerry Jones never paid his rent for the stadium anyway
Altho the situation with NE mall in Hurst makes me mad to this day. It isn't the mall itself that expanded. What is now where those neighborhoods were is a BIG strip center. . . called the shops at NE Mall or somesuch. Not physically a part of the mall, but a strip center attached to the road into the mall.
And if I recall there was a woman dying of cancer that they threw out of her house too.
*shrugs* I grew up in this area. And I am just sickened by the greed in the mid-cities city gov'ts.
I kinda thought so, especialy residental areas.
Now we are wondering what to do with this big thing with a hole in the top. If we want to keep it as a municipal school stadium it would be cost effective to just take off the entire roof. Maintainence is a pain. Most of the parking could be sold off to businesses.... if they wanted it.