Case of Eminent Domain in Roanoke

As reported in the Times Register by By A. Lee Graham, Twisted Root Burger Co., Cowboy Chow and other restaurants in the Old Town Roanoke, are feigning support for Scott’s Automotive (a local, independent business) as the wait on the sidelines for more parking for their restaurants.

“The parking issue is an excellent problem to have,” said Justin Springfield, whose Old Town Development has attracted Twisted Root Burger Co., Cowboy Chow and other restaurants to Roanoke. “Most cities would kill to have that problem.”

“It’s really none of my business and none of our business as a company,” said Justin Speights, a manager at Twisted Root Burger Co., just east of Scott’s Automotive on Oak Street.

“We’re in the middle of this long process,” said City Manager Jimmy Stathatos, describing the town’s proposals to purchase the property — or acquire it through eminent domain — as fair. But Scotty Mizer tells another story.

“It was never for sale until they condemned it,” said Mizer, frustrated by the city’s attempts to buy 17,500 square feet of his 108 N. Highway 377 property. Stathatos emphasized that the condemnation process is ongoing and not complete.

“We are in the middle of the condemnation process, but have not condemned the property,” Stathatos said. “At any time the city can bail out and not buy it.”

Mizer currently uses the location for parking, prohibited by city regulations that require paving, drainage and other modifications before the surface can legally hold vehicles.

With council approval, the property could be paved and made into a public parking lot.

City officials are seeking more parking spaces to accommodate motorists visiting town and its newly renovated Oak Street.

Several restaurateurs and shop owners asked by The Times-Register to discuss eminent domain and its role in providing additional parking for their customers declined.

Several recent City Council meetings have ended with executive sessions focused on Mizer’s property. The council discussed offers made by the city for the property, all of which Mizer said were unacceptable.

The city’s latest offer was for $262,500, which also is the city’s appraisal of the property. The county’s appraised value of the property is $404,616, according to the Denton County Appraisal District.

Last month, a Denton County special commissioners court, considered an objective third party under Chapter 21 of Texas property code, ruled that the city would have to pay $329,000 to purchase the property.

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One Response to Case of Eminent Domain in Roanoke

  1. Eminent domain might be the powerful tool but it is always a great issue of Texas and whole continental U.S. The Land owners are always being harassed by the Government wolves. Eminent domain abuse has always been in focus for real estate people.

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