Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Can You Say "Eminent Domain"?

The City of Corpus Christi can, and it might have to if it really wants to give or sell Oso Beach Municipal Golf Course to the Texas A&M University System for an expansion of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

As we posted below, that's what the city is considering doing with the venerable old course, which is both much-maligned and much-beloved in Corpus Christi.

But Oso Beach Municipal, when it was built in the 1930s, was a privately owned country club. It was sometime around or just after World War II that the owners of the country club gave the course to the city - but apparently, they included a deed restriction: the course would always have to remain public.

That deed restriction could prevent the city from turning the course over to A&M-CC. However, the city could get around the deed restriction by invoking eminent domain.

Eminent domain law requires that the government acquiring land via this method pay fair market value for it. So if you are a descendant of the owners of Oso back when it was a private club, now would be a good time to put together documents prooving that.

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