Texas real estate developers may run into a battle with city governments over conditions that come as a prerequisite to receiving project approvals. While it may be challenging to wage a fight against a large city, following proper legal procedures may provide a developer with an edge.
A real estate developer won a ruling against the City of Dallas regarding an exaction challenge after alleging the municipality did not have a legal right to a section of a commercial property totaling 25 feet. The city put up a fight, but an appeals court ruled in favor of the real estate developer and the case will go to trial, as reported by the Dallas Business Journal.
The section of the property in dispute was initially a 10-foot strip of land on a lot that the developer intended to split into two. The City of Dallas approved the plans, but then later required the developer to dedicate the 10-foot strip to the city as part of its future infrastructure plans to widen the road. The city also added a zoning ordinance as part of its conditions for approving the developer’s plans. This required the developer to cut an additional 15 feet of land from the property’s boundaries.
Because it took more than four years for the developer’s legal action to make its way through the court system, the title of the property had already transferred. Construction also began, which rendered the city’s request moot regarding further conditions to approve the project.
Some attractive real estate spots reportedly require developers to appease local governments by giving municipalities sections of land and meeting conditions as requested. According to the attorney general’s website, however, the Texas Constitution contains a takings clause that prohibits a government from taking away private property from its owner without just cause or compensation.