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Gov. Perry pushes for private property rights

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 6:46pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 12:43am

This means if a private company would build local governments can't ask you to move.

TYLER - Pastor Kim Beckham was ecstatic when his church lost about a sixth of an acre to orange detour signs, mounds of clay and bright yellow bulldozers.

"We've had major changes here," said Pastor Beckham. "It's a big changes for us and we're excited!"

You wouldn't think so.

Back when we first visited his church, Central Baptist, in 2007, it was nothing but open land.

That is, until the City of Tyler voted to use its right of eminent domain for the Grande Boulevard Extension Project.

I asked Pastor Beckham if a private developer would have been behind it all - would he view the situation differently?

"(We) probably would," he said. "I guess it would depend on if impacts what we're trying to do."

Governor Perry announced Thursday his plans to protect land owners from for-profit use.

This means if a private company would build local governments can't ask you to move.

In a statement sent to KETK-TV, the City of Tyler states its position on eminent domain.

"For the last 20 years, the City of Tyler has only utilized eminent domain for public purposes and only after being unable to reach purchase terms with a land owner. The City Council and staff have been very careful in the use of this power. The overwhelming majority of parcels that the City of Tyler has needed and obtained for public projects (i.e. new streets, street widening, water and sewer line extensions, new fire stations, the relocation of Neighborhood Services building, airport expansion, water treatment facilities, and parks) have been obtained either through donations or negotiated purchases. However the power of eminent domain can be a very valuable tool to help elected officials provide needed public services when an individual landowner does not agree on an improvement for the public good."

To watch Governor Perry's speech in its entirety, click click here:

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That's a pretty amazing comment coming from Perry, considering his pet project idea for the longest time, the Trans-Texas Corridor, was one of the biggest proposed land-grabs to come around in quite some time.

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