Rep. Byron Cook seeks AG opinion to defend private property rights

AUSTIN -- In an ongoing effort to protect Texas House District 8 and surrounding counties from the property takings by the proposed high speed rail, State Representative Byron Cook requested an attorney general's opinion, on June 10, 2016, to determine whether the Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure, Inc. ("High Speed Rail") possesses the power of eminent domain to condemn property.
In the letter, which can be accessed on the link below, Cook remarks that, surveyors purporting to work for High Speed Rail have been approaching landowners in House District 8 requesting the right to survey the landowners’ properties for the purpose of planning, building, maintaining and operating an electric railroad. The basis for the request to survey is that High Speed Rail is purporting to have the power of eminent domain, therefore has the right to examine and survey property in anticipation of establishing a route and acquiring property to build the railroad.
"Because High Speed Rail has filed applications for temporary injunctions to restrain and enjoin landowners from interfering with the survey crews, I have already signed on to three joint letters with some of my colleagues in the Texas Legislature, urging Washington decision makers to deny property condemnation attempts by High Speed Rail," Cook said.

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