West Lake Hills approves use of eminent domain

West Lake Hills approves use of eminent domain West Lake Hills City Council unanimously approved the use of eminent domain—allowing a government entity to take private property with payment to the landowner—for land needed to continue the city’s project to improve Bee Caves Road.

The June 24 vote focused on a 0.262-acre tract along the roadway that was necessary to move forward with right of way construction. The property was the last parcel needed to continue improvements, Mayor Dave Claunch said.

“The timing is such [that] we need to get to a place [to] have City Council authorization on all parcels in the right-of-way,” he said.

West Lake Hills officials are still in negotiations with the landowners and city policy is to use eminent domain as a last resort as opposed to jeopardizing a project, Claunch said.

City staff received approval to begin acquiring right of way along Bee Caves Road on Aug. 28, 2013. The acquisition will allow for the roadway to be widened—including adding a center turn lane and sidewalks—from Bulian Lane to Eanes Elementary School in the project’s first phase.


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