Special commission awards in Permian Highway Pipeline cases exceed Kinder Morgan appraisals in Blanco County

Awards for properties in Blanco County exponentially exceed Kinder Morgan's appraisals.

Awards for properties in Blanco County exponentially exceed Kinder Morgan's appraisals.

Some of the first land condemnation hearings along the Permian Highway Pipeline route in Central Texas resulted in awards to landowners that are as much as 81 times greater than the initial appraisals by the company building the project.

As part of the eminent domain process, a special commission in Blanco County ordered Kinder Morgan to pay more than $3 million to four different landowners after a series of hearings earlier in August.

In a news release sent by the Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition—the organization funding two separate legal challenges to the pipeline—Patrick Reznik, an attorney for one of the landowners, attributed the difference in part to the fact that Kinder Morgan’s appraisal does not take devaluation of property into account.

“Kinder Morgan only wants to compensate landowners for the part of the land impacted by the easement and refuses to accept responsibility for the 20-40% devaluation caused by the pipeline,” Reznik said in the statement. “Their appraisal formula is inherently flawed.”

The Permian Highway Pipeline, a planned 430-mile natural gas conduit between the Permian Basin and the Gulf Coast, runs through 16 Texas counties, including Blanco and Hays. Along the route, the company has to acquire a permanent 50-foot easement as well as a 75-foot temporary easement for construction.

Under eminent domain law, Kinder Morgan can take private land to build the pipeline even if the owner does not want to sell as long as fair compensation is made—this process usually begins with an initial offer and requires negotiations to come to an agreement.

If no agreement is reached, the matter goes to a three-member panel of local landowners who consider both the value of the land and potential damages. In Blanco County in recent weeks, the commission has made a number of awards that far exceed the appraisals from Kinder Morgan.

The Gloor Ranch easement, for example, was appraised by the company at $20,739 but was awarded $1.3 million by the special commission. A property belonging to Matthew Walsh was appraised at $16,707 by the company but awarded $233,500.



 

No condemnation proceedings in Hays County have been made public, and the two legal actions against the Permian Highway Pipeline—in addition to a lawsuit against the city of Kyle—threaten to at least temporarily derail construction. But landowners in the area may eventually face the same process.

In response to the release, Kinder Morgan sent a statement through a public relations firm noting that the process involving the special commissioners court is well-established and adding that the company believes the awards in Blanco County to be excessive.

“These commissioner awards are the next step in a legal process that will ultimately result in these specific landowners being fairly compensated for easements that will be used for the Permian Highway Pipeline, pursuant to a long-established condemnation process in Texas that Kinder Morgan supports and was recently upheld in the Texas state court system,” the statement reads. “Additionally, over 60 percent of the right-of-way has been acquired for the project without lengthy condemnation proceedings. It is also worth noting that a judicial appellate process exists in order to deal with excessive valuations such as this one.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By Katharine Jose

Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


MOST RECENT

The third Chick-fil-a will be located at 1433 N. I-35, San Marcos. (Courtesy Chick-fil-a)
San Marcos to get its third Chick-fil-a

The restaurant will feature a full menu, WiFi, outdoor seating, a two-story indoor playground and more.

The San Marcos CISD election will be May 2. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Two seats to be challenged, one uncontested in San Marcos CISD board race

The San Marcos CISD board of trustees will have three seats open for election on the May 2 ballot.

In 2019, Roxanne's House served 574 victims of child abuse. (Courtesy HomeAid Austin)
Child advocacy center celebrates completion of facility renovations

The renovation included building an additional 300 square feet of office space, which will allow space for three additional staff members.

Construction for the San Marcos River Shared Use Pathway Project started on Feb. 17. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
New San Marcos trail project will create opportunity for nonmotorized transportation

The trail will be located around Children’s Park, Rio Vista Park and Ramon Lucio Park.

The board approved a six-proposition bond Feb. 6. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Three Hays CISD board of trustee elections in May are uncontested

Two current trustees are running for reelection.

Buda's transportation infrastructure is being updated to accommodate a growing population. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda to hold open house Feb. 20 on future transportation and mobility master plan

The mobility and master plan plan will identify needs, solutions and improvements to accommodate the city’s rapid growth.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio on Feb. 13. The case is the 15th known COVID-19, commonly referred to in recent weeks as coronavirus, infection in the United States so far. (Courtesy Adobe stock photos)
The first coronavirus case in Texas was just confirmed. Here is what Austinites need to know about the virus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio this morning, according to a news release from the federal agency.

Hill Country Theatre joins Inspired Minds Arts Center at 121 Main St., Buda. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hill Country Theatre will begin performances in downtown Buda on Feb. 14

Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" is the first Buda play for the nonprofit.

The restaurant will be located at The Lyndon, apartment complex, 200 Springtown Way, Ste. 138, San Marcos.(Courtesy Xian Sushi and Noodle)
Xian Sushi and Noodle to open in San Marcos in early May

The Austin-base restaurant will serve home-made noodles that can be customized to any preference and sushi.

Jason Pence was fired by the city Jan. 27 following allegations that he had engaged in improper practices as construction manager. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
BREAKING NEWS: Texas Rangers find former San Marcos construction manager used city funds, labor for personal projects

The former city employee was arrested Feb. 11 on charges of theft by a public servant.

Jason Pence was arrested Feb. 11. (Courtesy Comal County)
Texas Rangers arrest recently fired San Marcos construction manager

The arrest follows a criminal investigation sparked by allegations that the employee engaged in improper purchasing practices.

(Community Impact Newspaper)
Gymnastics center set to open in Kyle expands, changes name

Instead of 3,000 square feet, Waves Gymnastics will open with 6,000 square feet of space.

Back to top