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Source: Texas Landowners Conservancy

Texas Landowners Conservancy Asks for Reaffirmation of 'Just Compensation' Right
Tuesday April 5, 11:30 am ET

AUSTIN, Texas, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Landowners Conservancy, a group of ranchers, land stewards and homeowners, together with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, State Sen. Todd Staples and State Rep. Robby Cook, today announced filing of legislation that affirms Texans' constitutional right to be paid for land that has been devalued or rendered undevelopable as a result of environmental regulations.

"Many jurisdictions in our state are rightly protecting our natural resources through water quality measures and more. However, the issue of excessive land use regulations and the impact on landowners who invested in Texas has to be considered," Combs said at a press conference at the State Capitol.

"I authored the original Texas property owners' 'bill of rights' to protect landowners from abuses by governments. This bill today closes the loopholes and reaffirms our intent to honor the private ownership of land guaranteed in our Texas and U.S. Constitutions," Combs said.

"We have to be sensitive to the property owners in this state while we establish regulations that impact their property values," Staples said. "This bill allows environmental regulations to continue while protecting property owners with the right of just compensation."

Some stringent land use and environmental restrictions in Texas have had the effect of stripping private land owners of their investment, as acknowledged by the Texas Supreme Court in one Central Texas case, to be as much as 90 percent.

Landowners said they actively engage in and support environmental measures but do not feel that they alone should bear the costs to protect the community asset or value and object to "water quality" being used as a catch-all to condemn land.

"Texans across our state have invested their hard-earned cash and sweat equity in Texas land, and they're fighting to save it," Cook said. "Let me put it this way: if the government took away a third of your stock portfolio, you'd be hopping mad. Well, the landowners' stock is their land -- and they don't want anyone to take it either."

Attendees at today's press conference said they were supportive of Staples' SB 1647 and Cooks' HB 2833, which, if passed, would clarify the definition of a taking and would ensure that public entities taking private land must compensate the property owners fairly.

Texas Landowners Conservancy

The Texas Landowners Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Texas natural resources and the protection of private property rights. For more information, please visit: http://www.texaslandownersconservancy.org .

Contact: Elizabeth Christian

               512-472-9599
               echristian@EChristianPR.com