Many Texas residents own property that has public utility easements on them. This means that on those easements, the utilities that have rights to those areas can access them whenever they wish to run or fix lines. What about people who do not have PUEs on their property? Can the city add power lines wherever and whenever it likes?
Eminent domain laws
Eminent domain laws do allow the city, state or federal government to take property as needed for public utilities. Where easements are not available, they cannot do this without giving proper warning to property owners or providing fair compensation for the land being utilized. They also have to have a good reason for intruding on private property.
All about the public good
At the end of the day, eminent domain, whether for public utilities or anything else, is likely to go through as long as the party wanting access to the property can show it is for the public good. Generally speaking, adding utility lines is for the public good. So it may be difficult to fight having power lines added to your property.
To review, if you have an easement existing on your property specifically for electrical purposes, no, you cannot fight the adding of power lines. If you do not have an easement, though, you might be able to. Legal counsel can review your case and help you determine if you can fight the city to keep power lines off your property or at least fight for fair compensation for utilizing your property. To learn more, please take a moment and visit our firm’s website.