Eminent Domain of Rare Compton Oak

League City in Texas has been locked in negotiations with a landowner over an oak tree that is in the way of a road-widening project. Originally, the city agreed to keep the tree in a pocket park with the road going around the tree, but negotiations for this proposal stalled. The owner wants $60,000 more than what the city thinks the property and tree are worth.

Because of this deadlock, the city is now seeking to acquire the 0.896 acres through eminent domain proceedings. The move to start eminent domain proceedings was passed unanimously by the city council. Once the land is acquired, the city is proposing to move the rare 100-year-old Compton oak about 1,500 feet down the road on land next to the city’s Water Smart Park. Another property owner is expected to donate this land, but the city still needs to make a formal decision to move the tree.

The nonprofit Trees for Houston is offering to raise money to move the historic tree and it is also donating $10,000 of its own money for the move. The tree is 51 inches in diameter and it will be difficult to move. Earlier in the year, the city called on companies who are capable of moving the tree to respond to the moving proposal.