The article below offers insight on how to deal with condemning agencies. In reality, if an agency thinks it needs property, it will likely acquire it. In this writer’s view, it is best to ascertain how you as an owner can protect yourself, rather than simply trying to make things more difficult for the agency. Sometimes, obstructing and spiting an agency is not the most advantageous strategy for a property owner. On the other hand, forcing the matter into court is sometimes the only way an owner can get just compensation and fair treatment.
At least one local attorney says landowners could benefit by just saying "no" to companies seeking easements for transmission lines designed to carry wind-generated electricity from this region to other parts of the state.
Others involved in the industry caution about taking such dramatic action.
Crosbyton attorney and former State Rep. Joe Heflin, who is representing various landowners in the easement negotiations, encouraged anyone presented with a wind energy or right-of-way easement contract to seek legal council, "because it’s something that will not only effect the rest of your live, but it will effect your children and grandchildren’s lives. In another words, this is a really long-term contract."
With their legal training, Heflin said, lawyers should be able to review to contracts to determine their exact terms.
Another important thing to consider is who you are dealing with. "Sharyland has been in operation for a long time and is very reputable," Heflin said. "They are one of the better companies to deal with and will work with you as much as possible."
When negotiating easements, landowners should consider more factors than just reimbursement, he said. The actual placement of the transmission lines can impact irrigation systems, cropping and land usage patterns and the market value of the rest of the property. "Be very cautious, and don’t let anyone tell you that you have to sign a contract in so many days. Don’t give up any of those rights for a minute without first getting legal representation in place. But remember, if it goes into litigation, you may or may not come out the winner."