Land Use & Zoning

Land Use Restrictions & Zoning issues have two very different applications in condemnation law:

A) Land Use Restrictions and Zoning Issues Affect Appraisal Issues in Condemnation Cases

Reasonably foreseeable Highest and Best Use is the measure for valuation of land taken in Texas condemnation proceedings. Current or reasonably foreseeable zoning or other land use restrictions affect the legally permissible use.

In areas where and Zoning or other land use restriction, such as deed restrictions, easements, development restrictions or permits, long term leases, certain mineral or water rights, etc., are applicable, they can have substantial positive or negative impact upon valuation of use allowed, even if only a part of the land is condemned. In cases involving Partial Takings, the acquisition may have some subtle impact that should be evaluated.

Land use and zoning are important to determining the value that your land is worth both before and after a taking, and may be significant factors in determining the amount of compensation to which an owner is entitled in an eminent domain case.

How to determine what your land is worth

Determination of a property's value should involve not only its current use, but also the reasonable foreseeable uses to which it may be put.

B) Regulatory Takings May Occur

Zoning is a governmental act that limits an owner’s use of their property. There is a developing body of case law and legislation that may determine whether a particular restriction is so unreasonably burdensome that it oversteps the permissible level of restriction. Such restrictive action may be so harmful that it constitutes a compensable taking that can be pursued as an Inverse Condemnation.


This Texas law firm maintains its principal office within blocks of the Capitol complex in Austin, Texas. Our attorneys have handled appraisal disputes, eminent domain and condemnation cases throughout the State of Texas including Austin, Aransas Pass, Atlanta, Athens, Bastrop, Beaumont, Belton, Big Spring, Boerne, Bonham, Boston, Brownsville, Brownwood, Childress, Clarksville, Conroe, Copperas Cove, Corpus Christi, Cuero, Dallas, Denton, Eastland, El Paso, Fairfield, Forney, Ft. Stockton, Ft. Worth, Georgetown, Grande Prairie, Houston, Jefferson, Katy, Lockhart, Longview, Lubbock, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Paris, Port Aransas, San Angelo, San Antonio, Seguin, Sinton, South Padre, Stephenville, Sweetwater, Tyler, Waco, Weatherford, Wimberley, and surrounding areas that include properties along Texas State Highway 130 (toll road), State Highway 45 (toll road), IH 35, IH 10, IH 45, IH 20, US 59, US 71, US 290, US 183, Beltway 8, IH 30, Loop 820, SH 121, SH 114, the North Tarrant Expressway and transmission line cases similar to acquisitions by LCRA and ONCOR.