Coverage of Army Reserve Center Property, Eminent Domain
Sam Houston State University intends to acquire property at 2257 Sam Houston Avenue, recently purchased from the city by Maalouf Properties, through purchase or condemnation. The land, which contains a former Army Reserve Center, is included in SHSU’s long-range master planning for use by its ROTC and veterans’ programs. The conflict began in July. Below is the Huntsville Item's coverage of the property, it's sale, and the aftermath from mid-to-late August.
Aug. 22 - Ads reflect advertiser's opinion
Item publisher Rita Halderman discusses a half-page ad that appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 18, edition of the newspaper from a group calling itself Eminent Doom.
Aug 20 - ‘First it’s my property, next is yours’
Members of the Huntsville community, VOLT PAC, the local branch of the Tea Party, and protest group Eminent Doom joined forces on Tuesday, Aug. 20 to protest not only action by Sam Houston State University, but against eminent domain as a whole.
Aug. 18 - Explainer: Eminent Domain
A primer on Condemnation, the process in which a government agency takes a piece of property for public use - more commonly known as eminent domain - and how it relates to this case.
Aug. 18 - Our View: SHSU should not condemn property
Says the Item: "If SHSU cannot buy the property from its new owner for a fair price, it should find another site for its long-range plans for veterans and ROTC students and preferably one that does not contribute or promise to contribute to city or county tax rolls."
Aug. 15 - P&Z Commission OKs Land Division
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of splitting Huntsville Fire Station No.2 and the Military Reserve Building into separate lots, but there was concern among P&Z members on the properties sharing access to Sam Houston Avenue, depending on what becomes of the abandoned military building. City Council approved a $650,000 bid to Maalouf Properties for the land, which is currently being pursued by SHSU to acquire either by purchase or condemnation through the Texas State University System. P&Z members questioned whether commercial traffic from a bar or night club would jeopardize firefighters’ ability to answer calls.