Category Archives: Real Estate Disputes

Argyle votes no on proposed zoning change

The residents of Argyle, Texas, have spoken – sort of. When a much needed supermarket interfered with zoning laws, the community said more no than yes. Not that the issue is closed by any means and neither is the zoning dispute. The town is in dire need of a supermarket.

While the project has the potential to bring the area many benefits, it will also bring jobs and a push to a sluggish economy. Then why did so many Argyle residents storm out of the town meeting called to push this proposal through?

With a vote of 6-1, the result seemed inevitable, but when town commissioners announced the deciding numbers, the residents made it clear they weren’t happy.

Some town dwellers claim that while the grocery store is a necessity, the location is less than stellar. Planned to be at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Highway 77, most vocal in their complaints felt the project would spark new problems for the area.

While the Zoning Commission chairperson felt it was in keeping with the town’s future plans, and that development will bring bountiful advantages to the town, residents’ worry that the location is a poor chance as it will sit right across from Hilltop Elementary School. This will increase the nightmare already present with traffic.

A grocery chain is proposing a massive store inside the town center, and it’s development partner is located right behind the existing retail center. The move is already predicting between 60 to 80 new jobs.

While everyone agrees that traffic is a growing concern, planning officials blame it on growing pains. Proponents of the plan say the commission did a poor job of communicating such a zoning change to the community.

One parent says that if the vote goes before the city council later this month, they will have an altercation on their hands. As that date rapidly approaches, the citizens can only hope that some of their concerns may be addressed.

The town of Argyle is like any town in American, where laws and zoning issues come into play. Sometimes, they are due to hidden agendas at city halls, but other times, they are there for the purpose of making of healthy and safe conditions for the communities’ citizens.

Source:Denton Record-Chronicle, “Proposed development near school prompts concerns in Argyle” John D. Harden, Jan. 08, 2014

Rezoning proposal for package store gets unanimous denial

When you buy a piece of property, you don’t have a crystal ball to tell you that you might one day decide to build a store on it, or a bar, or maybe even a daycare. So while the zoning in the area might be fine when you purchase the property, what happens if you want to use the property later for something else and it is not zoned for your purpose? You have to submit a proposal to have your property rezoned, and it is not easy. Zoning issues can be complex. There are zoning laws that must be followed. Your best bet is to have a good attorney who knows the zoning laws and can represent you in hearings before the government agency if necessary.

A convenience store owner in Longview is currently facing some zoning issues. He had decided that he would like to change his zoning from general retail to heavy commercial. He wants to change his convenience store to a package store.

His zoning proposal has been denied by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. The denial was unanimous because rezoning just his property would be considered “spot zoning,” meaning that it would be the only property in the zoning area that is zoned different. Texas law states that “a zoning decision that merely provides for individual benefit without a relationship to public benefit cannot be legally supported.”

Other opposition to his request comes from a church and a resident in the neighborhood who do not want heavy commercial zoning in the area. Heavy commercial zoning will allow nightclubs, liquor stores and other less reputable businesses in. Currently, the convenience store owner’s property contains gas pumps and a Subway restaurant. He feels a package store would benefit the public so they wouldn’t have so far to travel for their liquor.

The property owner might have some other options available to argue his case, such as the possibility of rezoning the entire area instead of just his property. He may also argue the point that a former City Council member was just unanimously approved for rezoning his 2.5 acres of agricultural land to heavy commercial zoning.

Source:News-Journal, “Longview Planning and Zoning rejects gas station rezoning” Richard Yeakley, Dec. 18, 2013

Dispute between property co-owners lands in Texas court

Potentially complicated litigation faces two co-property owners this month in a Jefferson County courtroom. The conflict not only brings up breach of contract issues but involves accusations of unpaid rent as well — both serious real estate matters that require legal help in order to sort out. It’s a situation some of our readers may be able to relate to but hope to never find themselves in down the road.

The complication in this particular case stems from a dispute between the two property owners about paying upkeep on the property and how profits should be distributed. According the female plaintiff, she and a male resident owned several properties jointly under Texas real estate law. But as she explains in her complaint, her co-owner disappeared several years ago, leaving her to bear the entire cost of upkeep on the properties.

Recently though the co-owner returned and is now “demanding his share of the profits from the rental properties.” This has created its own complications because the female owner filed a prior partition suit against the male owner from which she says she has not received compensation. She also claims in court that the male owner has lived in one of their properties since August 2011 and has not paid rent for that time either.

Real estate disputes such as this can be tricky situations and often require extensive help from attorneys before a resolution can be met. While your own property dispute may not involve complexities such as this, it’s important to remember that you can seek legal representation so as to ensure you’re getting the fairest outcome in your own dispute.

Source:The Southeast Texas Record, “Dispute over shared property leads to lawsuit,” Matt Russell, Oct. 8, 2013