Houston City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck and Texas State Representative Ellen Cohen today announced their support for HB 3709, pending in the Texas House. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Garnet Coleman, limits the eminent domain authority of TMC, Inc., the real estate and parking garage management arm of the Texas Medical Center. Current law permits TMC, Inc. to condemn residential property regardless of existing deed restrictions. This threat and the exercise of eminent domain in the Central City neighborhood sent shock waves through other deed restricted neighborhoods near the Medical Center earlier this year.
The world-renowned works of the institutions associated with TMC, Inc. improve the lives of millions every year and develop medicine and procedures used around the globe. The institutions in the Medical Center contribute billions to the Houston economy every year. Not surprisingly, the Medical Center is surrounded by highly desirable, deed restricted, single family communities that add immeasurable value to the tax rolls as well.
“The bill acknowledges the delicate balance between the need for a vital and growing Medical Center and the importance of preserving the property rights of individual homeowners”, Cohen stated.
Clutterbuck noted that the Texas Medical Center is one of the largest employers in the Houston area, stating, “As the representative of homeowners and residents surrounding the Medical Center – many of whom are employed at the Medical Center – I am acutely aware of the importance of coexistence between the surrounding neighborhoods and the Medical Center.” Both added that they are hopeful that a reasonable limit on TMC Inc.’s ability to condemn residential property can be worked out during this legislative session.
“It is important that the Medical Center be allowed to continue to provide the quality medical care our region has come to rely on. We believe that this can be accomplished without jeopardizing the property rights of homeowners who live near the Texas Medical Center,” Clutterbuck and Cohen reiterated. “Together we will work to see that the neighborhoods will be preserved while the Medical Center continues to grow.”