Williamson highway commissioners choose not to fight eminent domain ruling: The Tennessean, Nashville TN, 1/3/07

By Mitchell Kline

Williamson County highway commissioners voted this morning not to appeal a judge’s ruling that the county can’t use eminent domain to acquire land for a road-widening project.

The Highway Commission has long discussed widening a section of Temple Road in northern Williamson County. The mile-long section is narrow and crumbling apart. Many residents want the road fixed, but some don’t want the road widened. The owners of five pieces of land objected to the county’s attempt to condemn part of their land for the project.

Circuit Court Judge R.E. Lee Davies ruled that the Highway Commission failed to consider or vote on whether or not Temple Road should be improved. He stated this amounted to an “arbitrary and capricious act.”

County Attorney Jeff Mosley said the Highway Commission can still take action to improve Temple Road, as long as it follows state law. Highway commissioners are working on the adoption of a new policy to follow when deciding whether and how to improve roads. Mosley said the new process would be “transparent” and include documents the public could access.

The Tennessean, Nashville TN: http://www.tennessean.com