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Hankinson LLP’s Government Practice Assists City of Grapevine in Condemnation Case

Hankinson LLP successfully represented the City of Grapevine before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  In this case, the State condemned real property located in the City.  Because a billboard owned by CBS Outdoor, Inc., overhung that property, the State condemned the billboard to remove the aerial encroachment.  In an effort to avoid condemnation, CBS asked the City to permit it to shift the billboard away from the property to remove the encroachment.  The City refused, explaining that nonconforming billboards, like CBS’s billboard, could not be moved, altered, or adjusted under the City’s existing zoning ordinances.  After CBS removed a 4-foot section of the billboard, the City ordered CBS to remove its billboard.  CBS sued the City.  The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction based on its governmental immunity, but the district court denied the plea.  On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s order in part and rendered judgment that CBS take nothing on its claims for judicial review, injunctive relief, violations of due process, declaratory relief, and attorney’s fees.  On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court denied CBS’s petition for review.  Rick Thompson argued the case before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and briefed the case to the court of appeals and the Supreme Court.  See City of Grapevine v. CBS Outdoor, Inc., No. 02-12-00040-CV, 2013 WL 5302713 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Sept. 19, 2013, pet. denied).