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Section 2: Authority

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The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Article 1, Section 17 of the Texas Constitution protect private property rights. Accordingly, a LPA may acquire private property for public use only under certain conditions. Both federal and Texas laws provide the conditions under which a LPA may acquire right of way.

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Federal Law

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, commonly called the Uniform Act, is the primary law for acquisition and relocation activities on federal or federally-assisted projects and programs. This law was intended to make public acquisition of private property as fair and equitable as possible.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the Uniform Act will result in a denial of federal participation in current and future project costs, even if no federal funds were used to acquire right of way.

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State Law

Texas Transportation Code, Chapters 201-250 and Texas Property Code, Chapter 21, are the primary sources of state law for acquisition and relocation activities related to the state highway system. These statutes are supplemented with administrative rules provided in Title 43 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Part 1, Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 15, and 21.

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