As DART Preps Green Line Debut in NW Dallas, a Business Files Suit Over Rail Removal

In about two months, Dallas Area Rapid Transit hopes to open the Royal Lane station along the expanded Green Line. Not far from the site, on Rodney Lane, sits Central Hardwood, a massive lumber warehouse that sits on property owned by the Wilber Family Limited Partnership. And in legal docs filed two weeks ago in Dallas federal court, both Central Hardwoods, Inc. and the family trust claim DART's light-rail expansion has resulted in "the drying up of sales" and diminished property values, due to the removal of nearby freight line to make way for the Green Line.

The Regional Rail Right of Way Company, which is the holding company for DART's easements on its freight corridors, will be briefed on the litigation this morning -- litigation that's already been filed in and dismissed from district court. On August 16, according to court docs, DART was granted a summary judgment: "Wilber Family Limited Partnership and Central Hardwoods, Inc., take nothing of and against" DART, ordered the presiding judge. The Regional Rail Right of Way Company, however, was not sued in the original action in state court.

According to the suit, DART had told Central Hardwood it would "arrange for comparable tracks to serve this location," which is dependent upon train service, or compensate the company for business lost due to Green Line construction. But the suit alleges that at an October 2009, DART changed its tune. The phrase "evil motive" also works its way into the litigation, which you can read in full on the other side.

DART spokesman Morgan Lyons says this morning that DART has no further comment on the suit, except to point out that it's been dismissed once already.

Central Hardwood v Dallas Area Rapid Transit

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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