Texas Land Condemnation To Take Hobby Facility From Children

Mike's Hobby Shop has been providing recreational hobby facilities for children, Scouts, young adults, and adult North Texans for over 26 years.  Located on I-35 in Carrollton, Mike's Hobby Shop provides over 51,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities including 3 remote control (RC) car tracks, a Pinewood derby car track, a space for indoor electric aircraft and helicopter flying, as well as a retail store with sales and in-store service.

Due to the I-35 corridor expansion, however, The State of Texas has begun proceedings to take half of the facility through the eminent domain process. The line that defines the portion of the property being sought by the state literally cuts through all 3 RC car tracks, rendering the entire facility useless in terms of its current operation.

By law, the State of Texas has the right to take a landowner's property.  Still, they must compensate the landowner fairly.  Despite fair, honest, good faith work by Mike's Hobby Shop owner Mike Darnell, the
state is insisting only purchasing half of his building, and is using real estate comparables from other parts of the metroplex that come in at 30% of the actual value of the land.   

Faced with having to renovate and sell the remaining half of the building, and being offered a sub-market acquisition price by the state, Mike won't be able to afford to re-open the facility and will be permanently forced to close.

Call To Action

Sign this petition asking the Texas Department of Transportation to require that their contractors fulfill their legal obligations as defined by Texas State Law to provide an offer that is based on actual comparables of like land in the area.  Furthermore, send a message this election year that taking private citizens' land and forcing small business owners who are dedicated to children, Boy Scouts, and other groups,to close their doors is bad for our youth, bad for the economy, and just bad for Texans.

Letter to
Dallas District - Tony Hartzel Texas Dep. of Transportation
Do not force Mike's Hobby Shop to close. It is a valuable resource for families and a source of educational fun for North Texas' youth.

Math and science interests need serious attention in the US and Texas. This hobby facility incubates the types of interests that lead to higher education in computer science, engineering, and design. Your offer to the business owner is not sustainable. Your real estate comps do not adhere to the requirements set forth in the 5th Amendment. What you are doing is wrong.

Give the business owner something he can work with and give our community a chance at keeping this resource.