Smith County Land Dispute - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/23/04 -Tyler

Smith County Land Dispute

An East Texas land dispute has made its way to Austin. Officials with the General Land Office of Texas heard testimony Monday, regarding a 1,000 acre strip of land in Northern Smith County. The property in question is located in the Red Springs and Sand Flat communities.

Through a teleconference set up at The University of Texas at Tyler, around 30 people were able to attend the hearing locally.

Those making the vacancy claim said land located in the disputed area really belongs to the State. They claim surveys completed after the original in 1835, are incorrect. Landowners said the surveys have been the same for more than a hundred years and there is no reason the Land Commission should vote to change them now.

It's the first time any questions have come up in public regarding the property.

The three member panel with the General Land office will review the evidence presented today and report their findings to Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. He is expected to make a decision about the claim within 30 days. If residents were to lose their claim, they could be forced to buy back their property from the state.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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