Land Developer Indicted, "West Oaks Subdivision "Tenants Fast Approaching Moving Day - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/15/05-Smith County

Land Developer Indicted, "West Oaks Subdivision "Tenants Fast Approaching Moving Day

  An update on a story KLTV first brought to you last August.
  A Smith County grand jury has indicted land developer Dennis Walker for allegedly failing to get the city of Tyler's approval on a plat for the West Oaks Subdivision. It's an error that could cost tax payers thousands.
  The subdivision sits in the direct path of the future Loop 49. The homes are located just west of County Road 1147, between Highway 64 and FM 724.
  Several of the homes will be demolished, raising the cost. The original price to acquire the property and clear it was around $300,000.
  But because Texas Department of Transportation must now acquire the property and clear the development, it will cost over $4 million. TxDot must also compensate the tenants to relocate them.
  "We will start moving people as early as next week," said TxDot Public Information Officer, Larry Krantz. "A lot of that as far as I know, is based on availability of housing. We're not going to put anybody out on the street."
  So who will have to pay up for the extra expense? According to the TxDot, of the approximately $4 million to acquire the land, the state pays 90 percent. That's around $3.6 million.
  Smith County will have to pay, 10 percent, or about $400,000.
  The $3750 dollars in compensation to the tenants comes from federal money.
Smith County Judge Becky Dempsey declined to talk about the situation until the case against Dennis Walker is over.
  KLTV also contacted the attorney for Dennis Walker who said he and his client did not wish to comment at this time.
  The case is set to go to jury trial in September. If convicted, Walker faces 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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