On Saturday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission decided to retake the 5,000-acre state park recently purchased by a developer, over the objections of Todd’s interests.

The commission voted to condemn Lake Fairfield State Park, a pioneer in the state’s land acquisition by eminent domain, According to the Dallas Morning News.

Commission Chairman Arch “Beaver” Aplin III said using eminent domain is a last-ditch effort to save a “beloved state park.”

Lake Fairfield in Freestone County closed in February after the Dallas-based company put the property under contract for a $1 billion luxury resort that will include a golf course and 400 single-family homes .

Since the park opened in 1976, Vistra Energy and its predecessors have leased free to the State of Texas property in Freestone County, whose 2,400-acre lake was built for a coal-fired power plant. When Vistra closed its factory and moved in in 2018, the state government had the option to purchase the 5,000-acre park. The state rejected its option again in 2020, when Vistra was preparing to put it on the market.

In a letter to the committee last week, Todd blasted the state’s efforts to block the development.

“Is this how you deliver on Governor Abbott’s promise of ‘Texas is open for business’?” the letter asked, noting that the state had not exercised its prior option to buy land.

The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife “expresses no interest in acquiring all of the land or lakes, nor does it have the funds to purchase the land leased by TPWD,” the letter reads.

Developer finds out Fairfield State Park is for sale, as Dallas Morning News publishes an article Stories about going public October 2021.

The company closed the property on June 1 and construction equipment has been moved to the site.

Ted Glazer

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