As DART continues working toward the completion of the Silver Line, the organization is now focusing its efforts on acquiring land.
Before it can negotiate with property owners in Coppell, the city has to be in agreement with DART using its right of eminent domain if necessary.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Coppell City Council approved a resolution agreeing to allow DART to exercise that right and allowing it to move forward in the land acquisition process for one of the several needed properties in Coppell.
Traci Leach, deputy city manager, said the majority of the Silver Line is in the existing DART right-of-way. Within Coppell, the rail alignment itself will deviate from what DART currently owns, just west of Moore Road heading south into the city of Dallas through Cypress Waters, where the station will be located. The line will then head back north, to join the rail right-of-way east of Southwestern Boulevard where Pinkerton Elementary school is located.
“As part of that alignment to the south, DART is working through a process of land acquisition,” Leach said. “They (DART) have started conversations with the property owners who are impacted by the alignment that will be coming through that southern part to go into the city of Dallas.”
Leach said the approved resolution will streamline the process for DART to move forward with the negotiations. Leach said through this resolution, the city is not inserting itself into the activities related to the acquisition nor does it guarantee that any of the properties that DART is in negotiations for will result in eminent domain.
The passed resolution is for the properties located at 390 and 400 Southwestern Boulevard. This is the first of about seven or eight properties DART will need in Coppell to complete the project. The council will need to pass resolutions for all of them.
According to city officials, the Silver Line, formerly known as the Cotton Belt, will connect the D/FW Airport to the cities of Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano. Small parts of construction has begun and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2022.