Aldine Man’s Home Under Threat Of Eminent Domain Acquisition

Travis Upchurch has lived at 1810 Aldine Meadows Rd. all his life and plans to do so until he dies, and that’s where he wants to stay until he dies.

The 1-acre property has been home to Upchurch’s family for more than a century, according to his son, who said his 78-year-old father has lived there for 46 years. It’s where the elder Upchurch raised his children and cared for his wife until she died from a rare form of cancer in 2017. It’s also where he picks pecans from trees that were planted by his grandparents, which he gifts to friends and family around the holidays and uses to bake pecan pies.

However, Aldine ISD also likes the property and it has taken steps to acquire it through eminent domain. The Houston-area school district owns all the surrounding land on that side of Aldine Meadows Road, including a football stadium immediately to the west. W.W. Thorne Stadium is being rebuilt as part of a $50 million project, and Aldine ISD’s plan is to use Upchurch’s property for parking, according to his son, whose first name also is Travis.

The district said in a statement that the elder Upchurch rejected its purchase offer in the spring of 2022, which led to school board members’ decision this April to pursue eminent domain, a process through which a governmental entity can acquire private property for public use while providing compensation for the land. Aldine ISD said it mailed another offer to Upchurch this week “as part of the first step in the eminent domain process.”

Aldine ISD also has initiated eminent domain actions to acquire a nearby property at the southeast corner of Aldine Meadows Road and Aldine Westfield Road, which is where the elder Upchurch’s mother lived before she died, according to his son. The family is not pushing back against that proceeding, he said, because no one lives there.

All the land near that intersection, most of which is now owned by Aldine ISD and used to house athletic facilities, an educational center and a bus barn, among other things, was previously a dairy farm, according to the younger Upchurch. He said his family has long figured the school district would one day want their lots, too.

The Unchurches hope to settle this matter civilly without the need to involve lawyers or the court. The Elder Upchurch’s Children wish to hold true to their fathers wished and let him live the rest of his life on the property.

Travis Unchurch

Author: Ethan Klein

Share This Post On