Fight heats up between Texas Parks and Wildlife and developer over Fairfield Lake State Park

Dallas-based Todd Interests has a week to reply to the state’s last offer.

By Alexandra Hart and Wells DunbarAugust 11, 2023 1:16 pm,

Fairfield Lake State Park has become a battleground between a real estate developer and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, after its new owner began private construction.

The land, totaling approximately 5,000 acres, was recently sold to developer Todd Industries after Parks and Wildlife’s lease ended. The developer’s plans include creating a luxury housing facility on the site.

After negotiations to keep the park open broke down, Parks and Wildlife announced it would use eminent domain to regain ownership of the land.

The situation took a new turn when it was revealed this week that Todd Industries had already initiated construction on its project even before the filing for eminent domain was made.

“That doesn’t actually make it that much harder under law to get the land,” Texas Tribune managing editor Matthew Watkins said. “But I think the question is, how desirable is it as a state park if there have been houses starting to be built on it? I don’t think we quite know the answer to that. We’ll have to see over the next few weeks.”

For more stories from the week in Texas politics, listen to our interview in the audio player above.