Hinga Mbogo – Photo courtesy of Institute for Justice
DALLAS, TEXAS: Hinga Mbogo who has owned and operated Hinga’s Automotive Company in Dallas, Texas now for 30 years is coming to an unexpected end. Dallas has started to phase out some automobile repair businesses because they don’t fit in with the city’s future for a more tax revenue opportunity by creating an arts district. Mr. Mbogo faces closure, but to make it worse, Dallas doesn’t have a legal responsibility to make restitution to Mbogo for his deep-rooted property.
This dark chronicle started back in 2005 when the Planned Development District #298. The city decided to reconfigure Ross Avenue, the present location of Hinga’s garage, so he is currently breaking the law by fixing cars because Dallas has banned mechanic shops, and other auto repair shops have already packed up and left.
Mbogo said in a statement released by the Institute for Justice. “When I found out about the zoning change, I couldn’t believe that this was something that could happen in America. I left a country where something like this could happen, but not here. I thought that America was the land of opportunity.”
The earlier law granted property owners up to five years sell or repurpose their property into something else that was more suitable for the city rulers, like a restaurant, retail shops, or hotel. The ordinance was nice enough to allow the owners to file for an appeal, but of course it requires an extortion fee.
Since this falls under a simple zoning change instead of eminent domain, then it is the government’s “right” to seize private property for public use. Dallas does not even have to purchase the businesses or make restitution to the business owners that are being victimized. Mbogo has had offers from the areas developers and has the right to sell to them, but knowing his situation they are only offering a small fraction of what the property is actually worth.
The city was temporarily compassionate and let Mr. Mbogo fill out an extension form that was good until 2013. When that expired he asked permission for a Specific Use Permit that would let him continue his so-called American dream for another 10 years. The let him have only a two-year permit that ended in August of last year.
Mbogo has since filed for another permit and it was denied by the Dallas Plan Commission back in February against the advice of the commission’s staff. According to Daniel Branum, his local attorney, he has given up at least $9,000 fighting for his livelihood since 2010.
The Dallas city council has a hearing set on April 13th. There is a petition with over 43,000 signatures demanding the city of Dallas to allow Mbogo to keep his business going. This is a lifeline for him, his family, and his beloved employees, but yet he has to beg and plead the local government to still generate income on the property that he owns.
If his permit is somehow approved, it will only be for a short time resulting in Mbogo spending his hard-earned money to fight the same barrage of land grabbers all over again. What’s left and the only solution to his plight would be for the greedy city council to repeal the zoning ordinance or for Mbogo to give in and sell his artificial American Dream. Evicting private property owners without amortization taints the controversial power of eminent domain. It’s clearly stated in the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, that if the unfortunate event of seizing private property for government use ONLY if the owner is paid “just” or “adequate compensation,” with the sole reasoning of “public use,” which is understood to be limited to projects like roads.
Back in 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued its notorious Kelo v. New London decision, which upheld seizing homes for “economic development.” Texas then made a move and amended its state constitution, with an overwhelming 81% of the voters saying yea to a ban on taking private property and transferring it “to a private entity for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenues.”
By Andre’ Gabriel Esparza – DontComply.com
A Pro Liberty, Pro Freedom, Human Rights Activist, very involved in a wide variety of Activism and Exposing the Truth at all costs.
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Does the city government have the right to over rule previous laws and regulations just to suit themselves? I think not. And to take someone’s business away is criminal. He’s doing nothing wrong. They want an arty fartsy looking street but why? Dallas has a horrible crime record and doesn’t show signs of getting better!
I’d hold out and lock myself in there until the sheriffs came to get me. And THEN I would be on the phone making sure that EVERY news source in the Metroplex was there to see it happen. And I would be hollering out the names of everyone of the P&Z commision and the city council so EVERYONE would know who they were.
You know Mitch I shouldn’t have commented after reading a single article. I really don’t know enough about something that has been going on for years.
Glad we agree. Have a nice day
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This type of theft is anything but unusual. We recently came across a case where owners of an historic hotel literally had it stolen by government officials, including a US Congresswoman (SkykomishHotel.com). The Rule of Law has ceased to exist in America.
No the rule of law has not ceased to exist. This guy could sell. He was given 2 years to resolve the issue. This case seems much more complicated than your description. Does it ownt he property? You were not clear. He owns the business but I know as a business owner my clients are not worth money to other people – so he cant’ sell a business that is worth zero. Surprise. Welcome to Captialism.
It is not Capitalism. It is corporatism. There is a big difference. He should be grandfathered in under a true capitalism system. This is a corporate ruled govt. A Capitalist ruled govt. would be a govt. of We The People. This unfortunately is not the case.
Yes he could have sold. But if you read the article, you would know that when buyers know that you HAVE to sell, they can offer you a fraction of what it is worth. Where is the fairness in that? Capitalism means he should be be able to get fair market value for his business.
yeah im going to call complete BS on this article. you cant ban mechanic shops…… imagine a whole city without one. let that soak in.
I put in the information, the city Voted him off his own land. I posted a follow-up a day later.
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