TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The Travis County District Court has issued an emergency temporary restraining order and injunction against AMTEX Housing, a California developer, for developing Alexander Farm, black-owned agricultural land that was owned by Alexander’s family. for 175 years.
A temporary restraining order stops further development until a decision is reached.
KXAN has reached out to AMTEX Housing for comment and will update this story as soon as we get a response.
Alexander Farm in Pilot Knob, Texas, a few miles south of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, was founded in 1847 by world-famous horse breeder Daniel Alexander, who was enslaved at the time, according to their website.
Although the farm was once operational, it is no longer commercially produced. Black-run farms account for only 1.4% of the nation’s 3.4 million producers, according to the 2017 agricultural census.
According to the farm’s press release, AMTEX has begun developing part of the farm. The press release said that after being notified of the historical significance of the farm, AMTEX continued its work. Alexander’s family then filed for a temporary restraining order.
“What the developers have done is completely wrong and traumatic. They broke into the property of our heirs and destroyed the ancient road that my family used to cross our farm. This is the land that supported my ancestors when they were enslaved. Since then, it has supported our family – their descendants. The kidnappers must be stopped, held accountable for their intrusion on us, and prevented from causing further damage to our family’s land,” Rosalind Alexander-Kasparic was quoted as saying in a press release.
“Litigation was not the first choice for the Alexandrov family,” Ashton Cumberbatch, a lawyer representing the family, said in a press release.
“But without open channels of communication, this became the only way to stop the crimes that took place on the Alexander farm and against the Alexander legacy – both rich parts of the Texas heritage. This [temporary restraining order] is an important first step in preserving this heritage.”
This is not the first time that developers have built projects at Aleksandrovskaya Farm. According to the Texas Tribune, in 1968 the Texas Department of Transportation used eminent domain to build sections of U.S. Route 183. Over 50 years later, TXDOT contacted the Alexander family to announce their plans to add lanes to the existing highway running through Alexander’s farm. The family is still fighting for this project.