The owner of a single piece of property is standing in the way of a new natural gas pipeline to serve central Arizona.
And a federal appeals court won't force the issue - at least not yet.
Without dissent, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by Transwestern Pipeline to get immediate possession of properties in the path it seeks for its 260-mile pipe.
The judges said the company may eventually be allowed to condemn the property. But they concluded that the private company cannot take immediate possession until it gets a court order.
That requires a hearing where the landowners have a chance to challenge both the company's need for the property as well as whether Transwestern is meeting its requirements to negotiate in good faith on the price.
The court ruling is the latest setback for Transwestern, which has faced opposition in its bid to complete the $700 million project that is designed to connect central Arizona with the company's main pipeline that carries gas from New Mexico across northern Arizona.
Transwestern spokesman Jerry Herenden said the 280-mile spur eventually will carry 500 million cubic feet of natural gas to the Valley each day.
The interesting proposition of the subject of the article is the appropriate recognition by the federal appellate court that Due Process applies to the rights of individuals and recognition that eminent domain statutes must be followed.