Elon Musk's SpaceX acts 'like they already own everything' as the company reportedly buys up homes in a Texas village, preventing access to public roads and beaches

Elon Musk's SpaceX acts 'like they already own everything' as the company reportedly buys up homes in a Texas village, preventing access to public roads and beaches
The SN9 during static-fire testing in Boca Chica, Texas, on January 13, 2021.@SpacePadreIsle on Twitter
  • Residents of Boca Chica, Texas, told the Wall Street Journal SpaceX acts like it owns "everything" in their village.
  • Several told the Wall Street Journal the company has attempted to buy their homes for offers they consider unfair.
  • Musk has said he wants to incorporate the village as part of a city called Starbase, Texas.

Residents of Boca Chica, Texas, a small village that sits just north of the US border with Mexico, say that Elon Musk's company SpaceX "act like they already own everything" in the area around the site it uses to launch and test rockets.

There are 14 residents of Boca Chica who are not affiliated with SpaceX, according to a Wall Street Journal report. SpaceX has bought at least 112 parcels of land in Boca Chica, according to the report published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.
Seven people who spoke to the WSJ said they wanted more money from SpaceX and Musk to sell their properties than the company had offered them. David Finlay, the senior director of finance at SpaceX, told one couple it would explore a "different route" if they refused to sell their home willingly, the report said.
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He told another couple the company would "pursue alternative approaches" if they rejected SpaceX's offer, according to the report.

SpaceX did not return Insider's request for comment Saturday on the WSJ report.

Musk in March said he was interested in incorporating the area as Starbase, Texas. To incorporate the village as a town, SpaceX would need to show that there were at least 200 inhabitants, according to the WSJ.

"Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!" Musk said in one tweet. "SpaceX's hiring needs for engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel of all kinds are growing rapidly."If successful, the town and its leaders would have access to eminent domain, which could allow them to legally force holdouts to sell their homes.

"They act like they already own everything, including you and your house," Cheryl Stevens told the Wall Street Journal. She said she sold her home to the company in October last year because she could no longer deal with living near the launch site.

When launches don't go according to plan, residents who remain told the outlet they experience broken windows, debris, and brush fires. While the company offers to put up residents in hotels in South Padre Island, a nearby resort town, residents told the WSJ that they have to pay for their own gas for the 40-mile trip.

Residents also complained about the company's closure of state Highway 4 "often with confusing and inadequate prior notifications and last-minute changes and revocations," according to the report.

State lawmakers in Texas in 2013 passed legislation allowing officials in Cameron County, where Boca Chica is located, to close public beach access for SpaceX launch activity, according to the report.

Closing the road prevents residents from accessing 8 miles of beach, National Wildlife Refuge, and land in a state park, the WSJ reported. The highway is the only road that leads to the village, according to the report.

Residents told the WSJ they felt that county officials were working with SpaceX to get them to leave their properties.
"We want SpaceX to succeed, but not at the expense of the community," Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño told the WSJ, denying those accusations. "If they think they'll be able to take over the highway or the beach, they're mistaken."

Read the full report at the Wall Street Journal.