Monday, May 01, 2006

The Failure of Imminent Domain

A small business owner in Seattle gets to keep her family business after it was seized under imminent domain.  The coffee house which is located across from the Space Needle, will be sold back to the Lee family for $650,000.  The city forced the Lee family to sell it to them for $580,000.  The city will make a tidy little $70,000 profit from the venture.  The reason for the forced sell was that the Seattle Monorail Project wanted to put a new line in the area, turning the Lee’s business into a park outside of the station.

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a nonvoting SMP board member, called the sale "a very positive move," and Chairwoman Beth Goldberg agreed.  The Lees' $70,000 loss represents part of a $14.4 million "profit" from 31 lots sold to date, which are fetching more than the $56.3 million it cost taxpayers to buy them.

The Lee’s figures they will end up losing $120,000; the $70,000, plus the cost of lawyers and real-estate experts over the past two years.

This is another example of how Imminent Domain is being illegally used to make money for cities.   Americans need to stand up, and find lawmakers that will fight for the people and not for their jobs.  

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