Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NY Town Rejects Eminent Domain to Build Wal-Mart

From the the AP via the NY Sun, a very auspicious development concerning a town's attempt to use eminent domain to obtain land for Wal-Mart:

MASSENA, N.Y. - Growing public opposition has persuaded town officials to drop a plan to use eminent domain to ensure the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter at a local mall. "The public is not in favor of that, and we're listening," said Town of Massena Supervisor Gary Edwards. Conversations with residents led town officials to abandon using eminent domain as an option Monday, just two days before a scheduled public hearing. Mr. Edwards estimated residents opposed the idea by a three-to-one margin. Eminent domain is the power of a government body to take private property for public use.The owner must be paid fair market value for the property. Town officials considered seizing property at the St. Lawrence Centre mall where there is an empty anchor store, formerly an Ames department store. Mall owner Carlyle Development Group of White Plains has been trying for more than a year to sell the land to Wal-Mart so it could build a supercenter, which Carlyle hoped would add foot traffic to the mall that has struggled with 50% occupancy.