Eminent domain: new bully in town — Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, 11/12/04

Letter to the Editor

By LeMarr and Patricia French, Willowick OH

Communities like Lakewood and Willowick that have reached the stage known as "full build-out," described in a Nov. 3 Plain Dealer article, go too far when they attempt to seize land for development through eminent domain. Besides being unconstitutional, the taking of property that will not be owned and used by the public is a symptom of a government and a community driven to acts of greed by their hunger for new taxes.

One can only imagine the rage felt by homeowners when government decides that other uses for their property are more desirable because they will produce higher taxes. Imagine the anger created by the pretentiousness of a government that decides that someone's home can be put to a "higher and better use."

In Willowick, city officials have approved a master plan that calls for the construction of condos along the lakefront, including the area where we live. Willowick's Council president has signaled his willingness to use eminent domain in support of this master plan.

Our home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and which we have no desire to leave, is not to be found in these plans. Instead, upscale condos are shown on top of its bulldozed remains.

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