Could Eminent Domain Claim Private Property? WIBW-TV13 (Topeka KS), 1/25/06

By Lisa Boschert

Some may call it the American dream. Jerry Morgan started his bike shop with only $900. Recently, it’s turned into a nightmare, "The last six months has been very difficult to get up everyday."

Morgan fixes everything from new bikes to his 1949 car, but right now he's trying to fix something bigger, “I'm real concerned that the power of government is being used for purposes it wasn't intended to be used for."

If the City Council votes to use their power of eminent domain tonight Morgan fears this could be the end of his bike shop.

He says the developer isn't offering him enough money to move elsewhere, and it would be too much to rent from the developer.

But not everyone shares his sentiment.

Councilmen Clark Duffy is leading the campaign, and the developer has said the owners are setting unreasonable prices.

Morgan says he'd like to settle this and get back to business, “Working on bicycles it would be really nice.”

Morgan has offered to renovate his building to fit into the development's retail spaces, but the developer is not accepting that offer.

If the council approves eminent domain, Morgan would be forced to take whatever developers offer him.

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