Judge upholds use of eminent domain: Milwaukee WI Journal-Sentinel, 10/23/06

Property adjacent to Bayshore deemed blighted

By Marie Rohde

The city [of Glendale WI] acted within its rights when it condemned private property adjacent to the Bayshore shopping center's $300 million makeover, Circuit Judge Francis Wasielewski has ruled.

As a result of the ruling, Glendale will proceed with "full speed" to begin construction on a new public street and bus turnaround on the property, said Alan Marcuvitz, a lawyer representing the city.

The Goodyear Auto Service Center leases a building on the property. Earlier this month, the Glendale Plan Commission approved plans for the construction of a new building for Goodyear two blocks north on Port Washington Road. That building is expected to be completed by spring.

The Seemann Family LLC, a living trust created by Harold and Edna Seemann, owns the property at 5960 N. Port Washington Road that Glendale had condemned, using its powers of eminent domain.

In his ruling, Wasielewski found that the area was blighted and that the city was condemning the property for a public project, meeting the criteria of the state law.

Glendale argued that quick action was needed to preserve the property that has long been one of Glendale's top taxpayers.

According to city records, the 1.4 acres that Glendale condemned is assessed at $1.225 million; the building is valued at $5,000.

After obtaining appraisals of the land, the city offered $2.092 million for the Seemann property. Marcuvitz said the Seemanns can file a lawsuit if they think the amount is low.

Hugh Braun, the lawyer representing the Seemanns, said they had not decided whether to appeal.

Milwaukee WI Journal-Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com