Hercules considers buying Wal-Mart lot: San Jose CA Mercury News, 11/27/06

By Tom Lochner

The Hercules City Council will consider invoking eminent domain Tuesday to acquire a Wal-Mart-owned lot at the fair-market value.

The world's largest retailer had applied to build a big-box store on 17-1/4 acres along John Muir Parkway about midway between San Pablo Avenue and San Pablo Bay. But even Wal-Mart's latest, scaled-down plan for a 99,000-square-foot store exceeds the 64,000-square-foot limit of a development agreement with the previous owner of the property, the city contends.

The action the council will consider Tuesday, a so-called resolution of necessity, would be similar to one the council adopted in May.

Wal-Mart challenged the May council action, contending the Hercules Redevelopment Agency's eminent domain authority had lapsed. The city said it did not, but the council nevertheless extended the authority in September for 12 years.

Wal-Mart filed suit earlier this month, contending the council's extension is illegal. Hercules City Attorney Mick Cabral said Wal-Mart's argument is absurd.

San Jose CA Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com