City moves to block houses through eminent domain: Eugene OR Register-Guard, 4/19/07

By Edward Russo

Eugene's leaders on Wednesday signaled interest in exercising the power of eminent domain to preserve 65 forested acres from development near the Amazon Creek headwaters in south Eugene.

With Mayor Kitty Piercy breaking two ties, the City Council voted 5-4 to begin eminent domain proceedings on two tracts of land that the owners have long tried to develop with houses in spite of stiff opposition from area residents.

Martin and Leslie Beverly's Deerbrook subdivision would be on 26 acres south of West Amazon Drive's terminus. Joe Green of Aurora wants to develop 39 acres between Dillard Road and Nectar Way.

The council on May 21 will hear the public's opinion about the city acquiring the land. Under eminent domain, the city can try to buy property. But if negotiations fail, the city can force a sale through the courts.

South Eugene Councilor Betty Taylor introduced the eminent domain proposal at the request of the Southeast Neighbors and other groups that have waged long battles against the developments.

Eugene OR Register-Guard: http://www.registerguard.com