Gregoire signs eminent domain measure into law: KNDO-KNDU, Yakima WA, 4/16/07

Associated Press

Wash. Governor Chris Gregoire today signed into law a measure that would require better notification of citizens before their property is condemned for a public purpose through eminent domain.

The measure evolved in reaction to a state Supreme Court decision involving Barbara and Ken Miller, whose property in south Tacoma was condemned by Sound Transit to make way for a parking lot for a train station.

Sound Transit posted a notice on its Web site of the meeting where the condemnation action would be taken. The Millers never saw the Web site notice, and appealed. But the state Supreme Court ruled five-to-four that the Web site posting satisfied the notice requirement.

The law will require state agencies, cities and counties, school districts and other government entities to send certified letters to property owners before voting to take their property. It will also require publication of advance notice of the meeting in the largest area newspaper.

KNDO-KNDU, Yakima WA: http://www.kndo.com