Thursday, March 27, 2008

EMINENT DOMAIN OR BACK TAXES?



I have to join my colleagues, Polacco and Teetsel in their apprehension of using Eminent Domain for this property. I voted in favor of hiring the special attorney to draw up the initial action, with the intent that the Motel owners would get the hint, but since the back taxes issue has come up, I have to believe Eminent Domain is overkill.



The Kings Inn is closed up and has become less of a focus of the police department than in the past. With the lack of people, there is less opportunity to invite trouble.



Polacco is right when he says the eminent domain proceedings are likely to cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. He is quoted in the Freeman: "It is already over. We got them shut down. We won." I have to agree with him here.



When Polacco says that the whole matter should take a natural course, either by the owners selling or the city foreclosing on the property for non-payment of taxes, he’s right. SN Management (who owns the Kings Inn) owes over $115 thousand in combined taxes. With the track record of this council, related to delinquent taxes, I don’t see SN Management getting away with any extensions or payment plans.



The special permit to operate as a shelter for the county’s homeless will never be granted, so the desire for a future developer to purchase the building with that as a business model is closed.



A public hearing on the King's Inn eminent domain effort will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 420 Broadway.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You? Breaking ranks with Ann Marie? Shouldnt spending the taxpayers money be top priority?

Mike, on occasion you jump ship when its heading for an iceberg. Good for you. But the majority will still vote to storm ahead and spend our money when the outcome could work in the public's favor naturally.

Anonymous said...

While you are correct that eminent domain will never work and will cost the taxpayers far more than they are willing to spend for this property, you are off base with your belief that the property will be successfully seized for back taxes.

At the last minute, the money will appear, a deal will materialize or the owner will file a notice of claim against the city for somehow interferring with their ability to do business.

Back off the eminent domain as quickly as possbile. It is a recipe for disaster. Let business run its natural course. Otherwise, the city loses in the long run because the owners of the Inn have better lawyers and the right as individuals to make necessary decisions during litigation without committee and/or council votes and without worrying about the opinions of constituents.

Anonymous said...

Imagine a whole summer without the noise and 24 hour traffic coming out of that parking lot.

I hope the City gets the property through whatever means possible. Just make an effort to do it the least expensive methods first.

Sounds like back-taxes would be the safer bet right now. Patience could reap better rewards.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you mike for stepping up to the plate, instead of going with cruella dibella.

Alderboy's Fly said...

It would appear that you are wrong on this on Mike. The Kings Inn has been a problem on this community for years. It would not take to much for someone to come up with the money pay the taxes and have it as a motel that will only attract drug dealers and working girls. Landi Reynolds and DiBella are right on this one. Then maybe
Broadway can be the gem it once was in the 1970 and 1960's. It is time to bite the bullet on this one? Would you not agree?

Anonymous said...

The first element of an eminent domain seizure is a good faith negotiation to purchase the property. There has been none. No negotiation, no offer, no public referendum to purchase. The city did an evaluation, then disavowed the results of the evaluation. The city has now scheduled a public meeting regarding the threat of seizure. The entire approach is the opposite of good faith negotiation. Step one, city loses.

Step two, the city needs to show necessity. Translation, the city needs to show that they have a specific need for the property and that no other available property could serve that need. As the city has already admitted that they have no idea what they would use the property for, there is no necessity. Step two, city loses.

Without any chance of prevaliling, the city forces the owner to expend money on counsel fees. The owner sues the city for these fees. Absent a good faith basis to bring the case in the first place (see 1 and 2 above) the city has to pay counsel fees. Step three, the city loses.

A word to the wise, give it up now before it even starts.