Skip to comments.Mother, son won't budge from home (City of St. Louis)
Posted on 06/17/2005 5:55:44 AM PDT by tahiti
Reba June Thompson and her son, Howard, at 7016 South Grand Avenue, are the last holdouts against a $40 million shopping-center project under way near Carondelet Park in St. Louis. One by one, their 19 neighbors took the money and moved on. Demolition crews moved in. The city has taken the Thompsons to court, trying to claim their well-maintained brick bungalow by eminent domain.
Desco Group, the Schnuck family's development company, has bought most of the 30 acres near Interstate 55 and Loughborough Avenue for its Loughborough Commons shopping center.
In March, the city pledged $11 million in tax subsidies for the new center.
Two weeks ago, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy J. Wilson held three days of hearings and is awaiting written arguments from the lawyers. There's no word yet on when he will rule.
The family's lawyer, Michael A. Wolff, said the Thompsons' battle is a long-shot effort that rests almost entirely upon a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. In February, the court heard arguments over a similar battle in New London, Conn., where some residents don't want to sell for a city-sponsored commercial development.
Without the hope for a friendly decision, Wolff said, Missouri law and court decisions would be all against them. But he thinks the precedent is wrong.
"The condemnation law as it has evolved in Missouri is atrocious," said Wolff.
Alderman Matt Villa, D-11th Ward, who sponsored the project, said it will be good for the city and the neighborhood. Villa said most of the Thompsons' former neighbors were pleased with Desco's offers.
"I have a lot of empathy for the Thompsons. They plain don't want to give up their home," Villa said. "But we can't allow one property to derail the whole project."
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
And here I thought the Dims were the party of the little people, the underdogs, the givers of voice to the voiceless against the big, bad corporations....
"And here I thought the Dims were the party of the little people, the underdogs, the givers of voice to the voiceless against the big, bad corporations...."
Until they see a larger Tax spigot.
The concept of "private property" is a sad joke nowadays.
The government can and will take your property if it is their best interest to do so.
Eminent domain is being used to push out owners in my corrupt small town, too, here in NJ. And isn't it a kicker how a city will use the family's tax dollars to subsidize the business that would kick them out of their home?!
It's terrible, but this MO family could find itself in the same situation as some homeowners I've noticed in Atlantic City where here and there you'll see a small home engulfed by huge casinos. The MO family might not like their property so much once the shopping center is up, but the decision should still be theirs.
What's large enough for the rich to covet ... is large enough for the poor to defend (Chesterton)
"We will have to take some things from you for the common good"
Actually it is redundent to pronounce Villa a Dimocrat. The fact that he is a city alderman is enough. The life expectancy of a republican politician in the city of St Louis is approximately 1 nanosecond.
The Villa's have been a controlling interest in St Louis for ages.
"That said, half the time I think these cases are just to squeeze more money out of the shopping center."
As the land owner is right, and morally obligated, to do!
They might find a horse head on their porch with a note saying, "Move or it will be your head."
Have you loosed your mind?!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.