Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Southwyck Mall and Eminent Domain

Tonight, during my guest hosting stint for Eye on Toledo on NewsTalk 1370 WSPD, we discussed the pending Toledo city council resolution to begin eminent domain procedures against the two owners of the Southwyck Mall property.

During the discussion, I mentioned that the city's new plan for a road going through the middle of the property is their new, and thinly-veiled, "public use" excuse for a reason to exercise eminent domain. Further, I said that the plans shown to the public, so far, by Larry Dillin (who the city has picked to redevelop the property) don't show any such road.

The best photo of the planned road is available in this WTOL 11 story from August 30th: City Council Discusses Major Changes at Southwyck.

To see the drawings Larry Dillin has presented for his idea of how a re-developed Southwyck property would look, you can go to this link and view the site plan. (This is a large pdf file that may take a moment to download.) Other views of his plan are also available at his website,

If you'd like to weigh in on the issue of eminent domain actions against the Southwyck property owners, Toledo City Council will have it on the agenda for their Environment, Utilities & Public Service Committee meeting on Monday, September 24th at 4 p.m. They'll also discuss the appropriation of $2.7 million from the Capital Improvements Budget for infrastructure improvements in and around Southwyck. This would be the time to make your opinions known!


-Sepp said...

I think Dillin should get on the ball and show some kind of progress. At the same time, confiscating private property via eminent domain leaves a nasty taste in my mouth leftover from the words I use whenever I hear a city official mention it.

Conspiracy theory...Carty proclaiming the entire area on that stretch of Reynolds as "blighted" to make confiscation of Dillin's property easier and cheaper. I believe seizure of the property has in being planned for quite some time.

Black Swamp Road Geek said...

Wouldn't it be great if the City of Toledo wouold just resurface Southwyck Blvd...not that would be an effective use of capital improvement dollars

Maggie Thurber said...

-sepp, I really don't think that the area will qualify as blighted...the city's already looked at that and they must have discarded the idea because they've decided to use the excuse of a 'public use road.'

BSRG - yeah! and about 100 other roads in Toledo as well! But I think that part of the $2.7 million CIP allocation is supposed to be for resurfacing the roads in front of and around the mall...maybe that will help - if they don't spend too much of that money on flowers, flower pots and decorative lighting...

Frank said...

I don't like the idea of eminent domain being used on any private property. I believe the point that was made last night (Wednesday) is the fact that it makes it easier for Dillin to get what he wants without paying for it. Almost like stealing. Sounds almost like a little boy who wants a certain toy from another neighbor kid and gets his older brother to get it for him no matter what.
The money that is set aside for the "needed" road to connect Chyenne and Brownstone should go to the MLK bridge project instead since it is 1)an existing thruway, 2)is a project that is underway and 3) is behind in payments to the company that is working on the bridge.

Maggie Thurber said...

Frank - very true...there's no need for Larry Dillin to offer more money than what he'd like to pay if the city is going to take the property and then 'sell' it back to him for the same amount - or less.

Of course, the problem could also be that the owners don't want to sell - and that's their right. The government should not be used to force property owners to sell their property for another private purpose (or a fake public purpose, in the case of this suddenly 'needed' road) if they don't want to.

And I agree...the estimated $1.9 million cost for this new road, not to mention the cost of acquiring the property, could be better spent finishing the MLK bridge.

Tim Higgins said...

The shame here is in the fact that the "business friendly" environment of Toledo cannot let the free market operate without interference. City government and our mayor should be focusing on the 18 million in debt for the budget, the bridge that may never get finished, and the existing infrastructure that is badly in need of repair. Instead it chooses to seek a burden that it is in no way prepared to accept.

Unfortunately, Mr Dilliard has crossed swords with our mayor, and our mayor wants payback. And "... whatever Lola (Carty) wants, Lola gets..."

Hooda Thunkit said...

Eminent domain, in this case, is a heavy-handed attempt by our (HEAVY SARCASM ALERT!) "beloved mayor" to impose his will on private property owners and is clearly a violation of the REAL intent of eminent domain.

But what else would you expect from a spoiled child who always wants what he wants when he wants it.

"His dishonor" has earned a well-deserved trip to the woodshed for a long overdue spanking.

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