GeoCarta Has Moved

Dec 5, 2005

Take My Land....Please

We're all familiar with those stories where angry residents protest the government using its power of eminent domain to force them to sell their homes. Today, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a story completely opposite from the norm. Residents there are angry that the government is not going to take their property for a new bridge.

The Post-Dispatch explains:
Normally, property owners fight state and local governments when public works projects mean businesses and homes would be lost. But not in this section north of downtown, where vacant buildings and graffiti mark areas once populated by Polish, Italian and German immigrants. Here, people such as the Sandrowskis saw a government buyout as a hope of getting a decent price to leave.
To save money, the state has decided to go with a smaller bridge and to use an existing street for access, rather build a new one. The result is that it doesn't need as much land for right-of-way, which has cause anger and sadness among some of the property owners:
When the new design plans became public, Pat Sandrowski almost cried. Other landowners wrote angry comments on public remark sheets that will be considered as the Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation finalize the plans.

"They were begging us, literally, to buy them out," said Deborah Allen, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Transportation. "That's rare."