10/2209 Update: See bottom of this blog for more information on unifying neighbors to present a unite front.
Eminent Domain: The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.
CITY OF GRETNA, NEBRASKA. CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARING..... Notice is hereby given that a PUBLIC HEARING of the CITY COUNCIL of the City of Gretna, Nebraska, will be held at 7:00 o’clock p.m. on November 17, 2009, as part of their regular meeting, to hear public comment regarding Eminent Domain....
Hidden away behind the property’s legal description is the city of Gretna, Nebraska’s plan to take away land from my friend. Specifically, her mother-in-law. The small hay field that she derives a small income from to supplement her retirement. The land that her son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter use not only to feed their small herd of horses, but for riding. The land that has been in the family for a long time and they hoped would remain in the family through this next century. And not only their land, but land of their neighbors is up for grabs, too. And it's more than land -- it's a lifestyle.
Is the city looking to put in new roads or perhaps a new school? No! They plan to take away the land from those who appreciate the rural lifestyle and put in a "youth complex". A soccer field! I can't help but think about the old song lyrics "pave paradise and put in a parking lot." This has left me almost speechless.
Since when does a sport (not a road, not a school, but a sport!) take priority over someone else’s lifestyle? Even though my friends are active in 4H, their neighbors also risk losing their property and their quiet way of life to the soccer moms and dads of Gretna, Nebraska. Is there no other parcel of land that could accommodate this without robbing from their rural citizens? Nebraska brags of its pioneer and farming heritage but yet allows it's cities to steal for what they deem an improvement in the city lifestyle?
Most of you probably don’t know my friend or even where Gretna, Nebraska is. (Between Lincoln & Omaha, right off the interstate). But if you are reading this blog, you in some way must appreciate country living and what it means to us, our horse life and our families.
If you agree that eminent domain is not appropriate in this situation, please, post a letter in defense of my friend and her neighbors to the City Clerk of Gretna or attend the public meeting. The more opposition to the asinine idea, the better! Let them find city land for their youth complex and leave the agriculture lifestyle alone! A written objection must be filed with the City Clerk prior to November 17th. A meeting will be held at 7PM on that day in Gretna. Do it quickly!
Permission granted to anyone who wants to cross-post or provide a link to this blog.
Update: A forwarded message with permission to crosspost.
Ladies & Gentlemen:
Since many of the people with whom I have spoken are totally against this "Land Grab" that the City of Gretna is interested in, I wonder if anyone thinks we should organize and retain an Attorney to represent our interests?
I suggest that if we are interested in doing so, there are two initial steps to consider:
1. Send a letter to all residents in all surrounding areas where the impact of this ill-advised concept inviting them to an organization meeting PRIOR to the City's schedule meeting. We could get everyone's objections ready for presentation at the City's meeting.
2. Consider hiring an attorney experienced in Zoning Law, etc. I have had on-going disagreements with the City of Gretna when I expanded my office building at the corner of Highways 31 & 370. I retained Gerry Slusky and in each and every case, my position prevailed. There may be other concerned residents with positive experiences with other Attorneys and we could learn about those experiences as well and perhaps invite one or more legal representatives to present their initial suggestions for a course of action.
I am happy to make my conference room available for such a meeting if you believe this is a plan of action that you might be interested in exploring.