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Sea-Tac's eminent domain battles - Elf M. Sternberg
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Sea-Tac's eminent domain battles
The city of Tukwila, which is right next door to Burien, is apparently going through an eminent domain spasm as the city and Sea-Tac airport battle with landowners as to whether most of the main drag through town, International Boulevard, should be turned into one giant parking lot for the county's flying public. I'm not sure what's going on, myself, but it seems to be that some people want to delay the building of more parking structures (a wise decision on the grounds that the county just spent hundreds of millions putting in a light rail line from the city to the airport), others want more vertical parking for higher density (also wise, since space near the airport is rarely residential), and landowners and dealers want to just pave as much as they can and charge automobile owners rent on the ground (unwise, but way cheap, and capable of the fastest ROI).

The biggest issue appears to be the city's arbitrary seziure by eminent domain of a family parking lot that the city wants to use to support a light rail station that has no space for a park-and-ride lot of its own. Despite my assertion that the existing premise is "unwise," this definitely has the feel of an abuse of eminent domain, far out of line with its intended purpose. It is being used for a public utility. If I had to vote on this one, I wouldn't side with the city. The case seems weak.

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