Kalamazoo County Home Showcases the Reality of Eminent Domain
Most people have a dream of owning a home, some portion of land, or maybe even both. This is what fuels many Americans to go out and pursue a career that will make them enough money to make this dream happen. So many people here in the States think that owning land or home can provide stability. To an extent yes, but no one in this world is completely stable.
At any moment your world as you know it can come crashing down and all you're left with is what you can salvage. Now let's tailor this situation a little bit and think about your home or land. If you have purchased your home or land, there is a possibility that you may have that home or land "taken" from you. These are the legal ramifications of a process known as eminent domain.
What is Eminent Domain?
Eminent Domain is the process that gives the government or its agents the right to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation. There are a couple of key parts of this definition that make the case. The purchase of the property is by monetary value and not another piece of land or residence and they must be making the purchase for public use.
Prairie View Palace
The Prairie View Park located in Kalamazoo County is a public state park, but there is a portion of the land that is privately owned. The lakeside cottage is owned by both the Talandas and the Heeter-Johnson families which are direct heirs to the property. They have been in legal battles with Kalamazoo County for a few years now trying to maintain the family heirloom.
There was an agreement made with the original owners that if the property was ever up for sale the county would have first dibs to purchase but this agreement does not pass along to other owners so therefore eminent domain is fair-play. As of right now, a judge has ruled in favor of the county and they are preparing to purchase the property to build on to the experience at Prairie View Park.
The families have not decided if they are going to appeal the decision or not, which is something they're entitled to. They also have the right to a jury trial to determine the price of the property if they choose, but as of right now, that is the next step for Kalamazoo County as they look to move forward.