The East Troy Village Board voted (4-3) Jan. 23 to proceed with the use of eminent domain to seize an unknown amount of land from two East Troy homeowners. The land seizure frees up a 1.8-acre landlocked lot on Brooks Court and allows for the sale of the lot to an unnamed private developer.
The vote took place during a heated 3-hour meeting with Village officials split on the issue.
The Not So Flash
Trustee Scott Seager was one of three officials who spoke out against the action. He said the Village Board didn’t have enough information to vote to institute eminent domain proceedings and questioned whether they should rule out negotiated deals between the involved property owners.
Representatives for property owner Mary Pulliam addressed the board on the issue, requesting for property access at the end of Brooks Court in order to combine lots RXUP 00126, RXUP 00127 and RXUP 00128. Without acquiring land from neighboring properties, the merger of the three lots would leave the parcel landlocked with no access to a public road.
Village President Randy Timms said the parcel in question would be considered landlocked without any road access due to a clerical error in the planning of an adjacent development.
The board moved forward with the decision to take the property needed for the access easement without knowing the amount of land to be taken, as pointed out by a recently appointed Youth in Government student from East Troy High School.
“So you don’t know any of the costs or the amount of land that you are giving or gaining at all?” he asked.
“At this time we do not. You are correct,” Timms responded.
The attorney representing Pulliam, the owner of the landlocked property, was also unable to tell the board how much land would be taken.
Once the process is complete, ownership of the seized land will be transferred to the village and the property owners will receive an assessed value for their portion. Officials also discussed the possibility of providing an additional amount of land in the form of an adjacent unnamed road. Details regarding the value of the land to be exchanged were unknown during the meeting.
Votes in favor of proceeding with the Eminent Domain motion:
- Randy Timms (President)
- Dustan “Dusty” Stanford (Trustee)
- Fred Douglass (Trustee)
- Matt Johnson (Trustee)
Votes in opposition of proceeding with the Eminent Domain motion:
- Scott Seager (Trustee)
- Fortune “Forty” Renucci (Trustee)
- Ann Zess (Trustee)