The Incorporated Village of Garden City will hold a public hearing this Thursday, June 7, to consider the acquisition of the easterly 100 feet of 114 Sixth Street via eminent domain.
The purpose of the hearing is to inform the public, review whether or not the proposal for this property would be considered proper public use, as defined by the Eminent Domain Procedure Law, and to review the impact this property acquisition would have on the environment and the residents of the village.
The condemnation hearing was set in early May because the village had not yet been successful in negotiating a price for the 100 feet of property, which the village intends to use partially as parking, with 50 feet of the property to be used for a park buffer strip. The property is part of the Gardner Estate and if the village does not acquire this portion of the property the house that is currently on the property will be torn down and three new houses will be built on the parcel of land.
A municipality is only allowed to acquire property via condemnation if the acquisition is for public purpose. The first step in the condemnation process is a public hearing. The board, after the public hearing, must make certain determinations and findings with regard to whether it is appropriate to condemn the property and then must publish a synopsis of those findings in the newspaper. Following that time there is a limited scope of time for judicial review of the findings dealing with the question of whether there is a valid public purpose of the condemnation. According to Village Attorney Gerard Fishberg, providing village parking is usually considered a valid public purpose. Following that period of review, the law has a procedure whereby the municipality must make an offer for the property. In a condemnation a municipality must pay 100 percent of the appraised value of the property.
The public hearing will be held this Thursday at 8 p.m. in Village Hall.