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Eminent Domain Debated in Denver Suburb

A fight over eminent domain has erupted in the Denver suburb of Glendale. At stake are long-time local businesses and a potential $175 million redevelopment project along the Cherry Creek.
May 14, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The Glendale City Council will consider a measure Tuesday evening that would authorize the use of eminent domain as part of the city's plan to push forward Glendale 180," reports John Aguilar. The project would build 260,000 square feet of food, beverage and entertainment and 42,500 square feet of retail on 42 acres in the Denver suburb.

The potential use of eminent domain to complete the $175 million project has prompted an organized response by Seed Kholghy, co-owner of one of the businesses that would be forced out by the new project. According to Aguilar, "Kholghy hopes to start a robust discussion about the lengths to which government should go to spur new economic development at the expense of existing businesses."

Kholghy argues that it should not be possible to use eminent domain to seize private land for the use of another private interest. Aguilar is careful to note that the 2005 Supreme Court decision of Kelo v. New London allows the use of eminent domain for such purposes.

Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon counter that Kholghy has been at the table for the design and planning process for the redevelopment for ten years, and that the city is following the state laws that govern redevelopment. Aguilar notes that the state laws regarding redevelopment are frequent sources of controversy, citing past episodes in Littleton and Erie.

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Published on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in The Denver Post
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