Hundreds of Homes Saved from Eminent Domain Abuse in St. Louis

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Plans for the construction of a 150,000 square-foot Walmart Supercenter have fallen by the wayside, as the large corporation has faced intense pressure from residents of the St. Louis suburb of Ellisville.

Ellisville city officials, located approximately a half-hour from St. Louis, had been trying to lure Walmart to their town for years. It appeared they had accomplished their goal with the announcement of their most recent US$50 million Supercenter development project. However, after word leaked in October that the plan included the demolition of an entire apartment complex — that would have forced 250 residents to relocate — the community stepped in, provoking Walmart executives to reverse their plans.

Late in December, the town’s city council took the constituent pressure a step further by passing a resolution that curbs the power of eminent domain. The resolution contains bans on condemning apartment complexes and “multi-tenant dwellings” for projects that have economic development as their sole purpose.

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Adam Paul, mayor of Ellisville and a key activist in turning Walmart away, called the resolution “amazing.” Residents no longer “have to live in fear . . . of the threat of eminent domain for economic development.”

Paul noted that there is no issue if Walmart wants to build a store “on its own dime.”

Source: Institute for Justice.

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