Eminent Domain

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[WWW]Eminent domain is recently in the news with [WWW]the South Central Farmers and [WWW]Julia Butterfly Hill. 05-28-2006

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2006-05-29 00:52:28   A resident of one of the houses on B Street across from Central Park told me that the houses will soon be snatched under the pretext of eminent domain and that two-story housing/business units will be built in their places. Can some fellow wikis confirm or negate this rumor? If this turns out to be true, I don't think I can decide if this is an acceptable thing. My instinct says that this is an outrage, as the downtown will automatically become more mainstream and urban, and by this I mean that the area will begin to lose its classic Davis character. After all, the houses currently on the piece of land have likely been where they are a relatively long amt. of time and really reflect Davis as a community. What says "big city in the making" more than towering businesses surrounding a park, after all? Clearly, my first reaction is that of shock and indignation. On the other hand, if Davis keeps growing (though I don't think it should), would these buildings be better than urban sprawl?

  Are there alternatives to demolishing these houses? For example, can any current one-story bldgs downtown be made into two-story edifices to create more housing and business space? Or if demolition of the current B St. houses goes forth, is there an ordinance mandating that the bldgs are modeled after ones like Ciocolat—ones that remain true to Davis style? Is there a way to find out what sort of businesses would be opening? It could be nice to have a European-style row of restaurants there, encouraging community. There could also be a creative space of some sort...maybe an arty multi-purpose venue/lounge? Or should we just chain ourselves to the trees and save the houses because I had a dream that a bunch of us did that and it felt good to preserve an important part of our shared history. —EliseKane

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