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Government seizes land in Pa for memorial Do the ends justify the means??

Posted by on May. 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM
  • 4 Replies

Owners surprised by U.S. plan to seize land for Flight 93 site

PITTSBURGH - One man inherited property that a grandfather had bought during the Depression. A pastor owns a cottage where he planned to retire.

They and other property owners in rural southwestern Pennsylvania knew things would change after United Flight 93 crashed Sept. 11, 2001, killing 40 passengers and crew and four terrorist hijackers. Plans were soon in the works for a memorial. Property owners said they were willing to help make it happen.

But now they've learned that the government intends to take their land by eminent domain so the Flight 93 memorial can be built in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The property owners dispute that negotiations have taken place and say they either have not been made offers or were provided offers only within the last week.

The National Park Service "apologized about the way it's come together, but what's sad is they had all these years to put this together and they haven't," said Randall Musser, who owns about 62 acres that the park service wants.

"They haven't ever really gotten officially started with negotiations," he said yesterday.

Musser served on the committee that helped establish the memorial's boundaries and said landowners were promised in 2002 that eminent domain would not be used.

Tim Lambert knew that eminent domain, or condemnation, was a possibility, but he said he thought it was unlikely.

"It's absolutely a surprise," said Lambert, who owns nearly 164 acres that his grandfather bought in the 1930s. The park service plans to condemn about five acres - land he said he had always intended to donate for the memorial.

"To the best of my knowledge and my lawyer, absolutely no negotiations have taken place with the park service where we've sat down and discussed this," Lambert said.

Larry Hoover, a Lutheran pastor who owns two parcels, including one that has a cottage where he and his wife planned to retire, said a number of appraisals had been done, "but I've never sat down with the park service and done any negotiations."

The park service defended its plans. "It's just fitting and right that we get this done in time for the 10th anniversary," spokesman Phil Sheridan said.

The park service had teamed with the Families of Flight 93 to work with landowners since before 2005 to acquire the land. "But with few exceptions, these negotiations have been unsuccessful," it said in a statement.

Even with willing sellers, Sheridan said, title questions, liens, and other claims could delay the project.

The seven property owners own about 500 acres needed for the memorial.

     This completely unacceptable and an abuse of power. They ( the gov't) have not taken the correct actions. I have no problem with the building of the memorial, BUT the government should NOT be seizing land to do it. So they want it to be done by the 10th anniversary, that does NOT give them the right to just take people's land without  negotiations, a hearing or anything. WTF??????


      Hitler gave great speeches TOO!!!!!!

by on May. 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM
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Replies (1-4):
by on May. 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Eminent domain is so wrong !


by on May. 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Wrong, wrong, wrong......

Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Quoting realtorshelly:

Eminent domain is so wrong !


     I wouldn't say eminent domain is totally wrong. However in this instance I think it is. It's commendable to want a memorial for those victims, but  NOT at the expense of others rights.

      Hitler gave great speeches TOO!!!!!!

by on May. 9, 2009 at 12:43 AM

This is completely wrong.

Proud Pagan Momma

"And When the Night is Cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Speaking words of Wisdom, Let it be."
~Lennon, McCartney

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