Eminent Domain Abuse: Seattle Condemns Private Parking Lot For Construction Of Public Parking Lot


On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously and without discussion to seize the property of a 103-year-old resident so that the city could “mitigate for the loss of short-term, on-street parking during construction along the downtown waterfront and replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.”

The property is already a parking lot, one that profits its owner and not the City of Seattle. Owner Myrtle Woldson has understandably resisted repeated overtures from the city to buy the land.

So the city just took it, and doubtless now holds the leverage in negotiating a compensation price. Long-term plans call for a municipal parking structure to supplement another parking facility the city is already mismanaging.

The Freedom Foundation, which has chronicled the city’s several other abuses, had this to say:

In addition to eminent domain abuse, the City of Seattle has recently been in the news for hiding public records, and sinking the farm boat. The common thread among all three of these stories is that, in Seattle, central planning takes priority over people. In this case, they decided it was critically important to seize a parking lot from its 103-year-old owner so that it can be a parking lot. At least this is their stated justification.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported two weeks ago that the Woldson was likely to have bequeathed the high-value waterfront property to a charitable organization, despite reports she’s declined private offers of up to $20 million for the land.

“The dispute between the city and Miss Woldson, as she prefers to be called, makes Seattle look like Darth Vader going after the property of a centenarian,” observed the Journal’s Marc Stiles.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Harold Olsen

    We have a corrupt city government here in Seattle. It’s Democrat controlled just like all of King County and most of the state. They don’t care what the people want, all they care about is what they want. If they a have vote on an issue and it doesn’t turn out the way they want it to, they void the election and have another one, claiming the people haven’t decided yet, until the people finally get tired and vote the way the city wants them to. It’s been this way for decades and it has gotten considerably worse since Obame moved into the White.House. He gets away with the corruption, so why shouldn’t they. Our current mayor, Mike McGinn, whom I call Mayor McIdiot, is up for reelection after his first term. No one likes him, not even those of us who voted for him. His opponent, openly gay state Senator Ed Murray, is apparently beating him in the polls. He’s touting that it was he who was the major influence in getting same-sex marriage passed in our state. We vote by mail her. For the position of mayor, I wrote “Neither.” As far as I’m concerned, whichever of them win, the city loses. For the City Council positions, I voted for the candidates who were not the incumbents.

  • Vigilant

    No one should be surprised by this. The last nail was hammered into the coffin of private property in 2005 with the SCOTUS decision in Kelo v. New London. Thanks to the activist left wingers on the Supreme Court, Seattle is acting unconstitutionally in taking that property.

    Clarence Thomas’ dissenting comments said, in part, “Something has gone seriously awry with this Court’s interpretation of the Constitution. Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not.”

    And, “Allowing the government to take property solely for public purposes is bad enough, but extending the concept of public purpose to encompass any economically beneficial goal guarantees that these losses will fall disproportionately on poor communities. Those communities are not only systematically less likely to put their lands to the highest and best social use, but are also the least politically powerful.

    Private property, requiescat in pace.

  • Daniel F. Melton

    An expansion of the kelo decision, or are the authoritarians in Seattle using that as a fig leaf to cover the theft of private property by “their” government?

    cui bono? (who stands to gain?)

    SEQVERE PECVNIAM (Follow the money)

  • Bill

    The owner of this parking lot needs to argue for “Highest and best use” and “future income”. If they are going to take it, they will have to pay dearly for it


    yep,gov’t control at it’s worst.the county did the same [expletive deleted] to my daughters grandparents,took their 2 front arena’s and the parking lot(working horse ranch and housing/training)so they could run a hyway through,and tried to just take it after no decent deal was agreed upon.(for future income and inhieretance to children)so now the county is being sued,not to mention they already just buildt the hyway and the whole time made the owners life miserable trying to get in and out of the home/ranch and for customers,which many just pulled out their horses and withdrew their buisiness,and made it impossible for them to pay their bills,i’ve been helping them with selling/transporting horses and helping them move-into a trailer house!thanks,Wood Co.,Wisconsin.

  • TheSilverRanger

    To quote Bioshock’s Andrew Ryan, several quotes, in fact: “On the surface, I once bought a forest. The Parasites claimed that the
    land belonged to God, and demanded that I establish a public park there.
    Why? So the rabble could stand slack-jawed under the canopy and pretend
    that it was paradise earned. When Congress moved to nationalize my
    forest, I burnt it to the ground. God did not plant the seeds of this
    Arcadia; I did.”

    “On the surface, the farmer tills the soil, trading the strength of his arm for a home and lands of his own. But the parasites say ‘NO; what is yours is ours! We are a state, we are God! We demand our share!'”

    “The parasite makes nothing for itself. It’s only tools are taxes and tithes meant to trick you into offering that which has not been earned. In Rapture, we keep what is ours.”

    Why is it in America we can’t keep what is ours? The communist parasites and marxist altruists always come to rob what they could never possibly build.

    • CORMAC___NJ

      The parasites are now killing their host.


    Don’t go to Seattle. Don’t visit, don’t move there, and don’t buy products from there!! ESPECIALLY Starbucks, or their subsidiary “competitor” Seattle’s Best. The company’s owner recently made several anti-freedom statements supporting Obamacare and critical of gun-rights!!

  • Alan

    Sounds like agenda 21 has taken hold.

  • smartass

    Eminent Domain = legal theft

  • BHR

    I am sure each of us have enough corruption in our own cities to keep us busy?For the last 25 years, the city I live in has done what ever it feels like. They condemn land all the time then use it for other purposes. The building department just keeps adding more and more things you have to add when building. Building fees are out of control. The average cost of a building permit with sewer, water and electric hookup is about $ 47,000.00 dollars. This is for a house around 1800 to 2000 sq. ft. A permit to replace windows in a 1600 to 1800 sq. ft. House is $3000.00 dollars. This is why people are moving into small apartments, the middle class is disappearing. Now, with Obamacare few people can afford to buy a home.

  • William James Ward

    The loss of personal character in our people has led to the
    loss of respect the citizen should have and sinful conduct
    as in crime becomes the rule of the day. I’ve had many friends
    loose their property and or property rights over the years and
    always by the actions of thieving political frauds that are
    out for two things, firstly, a wonderful life and secondly, you
    to pay for it…………………..William

  • ibn insha

    There is no such thing as private property in our country. Governments, Federal or Local, can take it away whenever it wants to, with or without compensation.