The city of Seattle is determined to get its hands on a parking lot owned by a 103-year-old Spokane woman. Why? So it can turn it into another parking lot. Myrtle Woldson doesn't want to sell, so the City Council voted this week to use eminent domain to grab the lot, Q13 Fox reports. Woldson will receive "fair market value," the council says. The city says it needs to deal with parking problems that will be created when it starts tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and hundreds of public parking spots are lost.
"Eminent domain was originally intended for stuff like roadways, expanding roads, schools. Situations that are for the public good," says a property rights advocate. "In this case, the city of Seattle is using eminent domain to seize a parking lot, so they can use it as a parking lot. There’s no public good in that at all." MSN notes that some think the city wants to snag the property now, while it's valued at $7 million, rather than after the waterfront is redeveloped, when it will be worth more. Woldson has the ability to challenge the City Council's move, and/or the price it offers her. (Read more Seattle stories.)