City forces out 2 downtown businesses
Action follows high court ruling on eminent domain
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling approving a Connecticut city's plan to take private land by eminent domain may seem far away.
But to John Revelli, whose family has operated a tire shop near downtown Oakland for decades, the implications hit home on Friday.
A team of contractors hired by the city of Oakland packed the contents of his small auto shop in a moving van and evicted Revelli from the property his family has owned since 1949.
"I have the perfect location; my customers who work downtown can drop off their cars and walk back here," said Revelli, 65, pointing at the nearby high- rises. "The city is taking it all away from me to give someone else. It's not fair."
The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.
The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last week paved the way for local governments to buy out unwilling property owners, demolish homes and businesses, and turn that land over to new owners for development. Last week's ruling expanded on earlier decisions that allowed agencies to take property only if it is considered "blighted" or run-down.
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