Local News

City tells 103-year-old: We’re buying your parking lot, like it or not

 SEATTLE — The city is forcing a 103-year-old Spokane woman to sell her parking lot in Seattle to make way for, well, a parking lot.

The Seattle City Council voted Monday to take the lot near the waterfront by eminent domain, using a portion of the $30 million provided by the state to take care of parking issues around the waterfront. Hundreds of public parking spaces will be lost when the state begins dismantling the Alaskan Way Viaduct for the digging of the tunnel. The construction will last until 2020.

The lot is owned by Spokane resident Myrtle Woldson.  She doesn’t want to sell, so the City Council voted unanimously to use it’s power of eminent domain to take it after paying Woldson “fair market value.

parkinglot1None of the City Council members would speak about their vote, but property rights advocates call it ridiculous.

 “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,” said Glen Morgan of the Freedom Foundation, which is an Olympia-based, conservative, free-market think tank. “There’s no public good in that at all.”

Morgan said there are several bills in the Legislature that would revamp eminent domain and give Washington property owners more rights.

“Eminent domain was originally intended for stuff like roadways, expanding roads, schools,” said Morgan. “Situations that are for the public good.”

Woldson can still challenge the move in court. She can also challenge the eventual selling price that the city decides on.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

56 Comments to “City tells 103-year-old: We’re buying your parking lot, like it or not”

    Troy Smith said:
    October 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    It's another reason I am voting against anyone on the city council.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      That would mean voting for Kshama Sawant. A good conservative wouldn't do that either. What a pickle you are now in.

    Rich said:
    October 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Just one more reason why all of the City Council, including the Mayor should be taken out and forced to take a long walk off a short pier.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Rich, thanks for not saying, taken out and shot," even though we were all thinking while reading your post.

    cedwards157 said:
    October 22, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    The Freedom Foundation just put out a great article about SDOT's recent abuse of this fiesty 103-year-old lady: http://myfreedomfoundation.com/blog/liberty-live/

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Now I'm gonna be sick. The Freedom Foundation.

        Glen Morgan said:
        October 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        It is funny that you are only sick when people expose government abuse and corruption.

    esco said:
    October 22, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Strong-arming a 103 yr. old lady. Pathetic!!

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      That's the M.O. for Seattle. Looking for the oldest people it can find and make them do the city's bidding. It's been going on for at least 100 years.

        esco said:
        October 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        100 years? She was still here 3 years before that!!

        Glen Morgan said:
        October 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Amazing! You are actually critical of the City of Seattle. I'm saving this comment. Perhaps the Freedom Foundation's efforts to expose this type of abusive government action is rubbing off on you. There is hope.

    Guest said:
    October 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Democrats.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      grease monkeys.

    kandise said:
    October 22, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    rather say “bullies” or “demacrats” how about we lobby for this women. It has been proven when the public speaks out politiacians tend to change their minds. yes they do so to save face but they do it just the same.

      Slam1263 said:
      October 23, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      Better to just tar and feather the City council.

        Ben Name said:
        October 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Talk about bullying.

      Guest said:
      October 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      Yeah, worked real well with those ACA town halls didn't it? Does Seattle allow open carry these days?

        Nate said:
        October 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Yep, open carry is legal in Washington state. Seattle, by law, cannot supersede state law.

          Ben Name said:
          October 24, 2013 at 8:28 PM

          Is that Seattle's law or State law?

        Ben Name said:
        October 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        I carry mine every day. I feel very alone on the streets. Someone please join me. Bring your gun into downtown Seattle. Flashmob anyone?

    Seattle Death said:
    October 24, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Cowards all. Pathetic. Terrorize this woman for what is rightfully hers. Bullies

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Yes, those in government are learning from….our children! Yikes.

      At least it skipped our generation. Right?

    AlfredHusseinNeuman said:
    October 24, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    This is the liberal agenda. Take from one, because the community is more important than the individual. I'm surprised the NYTimes hasn't picked up this story to highlight the success of progressives. "A new and better parking lot"!

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      right. Individuals are most important. Think of how great life would be if we all got all the things we wanted.

      Oh.

    David said:
    October 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    The remedy of a lawsuit is far too expensive and very slow, too slow for someone at 103! She's a pot shot for the city. Hopefully she has heirs who can take the expensive grab and fight the expensive suit. It sure sounds unjust. Odds are good the planners have an eventual building project in mind after using the lot for a while, and maybe someone in mind for the contract.
    I thought better of Seattle.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Everything is too slow for someone 103 years old.

    Stateless said:
    October 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    After she pays capital gains tax of 23% on the sale, then leaves the funds to the family the government will likely take around another 40%+ of the remaining funds in inheritance tax, sounds like a great deal.

      albydamd said:
      October 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Ugh. Just makes me sick.

        Ben Name said:
        October 24, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        I'll pass you the barf bag.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Assuming she had any children. Or has children alive.

    albydamd said:
    October 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    I plan to put Myrtle Woldson in the write-in section of my King Co. Ballot where applicable this election cycle.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Excellent idea. Everyone should do that. Could you imagine a 103 year old person in charge of government? Brilliant.

    Anonymous said:
    October 24, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    LOL at you libs who vote democrat and then act surprised when the people you elect act like democrats. Democrats are all about power – no matter who is in their way.

      Ben Name said:
      October 24, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      At least they aren't interested in only money like the other option.

        Ben's Mom is Ashamed said:
        October 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        You really need to stfu, guy.

        Glen Morgan said:
        October 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        They are primarily interested in money – you are just in denial on this fact.

    Ben Name said:
    October 24, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    What the heck is central planning? What does that mean? I don't recall the City of Seattle having a Central Planning Department. Can someone give me a web link?

      Anglosaxonknight said:
      October 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Central planning is one of the bases of Communism. The idea that the state has the power and intelligentsia to plan everything for the people or workers.

      cedwards157 said:
      October 25, 2013 at 10:02 AM
    Ben Name said:
    October 24, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    If, according to the dude interviewed, eminent domain is used for improving roads making it easier to get to a place with no parking then what's the point of making roads better?

      cedwards157 said:
      October 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      This parking lot is full on a daily basis, having the government seize it will do nothing to improve downtown parking congestion.

    Ben said:
    October 25, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    What a bunch of crap. Seattle city council should be ashamed of themselves. Stupid tools.

    TooRotten said:
    October 25, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    Wow, this is just so wrong, on so many levels! Shame on the City! People of Seatle need to back this Woman! She pays taxes, if the city gets it, they don't have to pay taxes! Help this Woman!

    Steve said:
    October 25, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    Hopefully each council member will get terminal cancer.

    carol said:
    October 25, 2013 at 5:31 AM

    shame on seattle. talk about rampant abuse of power under the guise of eminent domain- i hope she battles this all the way to the supreme court!!

    Dapandico said:
    October 25, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    She will be the first person to appear before an 0bamacare death panel.

    mariel said:
    October 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    wake up you sheep, the gd government, especially as administered by dumb-o-crats is a malignant cancer.

    Respect Ma Libertah said:
    October 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    All of you people talking about democrats, republicans, progressives, conservatives, and *shocked* Obamacare? I'm not sure all caps is loud enough to say this, but here goes *ahem*:

    YOU MORONS ARE ALL PART OF THE PROBLEM. THIS ISN'T ABOUT THE LEFT VERSUS RIGHT, YOU STUPID, PATHETIC, AND WORST OF ALL, USELESS CATTLE.

    THIS IS ABOUT THE STATE VERSUS YOU.

    ltcolc said:
    October 25, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    There is a very good reason for the City Council to do this. Once the lot is theirs they can award a contract to one of their larger supporters to run it. More revenue for the city, more election money for the Council members, less competition for parking fees (allowing the contractor to charge more for parking).
    The only real losers are the property owner, and the citizens who have to pay the higher parking fees, so what's to gripe about?

    Jan said:
    October 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Wonder what they consider "fair market value"? It's never what it's really worth. Bullies…and they'll drag it out until she passes away and the stress caused by all of this, will most likely make that happen sooner than it probably would have, had she not had to deal with this. Same kind of garbage happening right now to my father-in-law…(.but that's a whole story in itself). Sad, very sad. I hope this woman has some feisty children helping her deal with this.

    possum said:
    October 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    This is a sad but all too common story, and it has nothing to do with political party. I'm down here in deep-red Georgia, and the good ol' boy Republicans who run this state love nothing more than stealing money, property or anything else. (Not long ago, a jury here ordered the state DOT to pay a quarter-million bucks to Home Depot after it tried to steal — er, "condemn" – a piece of property and pay HD $25K. Of course, HD has the money to fight these bastards, not like this lady.) Greed is bipartisan. The only way to stop this stuff is to let the greedheads know they'll pay at the ballot box.

      Robert Nagel said:
      October 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      If she turned down $20,000,000 and is running a parking lot in Seattle you can be sure she is rich. With a capital R.

    Beverlee said:
    October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    The people of Seattle love to be activists. Perhaps both sides could come together and protest what they are doing to this woman. Grab it like a dog with a bone and don't left go until it cracks. If there is anything that should be able to unite the left and the right…the young and the old…the poor and the rich(?)…it should be this. Find a celebrity and make it a cause. This should not be allowed.

    AnhVo said:
    October 25, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Who would believe this happens in Untied States of America in twenty-first century. Where are our freedom? Where are our property right? It is time to throw out these demo-rats out of the office.

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