Euclid City Officials Try a Novel Approach in Dealing with Property Disputes—Simple Politeness
The City of Euclid, in suburban Cleveland, has been trying to help a private developer consolidate properties along Lake Erie for a marina and luxury condominium development. The K&D Group urged the City to condemn the six remaining houses on its behalf, but City officials were reluctant to do so. The City was determined to make the development happen, but not by sacrificing the rights of its citizens. City Law Director Patrick Murphy went so far as to warn the City Council that seizing private property for a private use “constitutes a flagrant abuse of power.” Mayor Paul Oyaski and City Councilman Daryl Langman wrote a letter to each of the remaining owners in August 2002, which stated, “On behalf of the City of Euclid, we respectfully ask for your cooperation in this project so that its success is assured… We wish to meet with you at your convenience to assist you and the developer in reaching a satisfactory resolution.”1
As of September 20, 2002, the plan was going forward contingent on an agreement with Dennis Weltman, the last homeowner yet to sell to the K&D Group. Under the proposed agreement between Weltman and the developers, Weltman can remain in his lakefront home, while selling an adjacent rental house and vacant lot to the developers. The condominium development will go up around Weltman’s house.2 It is amazing how easy it is to be nice and yet how infrequently cities attempt it.
1 Thomas Ott, “Euclid Tries Polite Approach in Property Dispute,” The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), Aug. 26, 2002, at B3.
2 Thomas Ott, “Developers Offer to Let Holdout Keep House,” The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), Sept. 20, 2002, at B3.