Business owners in Greenville, Wis., celebrated their hard-won victory Thursday night when the city council voted unanimously to prohibit the use of eminent domain for private development.
The city had targeted successful businesses around Loomis Road and I-894 earlier this summer for seizure by eminent domain because they wanted to “redevelop” the area “someday.” Property owners were expected to pack their bags and get out even though city officials had no concrete plan for the area and no developer lined up to execute it.
The Castle Coalition and IJ attorney Jason Adkins reached out to the businesses owners and provided them with valuable strategies and tactics to use in their fight. Following recommendations from Adkins and the Castle Coalition’s Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide, business owners rallied together to demand elected officials respect their property rights.
The group staged rallies and spoke out at important council meetings to show their opposition to eminent domain abuse. They also reached out to the media, gaining valuable exposure that left city officials panicked.
Officials like Alderwoman Linda Lubotsky definitely got the message: “I’ve been getting e-mails, and phones calls, and just listening to what the people want, and to take your business to put a bigger business in just isn’t fair.” Thanks to the property owners’ relentless advocacy, Lubotsky and the rest of the Council voted to end the use of eminent domain for private gain.
Now Bill Maynard, who owns an auto-repair once targeted for acquisition, can get back to earning a living for his family. Maynard and other Greenville property owners can feel secure in their businesses, safe from the leering eyes of brazen urban planners.
 Charles Benson, “Greenfields Votes Down Development,” Today’s TMJ4 CBS, August 20, 2010.
 Mike Lowe, “Greenfield Common Council puts end to city’s eminent domain tactics,” Fox 6 Now, August 19, 2010.