Eminent domain rejected in Auburn

A heated debate over eminent domain is over in Auburn tonight.

The Auburn Industrial Development Agency, or AIDA, unanimously rejected a proposal to use eminent domain to make room for a hotel development project. Right now there are four property owners in the space a development company wants to use for the project. Three have reached tentative deals with the developer.

Property owners we spoke with after the vote say they are happy with the result.

None are more happy than Michael Kazanivsky, who owns a vacant lot on the proposed hotel land.

"It will be the first night I'll be able to sleep in three months," Kazanivsky says. "I can't wait to go to bed."

Kazanivsky says he is planning on building a miniature golf course and ice cream stand on his property.

He was the lone holdout from the group of four businesses Syrause-based developer Pioneer Companies approached about striking a deal for their land.

Pioneer is planning on building an 88 room Hilton Garden Inn.

Eminent domain can be used by states to seize property from owners, as long as the owners receive just compensation.

AIDA Chairman Jim Dacey explains the boards decision to not use eminent domain.

"Three of the property owners, T and K Lumber, the chinese restuarant, and Wag' In Tail had signed agreements," Dacey says. "There was one holdout, and so we felt that could be negotiated by the developer and eminent domain wasn't going to be necessary."

The next step for Pioneer is to try to convince Kazanivsky to sell his property.

He says he fully intends on building a miniature golf course, but will listen to offers.