City May Use Eminent Domain for Walking Trail


PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – City officials want to expand the walking trail along the  Sinclair Inlet. To do it, the city may seize five waterfront properties using eminent domain and that has those homeowners seeing red.


“This is my home. Right now, I can’t think of anything I would take for it,”  said homeowner John Haynes. “I want to stay right here.”

Spend a few minutes along Bay Street and you’ll understand why no one wants  to leave.  Stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound says  it all.

“I don’t want to give it up,” said Haynes.

Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes agrees – he is convinced the waterfront’s beauty is key to reviving the city’s struggling downtown.

“Every city is trying to find that magic potion that makes their downtown viable again,” said Matthes. “I think we need to have a good solution that works for property owners, the public, the city.”

Since 2011, talk of seizing five properties along the water has hung over this neighborhood like a fog. But now the city has invested $200,000 to appraise the properties, and homeowners worry that their days are numbered.

“Eminent domain has its purpose when it’s absolutely needed,” said homeowner Randy Jones.  “But it is a last resort.”

Jones runs a charter fishing boat and a vacation rental out of his home. He says it’s un-American to take his home so the city can replace it with park benches and a bike path.

“When the government can seize your house for a viewing platform, that’s not  democracy,” said Jones.

Matthes said opening the areas to the public will bring in visitors and much-needed revenue to the local economy.

But Jones has lived there for 35 years, and he said the politicians need to go back to the drawing board.

“I’d like to see the city turn it into something that’s working for its citizens and not against them,” said Jones.

The mayor said seizing the properties via eminent domain is expensive and not a sure thing just yet.

The homeowners are skeptical and say they want to be kept in the loop about  what’s going on; Matthes said he’ll make sure they stay informed.


Oh, I’m sure he will. He’ll inform them of their eviction dates. Most of Washington is so full of lefties it’s pathetic.

First of all, let me say that I wish I was the one doing the appraisals in Port Orchard; $200,000 to appraise five houses sounds like pretty good money to me.  Our local guys only get paid several hundred dollars for appraisals, so something dirty is going on here.

Expansion of a walking trail is no justification for the use of eminent domain, especially considering this location is the basis for one man’s livelihood. These citizens need to educate themselves on the laws for their city. 

The state of Washington would have had to delegate, through legislation, the authority to the City of Port Orchard to use eminent domain, and it’s primary basis for use has to be for the good of the public.  I’m thinking a walking path would only be used by a select few.


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13 Responses to City May Use Eminent Domain for Walking Trail

  1. Give a leftie some power, and they’ll abuse the hell out of it, from the Macro to the micro~!

  2. Too angry to type. Wait – Perhaps BULLSHIT is applicable here.

  3. Buck says:

    I don’t worry about folks who live on the West Coast. They brought it all down on themselves.

  4. Clyde says:

    While this definitely sucks, thank SCOTUS for the AWFUL ruling from that New Jersey case, whose name escapes me. Also agree with Buck. $100 bill says ALL of these clowns voted for dhimmis.

  5. Hardnox says:

    This is simply wrong on so many levels.

    Follow the money. Someone will benefit handsomely when all is said and done.

  6. Hardnox says:

    PS. I’ll bet none of this is set up as a conservation set aside/conservation easement. The city can then revert it to ANY use it desires later.

  7. Terry says:

    I wish I was the one doing the appraisals too, Kathy.
    I would appraise each home at about the $100 million level. See how bad the city really wants it.

  8. Buck says:

    Hardnox you struck a memory cord. When the city tried to zone or eminent domain some of T. Cullen Davis’ property he turned it into a bird sanctuary. The bird sanctuary is still there today. Property still belongs to Davis’ heirs.

    • Hardnox says:

      That trick only works if the public is behind it. I’ve seen Wildlife/Green Easements get reversed over time. You can’t trust government.

      Case in point: there was a wealthy childless widow which I knew that donated her riverfront land and 1,000 acre estate to a nearby county with the express stipulation that the land forever stay in a perpetual conservation easement and was to be open to the public. A trust was set-up with millions of dollars to finance the maintenance virtually forever. Naturally paperwork was signed and trustees appointed/elected. A few years after her death the county decided that they needed the cash for other things so they voided the trust, cashed in the accounts, and sold the land to a developer. Now the land is a subdivision.