Family wants more money for St. John land taken by eminent domain

“A family whose land was claimed by the town under eminent domain proceedings is arguing they were shortchanged.

In October 2014, the Guzzo family’s 8.65 acres at 8325 Wicker Ave. was formally transferred to the town of St. John, when the town deposited the appraisal amount of $745,000 with the trial court, according to court documents.

Because the family says the land is a residential property, they claim state codes mandate the town should pay 150 percent of the fair market value because “it was a parcel of real property occupied by the owner of the residence,” the Guzzo family’s attorney wrote.

The property contained a single-family home, a storage shed, a tennis court, a large pole barn and open land, according to court records.

Alternatively the family argues they are owed at least 125 percent of the fair market value because their property can be qualified as agricultural land, in addition to being residential property.

St. John acquired the property using eminent domain to transfer the land to a private developer to build 12 multi-unit residential buildings and a restaurant, court reports said. The process began in March 2014, when the town filed a complaint for eminent domain seeking condemnation of their property.”
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Oritz.Anna. 22 February 2019.