Eminent Domain: New London house may be on the move - Kelo could keep her home if she moves it

by News Channel 8's Tina Detelj

Posted May 11, 2007

(New London, CT -WTNH) _ A New London home in the middle of an eminent domain battle could avoid demolition if it makes a move.

It was almost a year ago that the eminent domain fight in New London ended. The woman who was named as plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city made a special deal which could make her the only one to keep her home. The Institute of Justice says it is helping to find funding to move the house to a new location.

"I applaud them. It did go through 3-different courts, including the highest court in the land. God bless them if they can save it and put it somewhere where it could be used for some historical value," said City Councilor Rob Pero.

Susette Kelo, the plaintiff named in the suit, needs to move her house by June 15th or lose it. News Channel 8 caught up with Kelo just before she headed to the Supreme Court in 2005.

"We don't want to leave and we want other people to be able to keep their properties as well," said Kelo.

Kelo lost that fight when the justices ruled that the city could take the homes by eminent domain for economic development. Kelo's settlement included $392,000 and the right to keep her home if she could move it.

"It's difficult and I believe expensive," said Pero.

The president of the NLDC, the developer of the area, said he sent Kelo a letter offering to help her get permits and anything else needed to move the home. He says he has not heard back from her and has not heard that she needs any type of extension on the deadline.

The Institute for Justice says it is considering a site on nearby Shaw Street and thereby avoiding the fate of other Fort Trumbull homes.

With just a month to go before the deadline, News Channel 8 attempted to get in touch with Kelo to find out her plans, but she never returned our calls.


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