City Councilman Ralph Bauer said the city's power to forcibly acquire residential properties in the name of economic growth shouldn't run roughshod over downtown homes. "Redevelopment, to many people, is repugnant, especially if it's your home," he said at last week's council meeting.
Despite his reservations, Bauer joined the rest of the council, with Councilman Dave Garofalo absent, in approving a proposal to permit the council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, to hold the power of eminent domain over "older, possibly substandard" houses, according to a city memo dated July 6. The agency will not adopt the power until the public has a chance to comment at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 16. About 25 residential properties would be affected, said David Biggs, the city's director of economic development.