News and Tribune

August 27, 2013

Eminent domain started for aquatic center land in New Albany

City approves move of Shelby Street house


NEW ALBANY — The city launched an eminent domain procedure Tuesday in order to claim a Daisy Lane property for the outdoor aquatic center.

David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for New Albany, said the city has been in negotiations with the property owner of 220 Daisy Lane “for well over eight or nine months” but has yet to reach an agreement to purchase the site.

While Duggins said the city remains open to negotiations, he added the eminent domain process needed to start so that construction on the aquatic center can begin.

The property owner in question didn’t speak during the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Tuesday where the action was approved, but Duggins said eminent domain was actually suggested by the attorney for the land owner.

The city has purchased several other properties along Daisy Lane for the aquatic center, which is slated to open in 2015.

When a deal can’t be reached, governments are allowed to take private property through eminent domain when such an action is deemed in support of public interest for building, street and other infrastructure projects.

The government is still required to pay for the property.


City Attorney Stan Robison said he found no reason that preservationists can’t move a circa-1890 house from 1815 Shelby St. to a lot owned by New Albany Clean & Green at 1718 Shelby St.

The request had been tabled for two weeks before the board of works approved it on Tuesday.

The group Access Ventures, Co. will move the house on Sept. 19 utilizing Bulldog Alley near New Albany High School.

The move will take place after 3 p.m. as to not interfere with school traffic, and the alley will be closed on Sept. 19 to make way for the transfer.

Officials have estimated it will take about four months to rehabilitate the 19th century structure.


After taking a week to review the request, the board rejected Cafe 27’s proposal to close an alley near the Main Street business in order to setup a tent during Harvest Homecoming booth days.

Fire officials said the alley provides access to businesses along Pearl Street during Harvest Homecoming, and closing it down could lead to safety issues if there was an accident.

“If the fire department is expressing an issue as far as the tent being there, I don’t know how the board can approve it,” said Mickey Thompson, street department commissioner and board of works member.

Cafe 27 may instead set up a tent in a parking lot adjacent to the business. The establishment had intended to have live music in the tent area during Harvest Homecoming booth days, which will run from Oct. 10-13.


The entrance for the State Street Burger King will be revamped so that the restaurant is accessible via the same ingress that feeds traffic into Tucker’s American Favorites.

The board of works approved the request with the backing of the administration.

“We actually suggested it as a better point of entry,” said John Rosenbarger, director of public facilities projects for the city.

The entrance will be located at the Daisy Lane intersection. The project manager told the board that Burger King will be closed for about two weeks during construction, which could start as early as Monday.

He said traffic entering and leaving Tucker’s and the adjacent shopping center won’t be affected by construction.