Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Famed Food Store Threatened by Eminent Domain

Surfas, a well-known restaurant supply and food store in Culver City, California, is currently under threat of condemnation by eminent domain.

As we have seen happen all too often of late, Culver City has declared the Surfas warehouse and offices "blighted" because the city wishes to put a different kind of "transit-oriented" private business on the Surfas site which would cater (no pun intended) to travelers on a light rail line which has not yet been built.

Culver City may be trying to rush through the condemnation now because this November Californians will have the opportunity to vote to ban the use of eminent domain to transfer private property to another private owner.

Les Surfas believes his buildings will be razed and the land will sit vacant for years.

Eating L.A. published a statement from Surfas last week which says "If Culver City doesn't want us, another city will."

As an aside, I placed an online order from Surfas a few months ago and was extremely pleased with the very prompt delivery; my package arrived just a day or two after the order was placed.

This use of eminent domain appears to me to be unconstitutional, and if it's not stopped now, then none of us who own property will ever be safe. Hopefully Mr. Surfas will prevail in court.


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