Mesa homeowner pushes back against eminent domain

| Oct 17, 2019 | Developing Real Estate |

The city of Mesa is at odds with a resident as it looks to develop new emergency response facilities. The city has specifically had its eye on undeveloped property on the 1300 block of North Power Road and plans to use eminent domain to take it for public use.

But Paul Wetzel, a homeowner who lives near the eight acres the city wants, is pushing back.

The city appraised Mr. Wetzel’s property at around $2 million back in 2018. But he said the offering price was too low and would only consider selling the land for at least $15 million – $20 million.

Passed down for generations

Wetzel said the land has been in his family for nearly six decades and has dreamed of building a Christian retirement home there. Wetzel said the amount the city offered is not enough for him to take his operations elsewhere, since his nonprofit needs a sufficient amount of revenue to fund important projects like building a church.

City wants to enhance emergency response times

Mesa wants to accumulate the land to construct new fire and police department offices. That’s because the Phoenix suburb wants to improve public safety response times as its population continues to increase rapidly. According to news reports, less than 40% of firefighters in northeast Mesa are able to get to a scene in under five minutes.

Landowners have options available

The city says it plans on going through with taking the seizure. However, a counteroffer with Mr. Wetzel has not yet been reached.

Many Arizonans understand the agony felt from being forced out of their homes. For those whose property is at risk of being taken by a local government, an experienced attorney in Arizona can evaluate the legality of the seizure and help increase the owner’s entitled compensation.