"I'm not moving!" - stubborn homeowners

A nice bit on Google Sightseeing about homeowners who refused to sell to developers and still live in their houses, surrounded by new concrete.

See here for one householder who now lives marooned in the car park at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

How attached to your house would you have to be to want to live like that?

Not necessarily attachment: if they didn’t offer me enough to buy equivalent housing as a replacement, I wouldn’t sell.

I’d have to sell. The quality of life, living in the middle of a parking lot, or across the street from an emergency room? Not worth it.

Could be a lot worse.

I’m kind of anti-developer right now because of the way my state is being raped (yes, growth is good, but it doesn’t have to look like this!) so I’d probably get something of a charge out of fucking up some development whiz-kid’s grand vision. But once they’ve built around you, you’re pretty much screwed, from a resale standpoint.

I’m with you on that. I am constantly amazed, when looking at Google Maps images, by the sheer smount of suburban sprawl, and the USA seems to be a particularly bad example. I know you have a huge country there, but it’s not infinite. One day you’ll regret covering quite so much of it with concrete. :frowning:

With eminent domain abuse now rampant, how does anyone in America keep their homes in the face of a determined developer/rapacious town council?

I thought this was going to be about people whose homes have been wiped out four or five times by the same disaster (brush fires, mudslides, etc) and insist on rebuilding because they aren’t going to move simply because Mama Gaia says “Move, dammit!” You’d think after the fourth house they’d get a clue!

Target recently built a new store in my neighborhood. Just North of Downtown Houston, the area was mostly warehouses & light industry–long abandoned. Plus a few homes of no particular architectural merit. Most of the homeowners sold out gladly.

One guy who owned two houses held out for a long time. His father built them, he said. It would be too much of a wrench to move. (He wan’t elderly, by any means.) He could not be forced out legally–but the developers really wanted that land for the parking lot.

Eventually, he settled for at least a million dollars. Smart guy.

I used to know a guy who owned an odd little sliver next to a freeway. Caltrans offered him some amount per square foot- let’s just say $20 for discussion as I have no idea what the actual price was - so they’d be able to improve an interchange. He thought the land was worth more, especially considering how deep Caltrans’ pockets can be, and countered with $25. They responded with $20.50. After some back and forth, Caltrans re-worked their plans and said "$19 for this three-quarter portion, or we start eminent domain takeover.

So, the stubborn fool could have had $20.50 per foot for the whole parcel, and been done with it, but wound up getting $19 for only part of it, and a nearly worthless sliver of a sliver to keep and be responsible for - ie: paying someone to keep it mowed and clean.

It took several years for a nearby self-store place to realize they could buy that long skinny land and make a second entrance to their facility, which pleased their customers to no end as the entrance was now literally right next to the freeway ramp. I have no idea what they paid for the land, but it was probably less than $20.50, and they were probably completely unwilling to negotiate.

It really is depressing how much of the planet is concreted over for parking lots. I wonder if anyone has come up with a guesstimated “total global parking lot area” ballpark figure. Bigger than quite a few nations, I would imagine.

Look at these jackasses. Here’s a clue - if someone offers you money for your land, take it. It’s going to be worthless once you have a Target parking lot surrounding your house.

Try looking at it from an airplane. Once you get outside of Northern NJ, there’s a lot of open land out there. And IIRC, Europe is far denser in terms of population.

Because like most things, it’s not as bad as hyped up. And it’s not always a bad thing.

That’s true.

That’s not.

So apparently property owners in CHINA have more rights than those in the US :mad: ? That’s all kinds of fucked up.

Oh I’m sure you can think of a situation where a community is better off invoking eminent domain.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they covered the right parts with concrete. Most of Nevada, northern Utah, southern Idaho would all actually look better covered with row after row of cookie-cutter houses, Lowe’s and Wal-Marts, cheap schools and expensive condos.