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City Council members address eminent domain relating to Rolling Mill

September 18th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss, responding to a  WCBC question about whether or not eminent domain was an option in dealing with holdout property owners in the Rolling Mill area said that it remains on the table. Three of the four council members agreed with Mayor Morriss, including Seth Bernard, Laurie Marchini and Rock Cioni. The lone dissenter was Councilman Eugene Frazier, who noted that he did not believe eminent domain should be used to enrich another entity in the private sector, and cautioned that Maryland law makes the process long and involved.

13 Responses to “City Council members address eminent domain relating to Rolling Mill”

  1. September 18, 2019 at 10:54 am, Brian said:

    This pattern started years ago when Dairy Mart wanted to build a new store on Old Town Road they bought I believe it was three houses they were paying property taxes tore them down and I believe they were refused a variance to build their store now you have a large piece of empty property hardly paying any taxes the city needs to know the things can be completed before they even start tearing down tax-paying property in the hopes that things will be built is not a very good idea


    • September 18, 2019 at 11:06 pm, kevin said:

      > Dairy Mart paid way over market for the houses on Maple street, were granted an ally closure by the city, but needed the big building behind the present store to build what they wanted. The owners refused to sell. Eminent domain was never on the table – they just did not want to sell.


  2. September 18, 2019 at 11:02 am, linmarie said:

    I understand people not wanting to give up their homes. However with all the ground movement there I would worry about my foundation on a older home. Also people can’t afford to buy if they are in a fixed income. So in order to move forward give the families no less then 500,000 thousand and let them have a good future without the worry.


  3. September 18, 2019 at 11:03 am, mac said:

    As I commented in an item yesterday, which is no longer posted, this is morally repugnant. To allow one individual to profit at the expense of another should not be allowed.
    I applaud Mr. Frazier for being the only person to have a conscience and to follow it.
    Of course it’s just a matter of time before those homeowners will be forcibly evicted from their homes as the writing is on the wall for anyone who cares to read it.


    • September 18, 2019 at 11:39 am, kevin said:

      > Exactly.


  4. September 18, 2019 at 11:21 am, Paolo Primavera said:

    What in the world is so important and vital to the city of Cumberland that 3 members of the City Council think they can uproot the good people of Rolling Hills (Tax paying citizens at that) who have lived in their homes longer than these guys have been born. If it is so dang important to obtain this property, then pay a reasonable amount plus double it and Help these folks find a new home and Help them move. After all Cumberland wants and needs to be seen as a well respected place to live and work. So do it before you screw things up again. Hell I’ll be your spokesman to talk to the folks for you as you have already lost any credibility with them by your previous actions.


  5. September 18, 2019 at 12:02 pm, LRH said:

    No easy answer on this. I see both sides. This has been so miss handled, I am leaning towards leave the home owners alone and work around they if need be.


    • September 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm, Jay said:

      I thought this project was in the hands of a 3rd party. Why are the city officials floating the idea of eminent domain? I agree that it was mishandled and ill-conceived from the start. I see 2 options – overpay the holdouts for their properties. The reality is that the city doesn’t want the homes, they want the land. So overpay for the homes and then give them an additional fee for their lots. Better yet, appoint a panel to find all the remaining holdouts another home with no more debt than they have right now. The second options was already mentioned here. Build nice, middle class town homes on the property selling in the 125K to 200K range. Lord knows we need to replenish the housing stock in this town.


      • September 18, 2019 at 11:08 pm, kevin said:

        > Most of the citizens who live there simply do not want to move – period. It is not a money issue for all of them. Why do they have to sell their property and move for a new gas station, car wash, drive though and c-store?


  6. September 18, 2019 at 12:18 pm, Homeowner said:

    Not surprised at Morriss, Marchini, and Bernard. They’re bots who do what they’re told. But I’m disappointed in Rock Cioni.

    Remember when he said he should be on the council because he practiced a “caring profession”. Looks like he cares more about real estate developers than his fellow citizens.


  7. September 18, 2019 at 12:18 pm, LRH said:

    From where I sit, the project was/is ill conceived from the start. Property access is to cumbersome for west bound traffic and east bound traffic already stooped in LaVale if they were looking for services. Plus, if there is a real and legitimate need for more hotel/retail in this area, I have never really heard a “good” reason why the CSX property next to Martins has not been more aggressively targeted.

    Just for fun, here is an idea, scrape the plan and build new houses on the vacant land. This will let the hold outs live in peace, provide new housing stock and maybe even raise property values (property taxes) of all the structures in the area. Who knows, if you raise the property values and taxes enough, maybe you chase the hold outs out without the ugly ED mess.


  8. September 18, 2019 at 12:53 pm, Steve said:

    What the city “Leadership” is doing is WRONG.
    Lets throw their parents, family members out on the street for a project that will go NOWHERE & they know it. Someone is really going to profit on this (them personably), leave those folks alone!! Can’t wait until the next election….see ya Ray, ROCK, SETH. You folks are NOT about the citizens of Cumberland. You are about yourselves & a JOKE!!. Just wait until they raise something else, taxes, fees, whatever you want to call them IT IS STILL AN INCREASE!!!!


  9. September 18, 2019 at 3:23 pm, Ed Dodrill said:

    The fault now is with the developer. I don’t think the developer is willing to spend money. I think the city is going to get screwed. If they want the parcels … get a developer who can make it happen. This guy is just sitting around waiting for it to fall in his lap. GET A NEW developer!


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