A Cautionary Tale

If you remember the Supreme Court ruled not so long ago that through the use of eminent domain municipalities can condemn a property and turn it over to a private developer to “improve” the property. According to the Auburn Journal “The Auburn City Council unanimously voted to expand the existing redevelopment project area May 7. City leaders say that the project will help eliminate blighted properties and areas within city limits. Eisley's Nursery was one of dozens of area businesses that were labeled as 'blighted' in a 131-page report conducted by the city and GRC Consultants, based out of Orange, Calif. The report included dozens of photos of properties throughout the city, none of which were named, but were labeled as blighted.”

Auburn like much of the foothills is in a state of change. More and more people moving here from The Bay Area and Southern California are forcing cities and counties to make changes. To some people a nursery with greenhouses is an eyesore. According to Earl Eisley, co-owner “My family has been on this property for 100 years."

Now there is no doubt that the nursery has grown over those years to a collection of buildings and greenhouses that perhaps now would not be allowed. The place is “funky”, yet they do an amazing volume of business that would be the envy of many a business. According to Mike Holmes City Councilman “Somehow these folks got the impression that as soon as the redevelopment area is expanded, they were going to be the first target. But once (the plan) has been approved and it's been made clear that we are not going to use eminent domain in the fashion that has been alleged, we should be able to approve the expansion." I don’t blame Eisley for being nervous. While I know Mike Holmes and think that he is sincere you can’t help but get nervous when you here this kind of stuff.

While Eisley’s is not funky in the same way as The Golden Gecko is, what’s that matter? That’s the nature of “Funky”. No two people will agree on the meaning. I suppose that if Urban Outfitters wanted to open one of their new garden centers it would be o.k., as they will be slick and modern without any messy “funk”.

I never agreed with the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain and now the reasons are clear. If you don’t fit a certain look, no matter how long or successfully you have run your business you just might lose that business for not fitting in.