Eminent Domain Battle Ends in Conn. City

The Associated Press
Saturday, June 24, 2006; 2:46 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Two homeowners who had refused to leave their riverfront homes to make way for private development have reached a tentative agreement with the city of New London, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Friday.

Officials did not release details of the deal, which came a year after the Supreme Court ruled that New London could seize the property under eminent domain.

The settlement was announced a day after a deadline for Susette Kelo and Pasquale Cristofaro to either settle or lose a chance at extra funds authorized by Rell. The deal should be wrapped up by June 30, the governor said in a statement.

Kelo, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, and Cristofaro had faced the possibility of forced eviction from their homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood to make way for a hotel, convention center and upscale condominiums.

"I think Governor Rell has great faith that there's going to be a resolution to this nightmare," Kelo said Friday. "It's not positive for me because I've got to go. I'm not happy about it."

The five other homeowners in the case had already settled with the city and handed over their properties.

Scott Bullock, a spokesman for the holdouts, said the plan "takes into account the homeowners' attachment to their homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood." He declined to provide details.

House Minority Leader Robert Ward, who is familiar with parts of the proposed settlement, said tentative plans include moving Kelo's house.


Associated Press Writer Shelley K. Wong contributed to this report from New London, Conn.

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