Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 6, 2014

Court throws out GM lawsuit involving Lockport industrial park

Niagara Gazette — The Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency can continue the process of taking a piece of General Motors Corp. property via eminent domain in order to enlarge its industrial park, the State Supreme Court has ruled.

In a three-page decision released Dec. 27, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court said GM failed to prove that the IDA’s attempt was “without foundation and baseless.” The auto giant claimed the agency’s seizure of the land wasn’t in the public’s best interest, calling such an idea “illusory because potential developers have the option to purchase the property from GM,” court documents said.

The IDA Board of Directors voted in April to use the town’s power of eminent domain to take 91 acres off Junction Road, which borders the industrial park. The plan was to expand the park, so to draw more business and development, the IDA said.

Since the creation of the 201-acre IDA Park, 30 businesses have been assisted, leading to $399 million in investment and the employment of 491 residents, according to the decision. Only 56 acres of vacant land were still available, with just 33 of that suitable for sale and development.

So town officials said under the provisions of General Municipal Law Section 858, subdivision 4, local industrial development agencies can acquire real property for economic development purposes through eminent domain. GM objected, filing the suit in May.

The court’s decision should end the court battles, said Morgan L. Jones Jr., the Lockport attorney representing the town IDA in the litigation. It’s highly unlikely GM has the grounds to appeal, Jones said.

And the next step is to negotiate a purchase price for the property, said David R. Kinyon, the IDA executive director. An appraisal of the land is expected soon.

In its suit, GM had claimed the IDA did not comply with state environmental review standards because the SEQRA study did not take into consideration the future development of the land. The court ruled that doesn’t matter, because there wasn’t a buyer or a specific plan in place when the review was done.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results