It’s official. Nine city councilors have signed onto an order on the agenda for Tuesday night’s council meeting calling for the city manager to conduct a feasibility study into possibly taking the Wyman-Gordon property on Madison Street and around Kelley Square by eminent domain. Worcester Mag first reported on Thursday that councilors were working to put together the order, with a City Council source saying it was meant as a "shot across the bow" of Wyman-Gordon amidst reports that a well-known developer is eying the property for a possible hotel and slot casino.
"It is a strategic site for the city of Worcester," Mayor Joe Petty says. "There is potential for development on this site, which has been vacant for years."
On the one hand, we do not want communities’ involvement in the private affairs of individuals. This is well illustrated by the anti-Kelo activities moving forward in State after State. At the same time, when it comes to casinos and other gambling developments, communities desire to exercise their police power and strictly control the real estate activity.
By filing what it calls a "shot across the bow", the Worcester City councilors are attempting to control development in the community.