Mayor McCabe: ‘Not Using Eminent Domain’ if Homer Village Wins DRI Award

(Photo from the Village of Homer special DRI presentation meeting in September).

Concerned Village of Homer residents are wondering if the village wins the 2021 New York State’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Award, they will lose their house through the development process.

Village mayor Hal McCabe said at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting that the village is “not going to come and take away your house.” 

McCabe referred to the houses behind buildings and businesses between Water Street and Pine Street, which are side streets off of South Main Street. The village’s DRI proposal in that area includes the potential development of a three-story building that would bring in retail and office spaces with a third-floor apartment complex, and a wide-open parking lot with 150 spaces.

Village clerk Dan Egnor mentioned that potential developments are “rough ideas” if the village wins the award.

“At that point, community involvement will be key,” he added.

McCabe noted that 19 residents signed a petition, which cited eminent domain if the village in fact became victors of the $10 million DRI award. Residents of the petition added that they think they will be “forcibly displaced” if the project goes through.

“We’re not using eminent domain at all on this project,” McCabe added. “Since we’re not planning to do eminent domain, no action will be taken with this petition.”

Village board member Ed Finkbeiner said he “admired the effort” from those who led and signed the petition.

“I’m all for the petition and the people, and listening to them. It’s the right thing to do,” Finkbeiner added, saying he wished those residents came and spoke to the board after filing the petition.