Plans to build a new park in Marietta ran into a road block when the city tried to acquire land through eminent domain, but one of the owners fought back and won.
Brenda’s Grocery in Marietta has been a staple in the community for more than two dozen years.
It serves low-income families who don’t have transportation to shop anywhere else.
The moment you step outside Brenda’s Grocery you can see why business is down 70 percent.
The store is fenced in on three sides by construction, and when people see this, they almost always keep on driving.
“They see the construction so they think it’s closed and they don’t stop by and check,” said store owner Marisol Hernandez.
The city first tried to acquire the property seven years ago and as time passed customers went away.
“She was thinking of closing in December because she didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Ray Summerour owns the property and was stunned when the city of Marietta tried to take it away from him through eminent domain to expand Elizabeth Porter Park.
“My thing is if you’re going to take it, why didn’t you come to me and let’s sit down and talk, tell me you’re going to take my property if we can’t come to a decision. Let me know what you’re going to use it for and try to work something out,” said Summerour.
Summerour fought back in a David v. Goliath battle.
His store clinging by a thread.
“I was just waiting on the moment where they said, just move out,” said Hernandez.
But everyone’s prayers in the community were answered when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in their favor stating that the city failed to disclose their intentions in a timely manner.
“All of a sudden I felt like I’ve won something, I felt like I’ve won. I really do and I feel good about it.”
CBS46 contacted the city’s legal team to see how this will impact their plans for the park moving forward, but they did not respond.
Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.