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Landowners suing Mount Pleasant over Foxconn-related land acquisition

Alleging violations of their rights to equal protection, private property and due process, seven property owners around the site of the proposed $10 billion Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus are suing the village of Mount Pleasant and village president Dave DeGroot.

As part of a development agreement with Foxconn, village officials plan to acquire 2,900 acres of local land bordered by Interstate 94, Highway 11, 90th Street and Highway KR in Racine County. Part of the land will be sold to the company, which plans to build a 20 million-square-foot factory where LCD screens will be made for electronic devices.

The rest of the land will be held by the village for future Foxconn developments, or acquired, through the use of eminent domain, for the purpose of road and utility improvements.

The plaintiffs suing Foxconn allege in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin that their land is being taken not for a public purpose but rather for the benefit of a private corporation. They further allege that the village is offering to pay landowners only “a fraction of the compensation that is being paid, or has been paid to plaintiffs’ similarly situated neighbors.”

In return for building the factor and meeting certain hiring goals, Foxconn will be able to receive roughly $3 billion worth of state incentives, plus hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional assistance from local governments. Some utility and road work related to the project has already been awarded to contractors.

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