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March 23, 2005

Eminent Domain and Government Giveaways

The Progress Report
Special Guest Commentary
Wyn Achenbaum

For readers who are interested in the relationship between land use, zoning and eminent domain. Achenbaum argues that frequent reassesment of private property would encourage development of property to a "a higher and better use," and therefore eminent domain would only have to be used when necessary against forces that are "holding up progress," such as in the Ft. Trumbull area of New London, CT.

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NoLandGrab: Achenbaum's points would also support the argument that the tax-exempt status for 54% of the land area in New London does not constitute a "better use" of these properties. In this case, the individual homeowners in the Ft. Trumbull area, who are being called upon to sacrifice their homes to ameliorate the effects of poor city planning, are not the ones "holding up progress." If the free market forces really determine the "best use" of private property, then it should be applied across the board. Only then would municipalities be turning to the coercive powers of eminent domain as a last resort.

Posted by lumi at March 23, 2005 10:56 AM