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October 5, 2006

Taking Private Land

The Wonkster, political blog of the Gotham Gazette, receives extra credit for "getting it":

What does an upstate power line project have to do with Atlantic Yards? They both involve eminent domain and raise the question of when it is justifiable to take private land for a purportedly greater purpose.

Yesterday, Governor George Pataki signed a bill that limits the use of eminent domain by electric and gas companies. The measure is aimed at something called the New York Regional Interconnect, a proposed 200-mile power line going from Utica to the lower Hudson Valley.

Reporting from the Rome area, News 10 hailed the signing as “a big win for the Mohawk Valley community who rallied against plans” for the power line project. Calling eminent domain a “medieval practice,” The Binghamton blog Bingoblab said now developers of the line "will have to actually negotiate (as opposed to ‘take’) with the land owners for the right of way they need to acquire."

The Wonkster quotes The NY Sun and NoLandGrab for making the point that Pataki supports a bill blocking eminent domain for an infrastructure project, while he continues to support private property seizures for Atlantic Yards.

We detected presidential campaign-politics at work, but Wonkster cites Capitol Confidential who suggests a reason more close to home.

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Posted by lumi at October 5, 2006 7:55 AM