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November 15, 2006

Voters Back Limits on Eminent Domain

The NY Times
By Terry Pristin

Even though the Gray Lady's editorial board totally missed eminent domain in last week's wrap-up of statewide ballot initiatives, today's Real Estate page in the Business section took note:

Voters showed last week that the furor over a 2005 Supreme Court decision in a Connecticut eminent domain case has not abated, even in states that have already enacted legislation to restrict the use of condemnation for economic development.

Ballot measures to limit eminent domain powers to public uses were approved by large margins in eight states. Louisiana passed an eminent domain measure in September.

In all, 34 states have adopted laws or passed ballot measures in response to the Connecticut case, Kelo v. New London, which upheld the right of local officials to require the forced sale of homes and businesses for private development intended to increase the tax base of one of the state’s poorest cities.

“A message has been sent that state and local governments have to do a better job of justifying a need for eminent domain,” said Larry Morandi, a land-use specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “There needs to be more negotiation and more transparency.”


Posted by lumi at November 15, 2006 6:54 AM