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January 16, 2007

EMINENT DOMAINIA

EminentDomainia08.gifThe [New London] Day, What Was He Thinking?
For years, Susette Kelo has been telling anyone who would listen that it didn't seem right that she should be forced out of her house when the City of New London didn't even have a concrete plan for her property.

To add insult to injury, during a recent New London City Council meeting, a city councilor suggested that the parcel including Kelo's property be sold to a developer for luxury housing. The Day points out that it "might be illegal under a law that prohibits using eminent domain to displace houses in order to build more luxurious houses" and even "morally wrong."

PressofAtlanticCity.com, Save B'walk Hall from casino greed
A reader expresses dismay toward a plan in Atlantic City to tear down or gut Boardwalk Hall — listed on the United State Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark — to sell to casino developers in order to use the building as "a catalyst for economic revival."

How could anyone think the best possible use for that site would be to take it from the public and give it to two private individuals for their own personal gain?

A: Welcome to the post-Kelo world.

The Sentinel [Central Pennsylvania], County to review blighted property
We stumbled over an article about Silver Spring Township, which has tried every avenue available to the municipality to clear up real blight, and as a last resort is thinking of turning over the matter to the county redevelopment board, which can use its authority for "blight clearance."

Check out the great photos of actual blight if you've forgotten what it looks like.

NoLandGrab: This seems to be a novel approach to blight clearance — try to work with the property owners and as a last resort use eminent domain to effect a change.

Nowadays, a developer eyes several parcels of land that are ripe for redevelopment (even better if the neighborhood is already in the process of redevelopment) and the government declares the neighborhood blighted (just the parcels the developer wants) in order to make it easier to assemble a large block of property.

LA Times, Don't sack the neighborhood

Brooklyn isn't the only place where the government is trying to take private property to build a sports arena. The City of Lynwood's plan is about as nutty as Ratner's. This fight even has its own City Councilmember named Tish, and local politicians who swear that eminent domain won't be used:

IT'S EASY TO LAUGH OFF the City of Lynwood's delusional notion that it, among all of Southern California's municipalities, will be able to lure the National Football League back to the area with a fancy new stadium. But what's no joke at all is Lynwood City Hall's belief that razing at least 100 private homes — and perhaps as many as 1,000 — is an acceptable way to gin up economic redevelopment.

The Neighborhood Retail Alliance, The Politics of Eminent Domain
Ratner consultant Richard Lipsky sticks up for the Port Chester homeowner and West Harlem and Willets Point business owners, but sells out Brooklynites on the grounds that Atlantic Yards constitutes "fairness and transparency."

Posted by lumi at January 16, 2007 7:52 AM