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January 15, 2008

Council Members to Push for Imminent Change of State Eminent Domain Laws

Columbia expansion approval called a warning sign and call to action

City Hall News
by Edward-Isaac Dovere

Several members of the City Council, in the wake of that body's vote to approve Columbia University's expansion plan on December 19th, are taking it upon themselves to push Albany to reform New York State's eminent domain laws. New York is among just a handful of states that have not taken steps to rein in the use of eminent domain in the wake of 2005's controversial Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision.

“I think it’s a priority,” said Council Member Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who voted against the Columbia expansion, and has been an ardent opponent of the use of eminent domain for the Atlantic Yards project, which sits in her district.

“A number of us have been talking about this,” [Council Member Tony] Avella said, “but it would be interesting to see how many of the Council members who brought this up would be ready and willing to do something.”


NoLandGrab: Tony Avella asks a pertinent question, since he and Tish James appear to be among a small minority of elected officials with enough backbone to stand up to eminent domain-abusing real estate developers — and their enablers in City and State government.

Long-time NLG readers may recognize the byline of Edward-Isaac Dovere, the erstwhile "Executive Editor" of The Brooklyn Standard. Dovere's a legitimate journalist who's been writing for City Hall News for at least a year and a half, but we can't resist any opportunity to make reference to Bruce Ratner's fake "newspaper." Manhattan Media, which publishes City Hall News, is the contract publisher of The Brooklyn Standard.

Brownstoner, Council Members Look to Take on Eminent Domain

Disappointed that City Hall News doesn't allow comments, snarky or otherwise? Fear not; Brownstoner links to the story, and releases the hounds. Snark away!

Posted by eric at January 15, 2008 1:45 PM