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October 13, 2009

DDDB: "New York State is Eminent Domain Holdout"

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's headline leading into excerpts from The Wall St. Journal editorial, says it all, the day before the State Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in the case of Goldstein et al. v. Empire State Development Corporation.

metrony091013.gif Associated Press, via Google, NY court to hear challenge to planned arena land

The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday. Developer Bruce Ratner's proposed $4.9 billion, 22-acre Atlantic Yards project also includes office towers and apartments, funded in part with $600 million in tax-exempt bonds to be sold by Dec. 31.

Some businesses and homeowners are challenging the Empire State Development Corp.'s power to force them out, saying the state constitution authorizes eminent domain for public uses, not enriching others.

The Wall St. Journal, A Property Rights Foul

The business daily editorializes against the abuse of eminent domain.

Article I, Section 7 of the New York constitution says private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. Meanwhile, through a series of incentives, the state government has encouraged cities to create "redevelopment zones," aligning them against the interests and property rights of their own residents.

Under New York's procedures, residents often have to challenge the use of eminent domain before it actually happens. Once notified of a possible eminent domain action, residents or other interested parties have a mere 30 days to challenge, a condition that poses major hurdles to gather funds and organize to contest an action.

These barriers have been exploited by developers and bureaucrats in property rights fiascos across the state. According to a new report from the Institute for Justice, governments have "condemned or threatened to condemn" small businesses, homes and church property to make way for a raft of commercial development.
The Brooklyn case offers the courts a chance to tell the political class and its developer friends that they can't trample over private property rights.

NY1, Atlantic Yards Case Heads To Appeals Court

Posted by lumi at October 13, 2009 5:52 AM