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View Poll Results: Are you for eminent domain for private redevelopment of low-wealth areas?
Definately no 10 27.78%
Definately yes 7 19.44%
Yes, but should get more than fair market value 6 16.67%
Yes, but only for blighted areas 4 11.11%
Yes, blighted only, plus above fair market value 6 16.67%
Not sure 3 8.33%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2007, 6:49 AM
netdragon netdragon is offline
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eminent domain abuses, urban renewal, and peoples' rights

After the Kelo ruling (Kelo v. City of New London, CT), where the supreme court affirmed that municipalities can use eminent domain for private re-development as long as the state allows it. Since then, 34 states have banned eminent domain for public use. Well, Connecticut still hasn't done so. Has your state?

I remember back on the morning after the US supreme court ruling, I contacted Mary Ann Handly and other lawmakers in CT to make sure blocking eminent domain for private use was at the top of their list, since wealthy corporations shouldn't be booting out individual property owners who can't fight back simply to fatten their purse. Consider Wal-Mart using eminent domain to buy up your neighborhood to build a store. It's humerous that Hercules, California used eminent domain to get rid of a Wal-Mart. Now that's proper use of eminent domain! Good riddance Wal-Mart!

At the same time,I am for something like people being ousted should get the greater of at least 200% of fair market value or a minimum -- whichever is highest -- for the inconvenience of having to move or relocate to another area. Imagine, for instance, the impact it would have on a poor family with children who can't afford to move because the least expensive homes in the area are about to be bulldozed. If an affordable home price in their area is $200,000 then it might be only fair to make the floor $200,000 so that people can continue to send their children to the same school system.

However, I believe they should block it now, to give people adequate time to decide what truly is fair since a developer stands to gain a lot, can lobby very hard, and people should be compensated more than fair market value for the extreme inconvenience of having to move. I also believe something should be done for renters, who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

I also believe that besides monetary considerations, there also should be an extended review period for any project that involves forceful taking of other peoples' property.

In conclusion, I believe that these sort of private emminent domain takings should be allowed if they are approved projects that will improve community character, but I think we need to consider the fact that a private taking isn't the same as taking land for a public park for public use -- and is about profit, and those inconvenienced should be compensated much more than fair market value for having to leave their property.

Last edited by netdragon; Apr 15, 2007 at 6:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2007, 2:41 PM
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jimthemanincda jimthemanincda is offline
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The Kelo case is one of the most misunderstood cases in American jurisprudence. I would rank it up there with Roe v Wade. It's interesting that some of the most misunderstood cases are also some of the most controversial...

All personal thoughts on the issue aside, the Kelo ruling was a legally sound decision. That being said, I have no problem with individual states amending their constitutions to grant their own citizens more rights than are granted in the U.S. Constitution.

To clarify some points:

Quote:
Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
Consider Wal-Mart using eminent domain to buy up your neighborhood to build a store.
This result would never happen. Purely private takings (when the benefit is realized by a private citizen) violate the public use requirement of the 5th Amendment. There must be a state actor involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
At the same time,I am for something like people being ousted should get the greater of at least 200% of fair market value or a minimum -- whichever is highest -- for the inconvenience of having to move or relocate to another area. Imagine, for instance, the impact it would have on a poor family with children who can't afford to move because the least expensive homes in the area are about to be bulldozed. If an affordable home price in their area is $200,000 then it might be only fair to make the floor $200,000 so that people can continue to send their children to the same school system.
Most courts have held the fair market value (FMV) of the condemned property to be the constitutionally required "just compensation." Just compensation is a judicial question, but can be determined in a trial by jury (some states don't use juries, such as Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island). Any takings compensation over FMV would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution or a state constituion authorizing compensation for takings over FMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
In conclusion, I believe that these sort of private emminent domain takings should be allowed if they are approved projects that will improve community character, but I think we need to consider the fact that a private taking isn't the same as taking land for a public park for public use -- and is about profit, and those inconvenienced should be compensated much more than fair market value for having to leave their property.
Again, private takings are unconstitutional. This case dealt with a taking by the New London Development Corporation (NLDC). The NLDC was a private entity (like Wal-Mart), but was authorized by the city council of New London to purchase Kelo's property by exercising eminent domain in the city's name (because the NLDC was under the control of a government entity this was not a private taking).

The case before the Supreme Court turned on whether "public purpose" satisfied the "public use" requirement of the 5th Amendment. In short, the majority of the court stated that the re-development plan in question served a public purpose, therefore it satisfied the public use requirement of the 5th Amendment (public use=public purpose). The majority argued that promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government while Justice O'Connor, in her dissent, argued that the line between private and public use of property had been blurred by the court and that the court significantly (and wrongly) expanded the meaning of public use.
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Last edited by jimthemanincda; Apr 15, 2007 at 6:16 PM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2007, 7:10 PM
netdragon netdragon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimthemanincda View Post
The case before the Supreme Court turned on whether "public purpose" satisfied the "public use" requirement of the 5th Amendment. In short, the majority of the court stated that the re-development plan in question served a public purpose, therefore it satisfied the public use requirement of the 5th Amendment (public use=public purpose). The majority argued that promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government while Justice O'Connor, in her dissent, argued that the line between private and public use of property had been blurred by the court and that the court significantly (and wrongly) expanded the meaning of public use.
I agree with Justice O'Conner. What's to stop some government somewhere from deciding Wal-Mart is for public purpose? That's what I meant by Wal-Mart -- it's something any company like Wal-Mart, Toll Brothers, etc can exploit if they can find a city council dumb enough to think that a Wal-Mart store, or new housing development, etc, is more for "public purpose" than what's currently there. It creates a huge loophole and is very ambiguous, and when it comes to laws that have to do with real-estate, and peoples' lives to this degree, nothing should be ambiguous, and there shouldn't be any loopholes. I think people should push on their state governments to patch up these loopholes before we end up with a skyscraper in place of our city block and are forced to move when someone else is going to get rich off of the redevelopment. If it isn't blocked altogether, then FMV isn't good enough.
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2007, 6:43 AM
austin356 austin356 is offline
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Though I voted the first one, I will say I do not oppose Kelo under the information that I know.

Let the states decide issues like this, as guaranteed by the 10th amendment. Many states have already taken action, and once governments begin to abuse the power, they will feel immense pressure from voters to enact better protection (as is the case in Florida where this was a big issue).
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  #5  
Old Posted May 3, 2007, 4:45 AM
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There is a cost/benefit analysis that has to go into this, if you are talking about an effectively de-populated wasteland where several hundred people at most might be impacted by the redevelopment fire up the bulldozers.

A project shouldn't be nixed because a few cat ladies or crack heads might be displaced, especially with the benefits to the greater community by removing zones of blight.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 3, 2007, 2:36 PM
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Mystic Geometry Mystic Geometry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
There is a cost/benefit analysis that has to go into this, if you are talking about an effectively de-populated wasteland where several hundred people at most might be impacted by the redevelopment fire up the bulldozers.

A project shouldn't be nixed because a few cat ladies or crack heads might be displaced, especially with the benefits to the greater community by removing zones of blight.
I like how you immediatly assumed they were crack heads. So do you believe that it should be done even without the consent of the people who own and live on those lands?
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Old Posted May 3, 2007, 9:36 PM
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preserving zones of discard that are virtually depopulated isn't doing anyone any favors,
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Old Posted May 2, 2008, 2:34 AM
aliendroid aliendroid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
preserving zones of discard that are virtually depopulated isn't doing anyone any favors,
I live in a redevelopment zone in lubbock, texas. If we did not have this, the area would still look like pure $hite. And I mean pure shizzzite, I never knew the USA had areas that were as ugly until I moved to lubbock.
First off the houses were ugly as hell, then a bunch of lots were empty with some houses abandoned and falling apart. The houses looked like rusty old tool sheds. A group here bought up a lot of the empty lots and old houses. They've managed to buy everything up so far without any help, but there are some hold outs. I figure after a few years they will not be able to pay their taxes as land values rise and they'll either lose the property or sell. In fact eminent domain should not be necessary if american cities put limits on sprawl. The demand for redevelopment would drive it without the government getting involved. Now for parks or urban rail systems, I fully agree that eminent domain is necessary to keep things progressing.

Now there are sidewalks with trees every 10 feet, red brick in the sidewalks, my apartment building has a mall on the first floor so my apartment is actually above a store. There's a GNC, a place to get hair cuts, clothing store, book store, etc in my building. This is an alien idea in lubbock, super progressive

Here's an arial view of what used to be here (note the house in the arrow was around 10 by 20 feet in size, and I am serious about that, a one story house smaller in square feet than my bedroom. Notice all the empty lots and some are trashed out. This pic does not give this place justice, it was disgusting in person:



Now this is what is being built in their place:











redevlopment rules!
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