Eminent domain roundup

Wow.

On May 24, the five-member township committee voted unanimously to authorize the municipality to seize Segal’s land through eminent domain and name its own developer.

“They want to steal my land,” Segal said. “What right do they have when I intend to do the exact same thing they want to do with my property?”

…. Segal…signed a contract last week to sell his property to Centex Homes for about $13 million, contingent upon local approval. Centex, a nationally known developer with projects in Middlesex, Morris and Monmouth counties, would then build 100 townhouses on Segal’s property….

Florio and Capodice [the mayor and deputy mayor] said they preferred AMJM because it is a local company.
“I’ve never heard of
Centex,” Capodice said. “They’re not Union County people.”

Say it again with me – wow. Seriously, are they kidding? If this is not the impetus one needs to get involved in politics, I don’t know what else would provide that motivation. Hat tip – Neil. Stay vigilant at all times.

And here is another perspective on eminent domain. Eminent domain may have some good uses here and there – here are two examples.

A NYTimes eminent domain article showing the merits of eminent domain in some occasions –

With local government officials throughout the nation struggling to defend themselves against the storm of criticism unleashed by the Kelo decision, the International Economic Development Council, a professional group based in Washington, cites the Best Buy headquarters to illustrate why eminent domain is sometimes a crucial tool in combating urban decay and sprawl.

A WSJ eminent domain article showing the same merits – when was the last time the NYTimes and WSJ had such similar stories?

Situations such as this, rather than those in which people are pushed out of their homes, make up a large percentage of cases in which St. Louis uses eminent domain, Ms. Geisman says. “There are always going be those poster children, but the reality is a whole lot more complicated than that. We can’t let one person hold up something that the entire city wants and needs.” It wouldn’t be possible to do widespread redevelopment in an old, historic city like St. Louis if the Supreme Court hadn’t upheld eminent-domain rules in its Kelo v. New London decision, Ms. Geisman adds.

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