Eminent Domain in Cali

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The Winter 2006 City Journal is out, and it includes a depressing look by Steven Malanga at the use of eminent domain in California. Local legislators are running wild, collaborating with developers and using eminent domain to take away Private property from private use. malanga cites the particularly egregious example of a Costco that sits on land taken from a Church in Cypress, CA. Also mentioned is an attempt "to grab 188 homes in the thriving City Heights neighborhood... to build 509 town houses, condos, and apartments on the land."

Fortunately, Republican State Senator Tom McClintock (the best governor California never had) is leading a petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the state's November ballot to put limits on the use of eminent domain. The amendment contains limits simlar to those scuttled by state politicos last summer.

Polls show that 90 percent of Californians favor curtailing eminent-domain powers. Still, many municipal officials in the state oppose the constitutional amendment, as does the Democrat-controlled legislature. Measure proponents anticipate that, to defeat the amendment, legislators and municipal officials will enlist the aid of well-funded real-estate and development groups, as well as businesses like big-box stores and hotels that frequently win prime sites from local governments through eminent domain.

Much is at stake. A successful ballot initiative in the nation’s largest state, where use and abuse of eminent domain for economic development have become so widespread, could jump-start similar legislation around the country.

Go. Read.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on February 2, 2006 6:08 PM.

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