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The Kelo Tidal Wave begins
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, June 30, 2005

In case you were wondering, the beginnings of a tidal wave of Kelo takings are documented on the Institute for Justice website. Like I say, this is just a partial listing of what they've gathered. They have links to all the articles I've listed plus more.
Cities' Actions Since Kelo

Freeport, Texas

Hours after the Kelo decision, officials in Freeport began legal filings to seize some waterfront businesses (two seafood companies) to make way for others (an $8 million private boat marina), according to the Houston Chronicle.

Lake Zurich, Ill.

Five property owners facing condemnation for private development had asked Lake Zurich officials to hold off until the Kelo decision. The Chicago Tribune reports that City officials are now moving to condemn.

Boston, Mass.

Two days after the Kelo decision, Boston City Council President Michael Flaherty called on the mayor of Boston to seize South Boston waterfront property from unwilling sellers for a private development project. “Eminent domain is one tool that the city can use,” Flaherty told the Boston Globe.

Arnold, Mo.

“Arnold Mayor Mark Powell applauded the decision,” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The City of Arnold wants to raze 30 homes and 15 small businesses, including the Arnold VFW, for a Lowe’s Home Improvement store and a strip mall—a $55 million project for which developer THF Realty will receive $21 million in tax-increment financing. Powell said that for “cash-strapped” cities like Arnold, enticing commercial development is just as important as other public improvements.

Baltimore, Md. (West Side)

The City of Baltimore is moving to acquire shops on the city’s west side for private development. Ronald M. Kreitner, executive director of Westside Renaissance, Inc., a private organization coordinating the project with the city’s development corporation, told the Baltimore Sun, “If there was any hesitation because of the Supreme Court case, any question is removed, and we should expect to see things proceeding in a timely fashion.”

Baltimore, Md. (East Side)

Baltimore’s redevelopment agency, the Baltimore Development Corp., is exercising eminent domain to acquire more than 2,000 properties in East Baltimore for a biotech park and new residences. BDC Executive Vice President Andrew B. Frank told the Daily Record the Kelo decision “is very good news. It means many of the projects on which we’ve been working for the last several years can continue.”

Newark, N.J.

Newark officials want to raze 14 downtown acres in the Mulberry Street area to build 2,000 upscale condo units and retail space. The Municipal Council voted against the plan in 2003, but then reversed its decision eight months later following re-election campaigns in which developers donated thousands of dollars. Officials told the Associated Press that the Mulberry Street project could have been killed if the U.S. Supreme Court had sided with the homeowners in Kelo.

Lodi, N.J.

Save Our Homes, a coalition of 200 residents in a Lodi trailer park targeted by the City for private retail development and a senior-living community, goes to court on July 18 to try to prevent a private developer from taking their homes. Lodi Mayor Gary Paparozzi called the Kelo ruling a “shot in the arm” for the town. He told the Bergen County Record, “The trailer park is like a poster child for redevelopment. That’s the best-case scenario for using eminent domain.”
Amazing. Certainly not a snap-shot of the America I thought I lived in. In fact, it makes me sick to my stomach.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I really have to wonder how many uses of eminent domain were occuring but not being so well documented before the Kelo case... The Kelo case did bring an issue to the public eye that was normally not a major political concern for most.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
You may be exactly right, Jamie.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the states are going to react to the ruling.

Here in GA the legislature is supposedly gearing up to ensure the rights of home owners, with the usual dollop of finger-pointing politics.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Here in GA the legislature is supposedly gearing up to ensure the rights of home owners, with the usual dollop of finger-pointing politics.
Interesting. By what method are they attempting to limit the use of eminent domain in Georgia?

I like my idea of adding a check to the system by requiring the voters of the area in question to approve each project that will use eminent domain, and requiring that each property that would be taken by clearly identified... and I will continue to pimp my idea until I see a better one.

Of course I am sure there are other methods that ED could be limited to more responsible uses, so I am obviously interested in what approach the GA legislature is taking on this.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Here’s Tom Delay saying things that hopefully you’ll like.

The same article has Nancy Pelosi saying things that, hopefully, you won’t.
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://dalythoughts.com
Hmm. This from the Boston Herald (http://news.bostonherald.com/national/view.bg?articleid=92151):

State Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), whose wife is a town selectman, said he also disagrees with the court’s decision and sees Clements’ action as "poetic justice."
"It’s a cute idea to drive the point home,"’ he said.
But two wrongs don’t make a right, Kurk said, adding he’ll oppose any government seizure of Souter’s home. "Justice Souter’s property will be protected by the good sense of New Hampshire townspeople,"’ he said.

What is it that will be protecting everyone else’s property, I wonder.
 
Written By: Curtis G.
URL: http://www.hkactionfilms.com
Hmm. This from the Boston Herald (http://news.bostonherald.com/national/view.bg?articleid=92151):

State Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), whose wife is a town selectman, said he also disagrees with the court’s decision and sees Clements’ action as "poetic justice."
"It’s a cute idea to drive the point home,"’ he said.
But two wrongs don’t make a right, Kurk said, adding he’ll oppose any government seizure of Souter’s home. "Justice Souter’s property will be protected by the good sense of New Hampshire townspeople,"’ he said.

What is it that will be protecting everyone else’s property, I wonder.
 
Written By: Curtis G.
URL: http://www.hkactionfilms.com
By what method are they attempting to limit the use of eminent domain in Georgia?

Right now its in the talking stages, but it does have both the Governor (Republican) and Lt. Governor (Democrat) behind some sort of resolution of the problem, so that’s good.

My guess is the biggest fight will be about which side gets the greatest political glory out of the passage of some sort of bill protecting property rights.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
In fact, it makes me sick to my stomach.
Yep, me too.
the biggest fight will be about which side gets the greatest political glory out of the passage of some sort of bill protecting property rights.
Wow. I agreed with McQ twice in one thread...
 
Written By: David in AK
URL: http://
Wow. I agreed with McQ twice in one thread...

Better watch it David ... it’ll make you sick to your stomach. ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I think it is going to be quite a fight in GA to get meaningful protection, and I live in GA. The problem is that a lot of interests do make money off of this type of thing.

As for being sick to my stomach, I’m shocked at how many "liberals" feel comfortable about enshrining money as the highest good. When did healthy communities with a mix of small/ethnic businesses become less important than the buck we get today out of the body of property owners? This is a strange perversion of traditional democratic thinking.
 
Written By: MaxedOutMama
URL: http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com
I think the reason why so many "liberals" seem in favor of the ruling is because, traditionally, major urban areas are liberal strongholds. Since its city governments, not Podunk County Missisippi, that are most likely to weild the power of ED its understandable that they wish to see their power maintained.

That being said, it seems like many non-governmental liberals are just as upset with this ruling... probably over the tendency for ED to be abused in favor of corporate interest and used against the poor and minorities.. but none-the-less I dont think this is a simple partisan issue..
 
Written By: Jamie Rosensteel
URL: http://www.qando.net
Jamie,

I think your analysis is spot on. It is most definitely not a simple partisan issue. Many liberals are opposed because they see it as an assault on personal property by the state, similar to libertarians. Some see it as wrong because it favors wealthy interests. I find this dismaying, because while it is especially bad that it favors the powerful and wealthy, I see no reason the wealthy and powerful do not deserve protection of their property as well. To put it another way, if private property is seized from the wealthy many liberals have no problem with it if it serves the greater good. This is probably the largest goup, but I cannot be sure. The other group are those who note the inconsistency of the second groups position, the difficulty of actually crafting such a distinction, and therefore are fully supportive of the decision. To not have this power would curtail all the planning they feel is so important to our society. Not to mention that secure property rights are not part of their ideology.

The problem for the Democrats and rank and file liberals is that if this decision bothers them they are faced with a revolt against their intellectual elites, who are squarely behind this ruling, at least before the outrage. The legal, bureauratic and activist organizations depend on private property being insecure and have resisted any limits on this power. In addition, to rule differently the decision would have of necessity relied on some form of textualism or originalism as the dissenters did, and that is a non-starter for the judges who dissented in this case and any likely future liberal nominee. I can not imagine any likely supreme court nominee by a Democratic President not backing this decision. Maybe the backlash will change this, but I doubt it.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Utah’s eminent domain law has a list of acceptable uses for which property can be taken, so that anything not on the list (like retail development) can’t be used as an excuse. The list contains the usual stuff (roads, schools, etc.) and also a few surprises, such as mining operations and pipelines for beet sugar. These are probably leftovers from special interest groups.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
What amazes me is that a lot of the companies I’ve been defending for years as champions of the free market system have been quietly stealing people’s property via eminent domain.

I’ve started a wiki of them here, if anybody’s interested.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://www.arkanssouri.blogspot.com
Oh, and also if the state takes property through eminent domain and decides to sell it, it has to be offered first to the original owner and declined in writing before it can be sold to anyone else.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
What happens if your property is never used for the purpose it was taken? This happens now and the property just becomes a government asset that is sometimes leased back to the original owner making the government your landlord.
 
Written By: Devin S.
URL: http://
I don’t know about the other localities, but the Baltimore takings are probably legitimate under the old anti-blight doctrine, and may well be unrelated to Kelo.
 
Written By: Fredrik Nyman
URL: http://

 
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