Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eminent Domain? Rather Your House is My House

I can't believe this! Eminent domain has been abused and misused for decades, but now there is no recourse! What do these old men mean by taking the roofs from over the heads of children? Think I'm overstating? Well just read the ruling HERE.

I predict a backlash from this, much debate, name-calling, and, eventually - perhaps - legislation that will either add protections or further reduce the rights of property owners. I have to admit I don't like the idea that at any time a developer could sweep down on my neighborhood, have it condemned and suddenly a shopping mall appears where my house used to be! And if you really think people will be paid what their property is actually worth, think again.

Three decades ago, Atlanta and the state of Georgia swept down on the venerable Morningside neighborhood and condemned numerous homes creating a divisive swath through the neighborhood that was going to be a new freeway connector. That swath was eventually (after years of litigation) reclaimed for private property and the neighborhood was "saved." The highway project was canned. But the original property owners had been displaced, their homes taken from them and they were paid a pittance compared to what they could have received on a free market basis. The houses went vacant for several years, without repair. At least one had to be demolished, and most of the rest required extensive renovation before they were again habitable.

If the free market wants a section of land, then they need to pay the owners what the land is truly worth on the open market. Government needs to butt out of private development except to confirm that building codes are observed in new construction.

"We the people of the United States" need to take back our inalienable rights. Preventing the confiscation of property without due procedure is one of the reasons this country exists. Back to basics.

SHRIEK! How long are we going to allow our courts to run away like this??

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