Eminent Domain


Old 09-30-16, 06:18 AM
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Eminent Domain

Several years ago New London CT decided to increase their tax base by inviting developers to build a business and light industrial center along a scenic stretch of the Thames River. The problem was that the area was already developed residential. Some homeowners sold out to the city but a few chose to fight the city and the developers. In several cases their families had lived in the homes for generations. The case went all the way to the supreme court and they voted against the homeowners. All the homes were torn down to make way for the developers - who backed out of the deal. Now the properties are mostly vacant.
See Kelo vs New London

Now it's happening again. The city of West Haven has decided to invite developers to build a multi million dollar shopping mall in a mixed zone area. While most homeowners have sold out a few homeowners and one small business have not. Once again eminent domain is being invoked.

Wasn't eminent domain intended to be invoked for public things like schools, hospitals, roads etc? I wonder how much money is reaching sleazy politicians that are pushing this.
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Old 09-30-16, 06:37 AM
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I think they get by with it claiming that the new development will bring jobs and more tax money. I don't doubt that there are back rm deals pushing it along.

Slightly off topic but I agree with tax incentives to bring new business and structures to support the economy but it too has gotten out of hand. A nearby town was proposing a tax incentive to get contractors to build more high end homes - claiming there was a shortage. In a closer town there's an apartment complex that the builder wouldn't proceed with unless he got tax incentives. They gave him the tax break even though the only jobs it brought were temporary and if the complex has kids in each unit it will overwhelm that school district.
Old 09-30-16, 07:18 AM
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We had a big fight like that a couple decades ago when a neighboring city wanted to demolish many homes and car dealers to erect a headquarters for an electronics store chain. The city won and the headquarters was built. To this day, I can't figure out what the city got out of it other than perception that they are good enough for such a thing.
Old 09-30-16, 02:22 PM
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It would seem the residents of West Haven would have a gorilla sized precedent with the outcome of the New London case. The residents can require surety bonds from the developers to cover the cost of revitalization of the area if it turns into a West Haven.

IMO, eminent domain is for the individual in their own home or vehicle, not for government to use in order to build questionable infrastructure, which by pure definition will fail because it is from the "government".
Old 09-30-16, 08:37 PM
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In College Park they have used eminent domain to tear some buildings down. In some cases I agreed with them as the old buildings had been abandoned for years and whether illegal activity was happening or not is debatable. In any even it was a safety issue and the city would get a grant from the state to bull doze down a building and then a private developer would proceed to build a new building. In another case our county wants to do away with auto dealers on route 1 and there was a great Ford dealer in College Park that was forced out.

In the case of the Ford dealer I thought they were honest and they shouldn't have been forced out for from what I remember is going to be a hotel. I doubt the hotel will be used much as there are lodging accommodations all up and down route 1 and on other nearby roads.

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