Friday, June 24, 2005

Eminent Domain

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that cities and towns could take private property, if offered for fair market value for commercial development. The case in question was about a woman in New London, Connecticut, who had lived in her small home for years on the waterfront. She had lived in the house for years and had long since paid off her mortgage, and now she was just paying her property taxes. The house wasn't elegant, but it is neat and tidy. She has been fighting eminent domain for years.

The city argues that it needs to take her property to raise its tax base but offering waterfront views to yuppie condominium developers who will pay top dollar for a waterfront view. It used to be the government took eye-sores to such as slums to replace them with something like a highway. People living in the slums were moved to somewhere where it was hopefully better.

But can't they build around this woman's home. Why should she be denied a nice view, especially since she has been living there even when the neighborhood was worse off. She followed the rules, and she is losing her home anyway.

Emiment Domain was supposed to be for the public good. When Foxborough Stadium, an old man's home stood in the way of Bob Kraft's expansion. But they wanted his house, not for the public good, but to create an access road for luxury box owners. This isn't the general public here - a man's home was taken so the wealthy would have to deal with 'the public" on their way to their comfy, expensive seats that the taxpayer had to kick in to build.

This ruling is another slap in the face to the 'ownership society'. The Supreme Court says it is nlegal to take tour bed away and give it to a condominium or corporation. We all lose again. Emiment domain is urbal renewal for the wealthy.


Post a Comment

<< Home