20 November 2004
With Kelo v. City of New London on the Supreme Court's docket this term, the city of Anaheim, California is actually taking steps to avoid this sort of thing in the future. City Council Policy #220, as quoted by Xrlq:
It is the policy of the City of Anaheim that the power of eminent domain not be used by the City Council or Redevelopment Agency to acquire property from private parties, for the express and immediate purpose of conveying such property to any other private person or entity for commercial uses, when there is no public purpose for the acquisition except the generation or increase of sales tax or property tax revenues to the City.
In the New London case, about a hundred homeowners in the Fort Trumbull were to be displaced to make room for a new development next to a Pfizer plant. [Insert Viagra joke here.] The city didn't even claim that the properties to be condemned were "blighted," the usual excuse; the homeowners simply didn't produce enough tax revenue to suit the city. The Connecticut Supreme Court, 4-3, upheld the city's use of eminent domain.
Oklahoma City has not always wielded this particular tool with the greatest wisdom; I'd like to see us adopt a rule similar to Anaheim's. And now, while the biggest project on the table is the realignment of the Crosstown Expressway, would be the perfect time to do it.Posted at 9:14 AM to Political Science Fiction