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Author Topic: Eminent domain plaintiff sends un-merry greeting
snopes
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The woman at the center of the national battle over property rights has some less-than-joyous tidings for the people involved in using eminent domain to take her house to make way for private development.

http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1220poetry-ON.html

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surfcitydogdad
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She should have send "pooping peasants." Real ones.

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Zachary Fizz
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Is anyone else puzzled at the use of eminent domain in this context? I can understand the state using coercive powers to secure assets essential to the state, like saltpetre mines, but here the power is being used to allow a condo development. That seems rather strange.
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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
Is anyone else puzzled at the use of eminent domain in this context? I can understand the state using coercive powers to secure assets essential to the state, like saltpetre mines, but here the power is being used to allow a condo development. That seems rather strange.

It is strange - and wrong - but it makes financial sense.

Imagine a blighted waterfront area in a place like Florida, where there are a few dozen houses valued about $50,000 each. Now imagine those houses replaced with highrise condominiums, with unit prices starting at $400K, and with commercial developments alongside. If you're mayor, which tax base would you prefer?

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Richard W
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quote:
"It's amazing anyone could be so vindictive when they've made so much money," said Gail Schwenker-Mayer, a development supporter who received one of the cards.
Gosh, yes - money! Surely everybody is happy with lots of money, no matter what you do to them! For flip's sake, it's not like she chose to get into that situation for profit - she's being compensated for a forced eviction from her home and a major relocation. And she's apologised for the message already!

I don't understand why that law would be used for a private property development either - I thought compulsory-purchase laws were usually for state projects such as new roads or railways.

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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
"It's amazing anyone could be so vindictive when they've made so much money," said Gail Schwenker-Mayer, a development supporter who received one of the cards.
Gosh, yes - money! Surely everybody is happy with lots of money, no matter what you do to them! For flip's sake, it's not like she chose to get into that situation for profit - she's being compensated for a forced eviction from her home and a major relocation. And she's apologised for the message already!

I don't understand why that law would be used for a private property development either - I thought compulsory-purchase laws were usually for state projects such as new roads or railways.

Well we know that money is the only thing important in the world, right? That attitude is disgusting.

Usually they justify private property development by pointing out the tax benefit to the city, county, whatever. There has been a movement to toughen these laws due to outrage by citizens over some of these people getting pushed around.

ETA: What Spam said...

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
I don't understand why that law would be used for a private property development either - I thought compulsory-purchase laws were usually for state projects such as new roads or railways.

Most peoople in the US agree that this use of eminent domain laws is wrong. The Supreme Court decision in the New London case was very unpopular. Legislators in some states, including mine, have been working on tightening state laws to prevent the use of eminent domain for private development.

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funkyteapots
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Or it could be used to buy property to build a shiny, new, privately owned football stadium.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
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My problem with her cards is that she's now trying to say she meant it in a humorous manner.

If it's supposed to be funny, she has a deficient sense of humor.

Seaboe

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Or an athletic village...

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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
Or an athletic village...

Approved in March, teardown scheduled in June? Sounds like someone is trying to rush the demolition before a challange can be ramped up.

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tagurit
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See, this is what I think is very wrong in America. Families are forced out of their homes to make way for private development. It's horrible. Where's the security and stability? If you and your family have lived in your home for years, why is it ok for someone to come along and force you to move out, just because the real estate values have risen in your area? It's just not right!

Look at Poletown Detroit. All those people displaced so that NFBSKing Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant could be built and now what? That wasn't just a place where a plant could be built. That was their homes.

And if it can happen to them and Suzette Kelo, it can happen to any of the rest of us.

ETA: Wikipedia link regarding Poletown Detroit which references Kelo vs City of New London.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
See, this is what I think is very wrong in America. Families are forced out of their homes to make way for private development.

What a marvellously sweeping statement.

And inaccurate, if you think that no states have taken steps to block this very thing.

Seaboe.

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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Florida just passed an amendment to the state constitution to ban this kind of eminent domain attack. I think several others did the same thing, but I'm too lazy to google the news about it.

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BeachLife
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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm:
Florida just passed an amendment to the state constitution to ban this kind of eminent domain attack. I think several others did the same thing, but I'm too lazy to google the news about it.

Nine states, including Michigan, passed similar laws in 2006: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North
Dakota, Oregon, and South Carolina.

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Hubert Cumberdale
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quote:
Kelo, one of the last holdouts, this year accepted a $442,155 settlement, more than $300,000 above the 2000 appraised value of her house. Her pink cottage will be moved elsewhere in the city
As much as this sucks and is pretty wrong, she is making a nice profit and still keeping her home. Although I don't know if they should be using a 6 year old appraisal to determine the value.
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Seaboe Muffinchucker
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quote:
Originally posted by Hubert Cumberdale:
quote:
Kelo, one of the last holdouts, this year accepted a $442,155 settlement, more than $300,000 above the 2000 appraised value of her house. Her pink cottage will be moved elsewhere in the city
As much as this sucks and is pretty wrong, she is making a nice profit and still keeping her home. Although I don't know if they should be using a 6 year old appraisal to determine the value.
That was probably the appraisal at the time the eminent domain was first filed. Six years is actually quite fast when you consider this issue went up to SCOTUS.

Seaboe

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
See, this is what I think is very wrong in America. Families are forced out of their homes to make way for private development.

What a marvellously sweeping statement.

And inaccurate, if you think that no states have taken steps to block this very thing.

Yeah, how blindly emotional of me. That Poletown relocation was right in my back yard. Forgive me for reacting without research. I do thank you for correcting me.

ETA: Although I'm happy to hear steps are being taken to block this activity, unfortunately it's still going on, witness the OP. So, forgive me once again, but as long as people can be forced out of their homes to make way for private development, I reserve the right to be enraged about it.

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
My problem with her cards is that she's now trying to say she meant it in a humorous manner.

If it's supposed to be funny, she has a deficient sense of humor.

Not quite what she said, Seaboe.
quote:
"My card was meant as much in humor as it was in frustration," she said. "What I wrote shouldn't be taken as my literal wish for anyone. I'm heartbroken that this will be my last Christmas in Fort Trumbull and what I wrote rose out of that fact, but the bottom line is, it was over the top."


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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
ETA: Although I'm happy to hear steps are being taken to block this activity, unfortunately it's still going on, witness the OP.

The OP case happened several years ago. The SCOTUS decision in that case is what led to general outrage against the practice and to the state legislature passing amendments against it, as BeachLife and Seaboe mentioned.

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
The OP case happened several years ago. The SCOTUS decision in that case is what led to general outrage against the practice and to the state legislature passing amendments against it, as BeachLife and Seaboe mentioned.

Correction: Beachlife and Spam.

ETA: Ok, my mistake. I missed Seaboe's reference to SCOTUS.

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snapdragonfly
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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm:
quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
Is anyone else puzzled at the use of eminent domain in this context? I can understand the state using coercive powers to secure assets essential to the state, like saltpetre mines, but here the power is being used to allow a condo development. That seems rather strange.

It is strange - and wrong - but it makes financial sense.

Imagine a blighted waterfront area in a place like Florida, where there are a few dozen houses valued about $50,000 each. Now imagine those houses replaced with highrise condominiums, with unit prices starting at $400K, and with commercial developments alongside. If you're mayor, which tax base would you prefer?

And that's true.

However, there are very few of us whose tacky little dowdy houses, or middle class brick ranch homes, or even big new large homes, make as much money for the tax base as they would if they were bulldozed down to build something sexier and shinier and commercial. Also you get the problem of someone's brother in law (maybe that mayor - if you live in a small town like this you can easily picture this happening) espying a nice little piece of property that happens to be happily occupied and deciding it would be a great place for his pet venture and so out you go, even though the change of hands isn't really benefiting the community at large so much as one putative developer.

If the only justification needed is "but this will create a bigger tax base," then there are very few homes that aren't at risk, because commercial developments always pay more taxes than homes do. If that doesn't make you very uncomfortable, it should.

Eminent domain is properly used for infrastructures such as highways or dams that simply can't be put anywhere else and will benefit vast amounts of people, not for tax increase purposes. Yes, there's all kinds of ways that cities could be improved upon, if we are willing to trample all over the individual's rights to live where and how they choose.

Simply creating more tax dollars isn't a good enough reason for the government to take away (even with compensation) someone's private property. I think it was a HORRIBLE decision on the part of the SCOTUS, one of the worst in my memory, and I'm so glad to see the scurrying of state laws to block that sort of bs.

edited

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DawnStorm
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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
I'm so glad to see the scurrying of state laws to block that sort of bs.

edited

You and me both.

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