Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This November, 13 states are doing what N.C. is not: voting on property rights questions

According to this UPI Article, property rights questions will appear on the ballot on 13 states this November. Unfortunately, the North Carolina is not one of those states.

Earlier this year, the legislative leadership
killed a bill calling for a constitutional amendment to protect our private property from eminent domain abuse, instead passing a legislative "solution" that simply isn't strong enough. If the legislature had not killed this bill -- a bill that had more sponsors in the House than the number of votes required for its passage in that same chamber -- this amendment would appear on our ballot (either this November or in a future election).

North Carolina property owners need a constitutional amendment to protect our property rights. An amendment will stand the test of time and is not easily changed by the whims of future poll-driven legislative bodies. If you agree, please sign our petition calling for this amendment.

Riverside parcels may be condemned to make way for condos

Eminent-domain action goes to Inland council

Residents sue Riviera Beach over plan to condemn homes for development

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It's the house that her husband built, where her children grew up and her grandchildren come to play.

Princess Wells is not about to give it up.

Not without a fight, at least.

Wells and three other Riviera Beach property owners turned to the courts Tuesday to try to prevent the city from seizing their homes and businesses through eminent domain. They don't want money, just a court order declaring unconstitutional the city taking private property for private development.

Click here for the rest of the article

Related: Riviera to face new eminent-domain suit

Carolina Journal: Will TTA Use Eminent Domain?

From Carolina Journal Online:

Will TTA Use Eminent Domain?

TTA's Gulley says using Kelo-style eminent domain won't happen

RALEIGH — The Triangle Transit Authority, having forgone its pursuit of federal funds for a proposed commuter rail system, instead is planning to work with a developer creating businesses near its 12 planned train stations.

Private-property advocates wonder whether TTA could seize land because North Carolina law allows eminent domain when “it is useful for the purposes of public transportation.” But TTA’s interim director, Wib Gulley, ruled out the possibility that the agency would take any land for private development.

“That’s not something I think is lawful or appropriate,” Gulley said, “so it’s not going to happen.”

Click here for more

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Eminent Domain hits home in Durham

Carter Wrenn had this to say on "There is a controversy simmering around the state about government using its right to Eminent Domain to seize private property." His blog post describes a recent situation in Durham. Click here to read more...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Homeowners in areas annexed by Winston-Salem will receive tax bills covering 21 months in 2007

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Residents in the areas of Forsyth County designated for annexation to Winston-Salem should start preparing now for the property-tax bills they will get in September 2007, city officials said yesterday.

Property taxes for the newly annexed residents will increase by 73 percent, from the current 66.6 cents for every $100 of assessed value to a combined $1.15 for every $100.

Winston-Salem has the second-highest tax rate in Forsyth County. Kernersville has the highest combined tax rate.

On top of the increase, the new residents will be billed for 21 months of taxes.

Robin Megela was surprised to hear yesterday that she would owe that much come September 2007.

Two bills will come to her house at that time: one for city and county taxes owed during the 12-month period from July 2007 to June 2008, and another for just the city taxes owed during the nine months from October 2006 to June 2007.

After living in Pfafftown, an unincorporated community, for 17 years, Megela will officially be living in Winston-Salem on Sept. 30 as a result of annexation. She's not happy about it, citing concerns about possible sewage costs, her satisfaction with the way things are as a county resident - and the new taxes.

"We got the raw end of the stick," she said. "We were very happy with what we have."

Click here for the rest of the story

Lecture at Campbell Univ. -- Property: Losing it to the first brute who comes along

This may interest you:

Property: Losing it to the first brute who comes along

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 5:00-6:00p.m.

Lynch Auditorium, Lundy-Fetterman School of Business
Campbell University, Buies Creek, N.C.

Patrick K. Hetrick served as Dean of the School of Law at Campbell University from 1987 to 1998. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from the Marquette University Law School, where he was a member of the law review. He practiced law in Milwaukee before returning to Marquette University as a professor of law and associate university legal counsel. In 1978, he joined the law faculty at Campbell University. He is the revising co-author of Webster's Real Estate Law in North Carolina and the co-author of North Carolina Real Estate for Brokers and Salesmen.

Professor Hetrick has delivered well over one hundred CLE presentations and is the author of numerous CLE manuscripts. A past member of the General Statutes Commission and a past Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association, he is currently serving on several North Carolina Bar Association and American Bar Association committees and is the Chair of the ABA Section on Legal Education's Continuing Education Committee. Professor Hetrick also serves as a member of both American Bar Association and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation committees.

Professor Hetrick will speak on the relationship between the rule of law and private property.

Please RSVP to Nancy Ezzell at 910-893-1380 or by Monday, September 18, 2006. An open reception will follow the lecture.

Tahoe Daily Tribune: City Using Eminent Domain for Economic Development Purposes

A constitutional amendment to prevent government from using eminent domain to seize private property for economic development purposes would ensure that North Carolinians never have to worry about this kind of situation. Click here to sign our petition calling for such an amendment.

From the Tahoe Daily Tribune:

Working on a tight timeline, the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency took an initial big step Tuesday toward using eminent domain on five parcels holding out from selling to a private developer that plans to build a $410 million convention center complex near Stateline.

Click here for the rest of the story...

California Eminent domain foes seek extra measure of security

It's good to see people throughout the nation standing up for private property rights. Click here for more on this story...

City of Palm Springs may use eminent domain to help developer lure Hard Rock Cafe

This story bears watching...

Homeowner who followed judge's advice loses at Alabama Supreme Court

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- In a first-of-its-kind eminent domain case, the Alabama Supreme Court said a homeowner waited one day too late to appeal a land condemnation order even though he followed a probate judge's advice on when to appeal.

Click here for the rest of the story

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pender County considers eminent domain

From the Wilmington Star-News (9/6/2006):

Burgaw | Negotiations for land for a new high school in Pender County may be ongoing, but so is the county school board's pursuit to take the land through the process of eminent domain.

The school board's latest move to buy about 26 acres for the site of the new Topsail High School off U.S. 17 in Hampstead was getting the board of commissioners' approval to earmark nearly $1.5 million to initiate condemnation proceedings. Commissioners unanimously approved the amount during their Tuesday morning meeting.

"Unfortunately I'm unable to tell you today we have negotiated a contract," said schools Superintendent Ted Kaniuka. "We believe we've run out of options. We're ready to go."

About two weeks ago, the owner of the property, Wilmington developer Jim McFarland, said he believed the two sides would soon sign a contract. But school officials have said they have yet to see a satisfactory contract.

This is the latest in negotiations that have dragged on for more than a year, holding up construction of the new high school. The school will alleviate crowding at Topsail High, which will turn into a middle school, allowing the current middle school to turn into the area's much-needed third elementary school.

One reason the school system has been eyeing this particular tract is because of its proximity to the current high school. If the new school is built on McFarland's land, existing athletic facilities can be used, saving the schools the cost of constructing new facilities.

A major holdup in contract negotiations has been an assurance from McFarland of sewer service, school officials say. The school system has to have a guarantee of sewer service to get the building project under way.

The school board's condemnation action would take not only the land for the school, but also the 15 acres for sewer.

McFarland plans to build 450 homes and a 500,000-square-foot shopping center on the neighboring 680 acres in Hampstead. His plans include building a wastewater treatment plant to serve the homes and businesses.

By taking the land through eminent domain, the schools would be responsible for the fair market value of what it takes and for any negative impacts on what it doesn't. That could be well in excess of the $1.47 million McFarland wants for the school site if his other developments are forced to scale back.

But time is costing the county money as well, Commissioner David Williams said.

"Every month we delay, we're going to catch it on the back end of construction costs," he said. "I think we need to show a little unity here. It's about the money, yeah, but it's also about where we're supposed to put these kids."