Wednesday, October 25, 2006
“The legislature had the opportunity to provide North Carolina’s property owners with real protection during the recent short session,” Shanahan said. “Unfortunately, their efforts fell far short. Instead of allowing the people to vote on a constitutional amendment that would stand the test of time, the legislature passed a law that can easily be undone by the whims of a future legislature.”
“The people of our state deserve more than this watered-down legislation,” Shanahan continued. “They deserve constitutional protection that will stand the test of time. That’s why we need an amendment to the state constitution to protect our private property from eminent domain abuse.”
“During the recent legislative short session, the House Judiciary 3 Committee refused to hear a bill calling for an amendment to the state constitution to prevent governments from using eminent domain authority to take land for private economic development projects,” Shanahan added. “The bill was sent to the House Rules Committee to die without fair consideration.”
“I’ve heard people say things like, ‘that could never happen in North Carolina’”, Shanahan added. “I’m sure Susette Kelo felt the same way – up until that tragic day when the city of New London, Connecticut decided that a developer could make better use of her home and began the process of seizing it through eminent domain abuse. Property rights are a fundamentally important issue, and North Carolinians cannot take them for granted.”
“The people of North Carolina deserve better protection than the legislature has given them,” Shanahan concluded. “North Carolinians need more than a legislative smokescreen – we need the kind of real protection provided by a constitutional amendment. Our organization will continue to call on the members of the North Carolina General Assembly to do what is right by allowing our citizens to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect our private property from eminent domain abuse. Private property rights are one of the foundational principles of our republic, and this important issue should be addressed as soon as possible.”
Monday, October 23, 2006
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The builders of a multibillion-dollar redevelopment project are considering legal action against the state and city after being told eminent domain powers will not be used to seize property to make way for the plan.
Click here for the rest of this story
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Anger Drives Property Rights Measures
PICABO, Idaho — Cheeks chapped, patience thinned, Katie Breckenridge had no trouble making up her mind about an Idaho ballot measure that would make the government pay property owners if zoning rules reduce the value of their land.
“Do I think this is almost swinging the pendulum back too far in the other direction? I do,” said Ms. Breckenridge, 61, a rancher just in from tending to cattle and quarter horses. “But do I think we’ve got to do something to bring the balance back to property rights? I do, and I’m going to vote for it.”
More than a year after Suzette Kelo and several of her neighbors in New London, Conn., lost their battle against eminent domain in the United States Supreme Court, the backlash against the ruling has made property rights one of the most closely watched ballot issues nationwide.
It's hard to imagine that a city would prevent a legitimate place of worship from occupying a building in the United States -- a country founded in large part on the promise of religious tolerance. Yet, that is happening now in Metro Detroit.
In fact, the federal government recently intervened on behalf of Lighthouse Community Church of God in a dispute with the city of Southfield over a building purchased by the church to house its congregation and host religious services. A decision by the federal court in Detroit is pending.
The city of Southfield initially granted and then denied Lighthouse Community Church of God permission to occupy a building it purchased that was used and zoned as a church since 1996. This came about eight months after city representatives gave the church verbal and written approval for the purchase and use of the building and Lighthouse sold its prior house of worship.
In 2004, the certificate of occupancy was denied in favor a proposed $30 million residential gated community. As a result, Lighthouse Community Church of God was shut out of its own building.Click here for more
Unfortunately, North Carolina is not one of those 13 states. Our state's legislative leadership killed a proposed amendment to prevent eminent domain abuse, sending it to a committee to die. Instead of taking the steps to give property owners protection that will stand the test of time, the legislature passed a bill that can easily be undone by a future legislature.
Click here to sign our petition calling for an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting governmental bodies from using eminent domain for economic development purposes.
Some judges are getting the message. On July 26, 2006, the Ohio Supreme Court handed down a stunning unanimous decision against a $125 million development project in a Cincinnati suburb. This case, City of Norwood v. Horney, illustrates how abusive eminent domain seizures are motivated by local governments seeking new sources of revenue.
Click here for the rest of the column
Sowell goes on to dub Riviera Beach's approach "socialism for the rich."
Click here for the column