Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quote from today's NCPRC luncheon

Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble shared the following quote at today's NCPRC luncheon:

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
- Justice Louis Brandeis

This quote is certainly applicable to the ongoing fight to preserve our private property rights.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wilmington Looks South for Annexation

From WHQR: WILMINGTON, NC (2008-01-15) The City of Wilmington is looking to grow southward, by annexing a wedge of land in the Monkey Junction area.

The area being considered between Carolina Beach and College roads is currently home to 1534 county residents, according to figures used in a city presentation Monday. During that informational meeting with City Council, staff argued for annexation, saying it would increase the city's tax base to pay for services, such as roads and parks, that county residents also use.

Councilman Jason Thompson, who first ran for council to oppose the annexation of his own neighborhood, had some advice for residents unhappy about joining the city.

Start the emails, start the phone calls and start getting vocal. But I believe there's a super-majority of votes to pass it. I'm going to do my piece, but I don't expect to win.

Deal reached in years-long eminent domain case

From SignOnSanDiego.com: "A vacant lot that once housed a thriving downtown San Diego cigar shop – and stands as a reminder of some of the evils of government taking people's land – looks set to finally become a four-star hotel. The dispute reaches back to 2004 when the city used eminent domain to take Ahmad Mesdaq's Gran Havana Cigar & Coffee Lounge in order to assemble land for a Gaslamp hotel developer."

A few things jump out of this article:

1. This was a classic example of a small business being confronted with the specter of "taking on city hall."

2. The dispute wasn't solved overnight -- it took nearly four years.

3. The land wasn't taken from the property owner to build a bridge, school, road or for some other legitimate public use. From the article: "The city condemned the corner parcel in 2004 to make way for a Marriott Renaissance hotel."

Eminent Domain: Land grab or tool to rebuild?

From the California Eminent Domain Law blog:

Taxpayer groups are battling elected officials over the government’s right to seize property in a campaign that could impact thousands of homes and businesses in California.

Each side is pushing a measure for the June ballot that would reform eminent domain, — which allows local governments to seize privately owned homes and businesses and turn them over to developers for shopping malls and office parks.