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gvsusean

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This topic can and does affect us all.

The idea behind emminent domain is to take land from private citizens (compensating them accordingly based upon market values) and turn the land over to the greater good i.e. schools, gov't buildings, etc...

Currently there are a number of places, not limited to just New Jersey and Florida, where the government is using its power of emminent domain to take private land from US citizens and turning around and giving it to OTHER private citizens so they can make new condos and yacht clubs.

The idea behind land ownership is a poweful one. If someone is not confident that what they build is protected and will remain theres , then no one will build anything. exp.- Russia (albeit Russia is getting better) and parts of Middle East and Asia.

If the government can do this to people in Florida than they can do it to us!!!

We should do somethingto help these other people, but alas I do not know what :(

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I thought I heard a blurb on the news today that there will be a state ballot mesure to forbid this type of thing, that, if passed, would be written into the Michigan constitution.

If nothing else, that would be a good place to start to stop this from happening here. :thumbsup:

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Its not just here we have to worry about. We are all intertwined. Whats happening is very very very very huge. this not only set precedent for future actions but also undermines everything our fore fathers have fought for us i.e. freedom.

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MIchigan law already makes it extremely difficult to take private land and use it for other private uses. You have to have a pile of evidence that it would benefit the public, and I think you also have to prove that the land is not being used properly (The only case it might work is if someone used immenent domain to take back a property from Azzar, and thats not even likely)

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Be careful what you read about eminent domain. There was a huge uproar over Kelo v New London, but I think the Supreme Court made the right decision. They didn't grant any "new" rights regarding eminent domain, and the decision was made based heavily on precedent. The news didn't tell you that. And to defend my point, I present the following example.

Let's say you have an economically depressed town. And lets say about 10 years ago the industry that drove the entire local economy decided to pack up and leave, taking thousands of people and jobs with it, leaving nothing behind but a lot of vacant property and empty warehouses. As you can imagine, the town struggles for years, tries to attract businesses and industries to relocate, with minimal success. There are very few educated or skilled people who would move there because there are no decent jobs to be found. No educated or skilled people live there because there are no jobs for them.

Now lets say that some huge company decides to relocate in that town. They would buy properties and assemble several acres on which they could locate a new facility that would provide hundreds and hundreds of well-paying jobs. It also would attract hundreds of new residents to the town, and provide better work to those who live there. Local businesses, residents, and the town officials are all excited about it.

But there are six people who refuse to move out, even though the new company offers them much more that the market value for their property. If those people don't sell their land, the industry can't build where they need to build. Should the city officials let those six property owners sit there and prevent the revitalization of the entire town?

To me, that is what Kelo was about. To say that developers will be on City Councils furthering their own interests may be true, but if they did that it would never stand up in court since it is a major conflict of interest. If it is just a Yacht club or some other fluff thing then it is different, but I would still warn that you aren't getting the whole picture. Kelo wasn't about letting cities condemn properties willy-nilly because they wanted to see a strip mall, yacht club, or wal-mart.

Sorry about the long rant :blush: ...I'm done now :P

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Andy, I would disagree with the Kelo vs. New London ruling, and your example. People's personal property rights outweigh "the common good". You can't just take someone's land away because you don't agree with the way they are using it (unless they're actually breaking the law by having a meth lab or something, which you need evidence and a warrant for to even enter their property).

It's just another case of the judicial branch in America creating and changing laws instead of simply interpreting them.

The main motivation here is tax revenue. Cities, townships, whatever, want the ability to get more taxes from properties that don't generate enough. For example, say in downtown Chicago a cathedral has been sitting on a property for more than a hundred years. They don't pay taxes and the church property is worth a fortune. If the city of Chicago decides a 50 story condo tower would generate millions in revenue, should they have the right to take that church? I don't think so.

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Andy, I would disagree with the Kelo vs. New London ruling, and your example. People's personal property rights outweigh "the common good". You can't just take someone's land away because you don't agree with the way they are using it (unless they're actually breaking the law by having a meth lab or something, which you need evidence and a warrant for to even enter their property).

It's just another case of the judicial branch in America creating and changing laws instead of simply interpreting them.

The main motivation here is tax revenue. Cities, townships, whatever, want the ability to get more taxes from properties that don't generate enough. For example, say in downtown Chicago a cathedral has been sitting on a property for more than a hundred years. They don't pay taxes and the church property is worth a fortune. If the city of Chicago decides a 50 story condo tower would generate millions in revenue, should they have the right to take that church? I don't think so.

You're right, they shouldn't, but a condo tower or lack thereof isn't going to make or break the chicago economy. I also think its more than just tax revenue in the coffers of the municipalities, its the entire local economy in some places. The Kelo ruling also makes it much more feasible for developers to assemble parcels and build a good building, instead of having a bunch of crap spot-zoned so it's all fragmented.

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You're right, they shouldn't, but a condo tower or lack thereof isn't going to make or break the chicago economy. I also think its more than just tax revenue in the coffers of the municipalities, its the entire local economy in some places. The Kelo ruling also makes it much more feasible for developers to assemble parcels and build a good building, instead of having a bunch of crap spot-zoned so it's all fragmented.

I just don't think you can apply emminent domain in some cases and not others, no matter what a city's financial situation looks like or how good a developer's design may be. A city government would just have to be more creative and think of a different way to bring that new company into the economy. And sometimes it just doesn't work. It may not be fair that a town isn't prospering, or used to, but now isn't like Flint, but that's unfortunately the way it goes sometimes. If you don't like it in Flint, move. There are plenty of places around the country with jobs: Madison, Austin, many states in the south and mountain west and even Grand Rapids. Sometimes change just happens and it's beyond your control. I'm not saying give up on your city, but fix it in a way that doesn't trample individual rights.

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FYI: You can read the Supreme Court opinion (and Justices O'Connor, Scalia and Thomas' dissenting opinion) in Kelo v New London at www.supremecourtus.gov (Docket No. 04-108). You can also access the transcript of the oral argument before the Court at that site. Also, there was a lot of press around the time of the opinion about how things have turned out in cities (e.g., Pittsburgh) where in the past much power was ceded to developers to turn around local economies. Not sure where to find that info, maybe start with the NY Times.

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I am unsure how on feel on this issue. On one hand, if it was my house someone wanted to destroy to put in a sprawl promoting shopping mall or plaza I would, as anyone can imagine, be very oppossed. On the contrary though there are lots of spots in the metro GR area that are in dire need of help to revive their communities and the right project with smart and sustainable design to them could really be beneficial and revive some blighted areas. I suppose a quasi-middle of the road solution would to draw up stricter zoning codes and ordiances which would have to be enforced somehow posthumously(sp?) in order to remedy such situations and prevent further conflicts. The real difficult part in that would be saying that one person's home, lifestyle, or class is unfit. It would sort of go against the entire idea of freedom and capitalism in general.

Like I said, I am unsure. I'm just sort of thinking out loud more than anything.

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Emminent domain might help for a transit way through major corridors in Metro Grand Rapids.

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FYI: You can read the Supreme Court opinion (and Justices O'Connor, Scalia and Thomas' dissenting opinion) in Kelo v New London at www.supremecourtus.gov (Docket No. 04-108). You can also access the transcript of the oral argument before the Court at that site. Also, there was a lot of press around the time of the opinion about how things have turned out in cities (e.g., Pittsburgh) where in the past much power was ceded to developers to turn around local economies. Not sure where to find that info, maybe start with the NY Times.

Excellent! It's always great to have an attorney (or someone who actually is familiar with the law) in the group :thumbsup:

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Emminent domain might help for a transit way through major corridors in Metro Grand Rapids.

That use would be perfectly acceptable to everyone. That is the way emminent domain is supposed to be used.

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That is what I was thinking. ROWs could be created by the use of emminent domain.

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