From ULI-the Urban Land Institute
Weekly News Roundup April 13, 2004
"Pushing the Limits of 'Public Use'"
Cities across the country are employing eminent domain to free up land for retailers, manufacturing plants, housing, hotels, and parking lots. Eminent domain laws allow cities to seize public land for private use, provided that owners are fairly compensated and that the seizure is for the public good. National Conference of State Legislatures environmental program director Larry Morandi says cities are using this tactic to boost tax revenues. However, projects on land acquired through eminent domain must benefit the public, and critics are unsure whether economic development meets this requirement. Officials in Riviera Beach, Fla., for instance, plan to displace 5,100 homeowners to make way for upscale retail, high-rise condominiums, and larger single-family dwellings. Residents are worried about losing their prime waterfront properties, but Riviera Beach Mayor Michael Brown insists the move will eliminate poverty locally by hiking assessed property values from $80 million to $2 billion and providing money for new schools and road upgrades, among other things.
Anyone else find this outrageous?