Broadening eminent domain

Posted by barb on Jun 23, 2005 in Random Thoughts |

This is unfortunate:

Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes (Registration required)

The Supreme Court today effectively expanded the right of local governments to seize private property under eminent domain, ruling that people’s homes and businesses — even those not considered blighted — can be taken against their will for private development if the seizure serves a broadly defined “public use.”

A few years ago, Best Buy pressured the city government in Richfield, Minnesota, for land to build a new home office complex. In the process, Richfield condemed numerous houses and business properties, including Wally McCarthy’s Oldsmobile dealer. This dealership had been in that location for as long as I could remember — a real landmark — and was the dealership used for the movie Fargo. Last I heard, Wally McCarthy was still fighting the city to get fair value for the lands and business that he lost.

The dumbest part? While the Best Buy property is in Richfield, most of the businesses that will benefit from the new home office complex are just one block south, across the city limits. Yup. Richfield gave Best Buy free taxes for umpteen years (can’t remember the exact number), and Bloomington businesses are the real beneficiaries. Besides that, the Best Buy complex is among the ugliest developments I’ve seen.

The only good thing that came out of the deal for Richfield was that Best Buy had to help the city re-do the interesections from I-494 onto and off of Penn Avenue, and build a bigger, beefier overpass.

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1 Comment

PajamaHadin
Jul 1, 2005 at 12:38 am

Souter home in imminent threat from Eminent Domain

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hot…


 

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