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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, July 11, 2005


Eminent Domain in Ridgefield, CT

It would seem that Kelo's effects continue to reverberate in Connecticut.

Ridgefield (AP) — A new eminent domain case is brewing in Connecticut as Ridgefield officials prepare to take private property to be used for corporate office space.

The developer, Eureka V, is seeking to build 510 townhouses and apartments on 154 acres. The proposal would require a zoning change because the property is now zoned for commercial development.
Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi offered to buy the land from Eureka V in 2001 for $2.7 million. He told the developer that if necessary the town would take the property using eminent domain.

Eureka V sought an injunction in federal court to halt the eminent domain move and accused Ridgefield of violating the federal fair housing law by trying to prevent Eureka from building houses for people with school-age children.
Marconi said he is confident the town will eventually have the property and will go ahead with plans to build 600,000 square feet of corporate office space.

“It is now clear that if Ridgefield is victorious in federal court, which we feel we will be, then we can proceed with an eminent domain taking of the property,” Marconi said.
Marconi said the New London case is different than Ridgefield's situation.

The property being considered for eminent domain taking is zoned for corporate development and is vacant, he said.

“There would be no displaced families,” Marconi said.
It would appear that First Selectman Rudy Marconi is attempting to redefine the debate. The issue here is not whether a family is displaced. The issue is whether or not it is right for government to forcibly take land from one private entity and transfer it to another.

If this crap becomes commonplace consider the effects on actual, private, free-market development and building. What's the point in buying land for development unless you've already made sure that the local officials favor you. Otherwise, they'll just take the land you've just bought and give it to their buddies. What does that spell, boy and girls? C-o-r-r-u-p-t-i-o-n! Yeah!

This little bit from the article is also worth considering:

Ridgefield has taken land from Eureka V once before. In December 2000, the town took 458 acres paid Eureka V and paid $12.2 million.

The property was sold to the state Department of Environmental Protection and is being maintained as open space.
At least until they get a good offer from some developer (read: one who sufficiently lines certain political pockets). Then they'll have a change of heart and we'll suddenly see office space appearing. What does that spell boys and girls? C-o-r-r-u-p-t I-n-v-e-s-t-m-e-n-t P-r-o-p-e-r-t-y! Yeah!


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