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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)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Surprise, Surprise, NLDC Lied

As I mentioned yesterday Michael Cristofaro informed me that the NLDC is demanding rent from the people whose houses they are stealing. It wasn't clear (to me anyway) until last night just what they meant by that. Apparently, the NLDC is demanding that the property owners pay them rent retroactive to November 2000! Michael informs me that would come out to more than $75,000 per property (that's a rate, incidentally of ~$1,700/month).

In yet another bit of slimy dealings:

Goebel [chief operating officer for the NLDC], though, said the NLDC's understanding is that the moratorium applies only to new eminent domain proceedings.

The proceeding in Fort Trumbull dates back to Nov. 14, 2000, Goebel said.

"We have to do what's best for the taxpayers," he said.
Oh, right. Well, I guess that clears everything up. Thanks Mr. Goebel.

[Off camera]
Wait, what was the IJ? Hum. Interesting. Ok, I'll tell them.
[Back on camera]
Here's the Institute of Justice's latest press release. Is Mr. Goebel a lying sack of...? You be the judge:

NLDC Lies Continue:
Associated Press Report Impeaches
NLDC Claims That Moratorium Promise
Now Only Applies To New Takings

Washington, D.C.-The NLDC’s lie that their promise to abide by a moratorium called for by the Connecticut governor and the legislature applied only to new projects and not the Fort Trumbull homeowners is easily exposed by the July 26, 2005, Associated Press report. In regard to the NLDC and the moratorium, AP reported:

“Fresh off a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed the seizing of property for private development, a New London agency has agreed to hold off on construction plans while state lawmakers consider limiting eminent domain powers.

Michael Joplin, president of the New London Development Corp., told The Day of New London that his agency will allow houses in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood to stand while the legislature takes up the eminent domain issue.

State lawmakers have asked all local governments in Connecticut to refrain from seizing property for private development until they decide whether such action should be allowed.

Although the Supreme Court, in its 5-4 decision last month, ruled that New London could take homes in Fort Trumbull to build a privately owned hotel and office space, the court also said states are free to ban the taking of property for such projects. States across the country are now considering such bans.

Because the state had previously sanctioned the city’s use of eminent domain for Fort Trumbull, it was unclear whether lawmakers could make New London delay its plans.

‘We are going to abide by the moratorium,’ Joplin said.

But city officials added that they were in no hurry to remove the Fort Trumbull owners from their property when lawmakers asked for the moratorium.”

In a statement issued today, the NLDC wrote, “In July of this year, NLDC agreed to a voluntary moratorium on new eminent domain takings in the City of New London, in response to a request from the Connecticut General Assembly. The State Legislature sought a voluntary moratorium on such takings so it could review the present statutes governing the ability of municipalities to take property for economic development purposes. That review is presently underway and the Legislature is expected to take appropriate action in the upcoming 2006 regular session. The NLDC will continue to honor the request for a voluntary moratorium on new takings.”

“The NLDC’s claim that the moratorium on eminent domain applied only to new cases and not to the homes in New London is a blatant lie,” said Scott Bullock, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice, which represents the Fort Trumbull homeowners. “Now the NLDC is not only breaking its word and defying both Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut legislature, but it is outright lying to the media and the public.” (emphasis in original)
Well, there you have it folks. Up to the minute info on the continuing saga in New London. The homeowners have pledged to keep up the fight and I think the least we can do is keep up with the issue and be ready to lend support where we are able.


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