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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)

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Two Eminent Domain Bills In CT

From The Day (subscription required).

Lawmakers To Review Two Eminent Domain Proposals

The legislature's Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing next week on two proposals to revise the state statutes concerning eminent domain.

The committee, which will meet at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, will review two draft bills it generated after public hearings this summer, triggered by the storm of criticism following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of Kelo v. New London.
The first proposed bill would essentially rewrite the statute used by the state and the New London Development Corp. to condemn the properties in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood for purposes of economic development.

The new language would add numerous procedural requirements. One of those would add a new check to development agencies like the NLDC, requiring a municipality to evaluate whether the agency's development plan meets all the necessary criteria for public benefit and has a “reasonable expectation” of success before voting it up or down.

The second draft bill, which Lawlor said was “arguably more important,” would apply to all of the numerous clauses dealing with eminent domain throughout state statutes. The bill would require that every usage of the takings power for economic development be subjected to a three-pronged test showing that it is part of “an integrated development plan that has substantial and significant public uses or public benefits,” that it is not solely for the benefit of a private party, and that the taking is “reasonably necessary” to carry out the plan.
From these sparse descriptions it would appear that the state legislatures are still going with the idea that economic development falls within the concept of public use. So far I'm not terribly encouraged, but we'll just have to wait and see what the bills actually look like when I can get my hands on them.


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