The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Owe You What?!!!! Part The Second...

Just got this - with the question, "If New London knows that they don't need the land and the residents can stay, then why do they want to seize it anyway and force Mrs. Kelo and others to pay rent?"

The answer is two-fold: First, the city has already seized the land. What would have to happen now is some sort of re-conveyance to the original owners (which shouldn't be too hard, since I don't believe any money has actually changed hands).

But second, and more importantly, the city knows that once the Pfizer plant moves in, Kelo et al will have prime pieces of real estate on their hands, which they can deal with as they choose. But if the city holds onto this land, the value shoots up and the city can charge outrageous market-based rents, so that Kelo et al will _have_ to move - and then the city can sell that more-highly-valued land to a developer interested in those prime lots.

Here's the article:

Compromise Proposed in Eminent Domain Fight

The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 7, 2006; 10:53 AM

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The mayor of New London, where a fight over government seizing property led to a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling, is proposing a compromise for a group of homeowners.

Under a plan presented to the City Council Monday night, four people whose homes were seized for a private development would be allowed to stay. The city would own their properties and the residents would have to pay the city to live there.

Two other homeowners were excluded from Mayor Beth Sabilia's plan; one doesn't live in the home and the other moved in after the court battle began.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June that the quasi-public New London Development Corp. could take homes in the Fort Trumbull area for private economic development. The 94-acre project, proposed in 1998, calls for a hotel, office space and upscale housing.

The court also said states are free to ban the taking of property under eminent domain for such projects, and many states have begun considering such bans.

One of the property owners who sued over the Fort Trumbull seizures, Susette Kelo, said the mayor's proposal shows that the houses and the private development can coexist. But she and another plaintiff, Michael Cristofaro, said they aren't interested in paying rent for homes they owned.

"The ongoing battle of the last eight years has not been to allow us to live in our homes and pay rent to the city of New London until we die," Kelo said.

The city council voted Monday to collect rent from the homeowners while city Law Director Thomas Londregan studies the mayor's proposal.

Michael Joplin, president of the New London Development Corp., said the agency would defer to the council's decision.

The government offered what it said was fair value for the Fort Trumbull homes. Most residents took the money and left, but those remaining either say the money isn't enough or their homes aren't for sale at all. Money for the houses still standing has been set aside for the homeowners.

© 2006 The Associated Press

----end quoted material---

I'm not surprised. I don't know why anyone else is.

- Andrew Langer


Blogger Andrew Langer said...

BTW - Apparently, efforts to put a measure on the ballot in Weare, NH to take Justice Souter's home have hit a setback. Information can be found here:

February 08, 2006 9:39 AM


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