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http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20050624/ts_usatoday/seizinglandforprivateuseokd

This is BS.

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June 24th, 2005, 9:08 am
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You're right, that is a load of crap. What this does is open the doors for developers to 'bribe' their way into developing commercial properties currently held by homeowners. Presuming that local government officials will 'act in the best interests of the community' is a pretty far-fetched idea when developers will likely wave millions of dollars in front of their faces. I hate liberal Supreme Court justices. This ruling supports my feelings about them.

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June 24th, 2005, 9:20 am
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I hate liberal Supreme Court justices.


I dislike the conservative wing. :lol:

I am very disappointed in the liberals though. It is definitly something that will favor the rich.

I was watching a John Stossel special and he showed a neighboorhood that was going to be evicted and bulldozed for a furniture store.

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June 24th, 2005, 9:40 am
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Post Laws of Eminent Domain.
BS2053,

This isn't as bad as it might sound. The laws of eminent domain have been around since the birth of our nation and they make a ton of sence. The word Seizure does not mean 'take away without compensation' as many people believe; but rather it means 'the taking possession of person or property by legal process'. Property isn't stolen as implied in this article but rather purchased at a fair price (usually and historically more than fair for the homeowner).

Do you remember the old Buggs Bunny Cartoon where the construction guys wanted to build the highway over his hole in the ground? He fought and fought and in the end the builders had to build the road around his home.

Eminent domain seizures "must be in public interest" and it doesn't help anybody to have their home sitting 10 feet from a highway.

The way this article is written you would think peoples homes are taken without exchange of money and they are cast out into the street. That's not the case at all.


June 24th, 2005, 9:41 am
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The way this article is written you would think peoples homes are taken without exchange of money and they are cast out into the street. That's not the case at all.



I didn't even read that particular article, I just wanted to find one about the ruling so we could discuss it.

I don't think it matters whether they pay the homeowners 1.5X the value of the property, I still think its wrong. I realize that eminent domain has been a part of our government, but I don't think it should be used to build businesses on homes.

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June 24th, 2005, 9:47 am
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USA Today wrote:
A city in Washington state removed a woman in her 80s from her home of 55 years supposedly to expand a sewer plant, then sold the land to an auto dealership.


? A New Jersey development agency tried to seize an elderly woman's home and two businesses to provide more parking for one of Donald Trump's casino hotels; the state Supreme Court stopped it.


? A city in Kansas took a used-car lot and turned it over to the new-car dealer next door, who had failed in his efforts to buy the site from the previous owner.

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June 24th, 2005, 10:03 am
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bsand2053 wrote:
USA Today wrote:
A city in Washington state removed a woman in her 80s from her home of 55 years supposedly to expand a sewer plant, then sold the land to an auto dealership.


? A New Jersey development agency tried to seize an elderly woman's home and two businesses to provide more parking for one of Donald Trump's casino hotels; the state Supreme Court stopped it.


? A city in Kansas took a used-car lot and turned it over to the new-car dealer next door, who had failed in his efforts to buy the site from the previous owner.



BS2053,

I can't debate the details of the 3 cases you site based on one or two sentences of a story.

However, the first story demonstrates EXACTLY WHY emanate domain exists. How does the fact that someone has lived in a home for half a century override the fact that hundreds of thousands (if not Millions) of people need a larger sewer plant?

If they made the sewer plant smaller to accommodate her sentimental value of her home the entire community suffers. And if the neighborhood has deteriorated to the point that there's a sewer plant next door - isn't it time she moved anyway?

I'm sure there are the occasional attempted abuses to the legal system but I'm also convinced that they often times get squashed per the Trump story.

In the big picture eminent domain makes sense for everyone.


June 24th, 2005, 10:52 am
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My beef isn't for sewer plants, its with car dealerships and furniture stores. They wouldn't be worth it. I can see a sewer plant, but local govs. are evicting people from their homes for a business. Thats what gets under my skin.

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June 24th, 2005, 11:08 am
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Post Re: Laws of Eminent Domain.
LionFan57 wrote:
This isn't as bad as it might sound. The laws of eminent domain have been around since the birth of our nation and they make a ton of sense. The word Seizure does not mean 'take away without compensation' as many people believe; but rather it means 'the taking possession of person or property by legal process'.


The ONLY legal process for obtaining property that is not considered to be in a state of blight should be by agreeable purchase, where both seller and buyer agree upon a price. If the owner is not willing to sell, then that's just too bad. Our government, local or federal, should not be assuming that much power in the interests of private business developments.

LionFan57 wrote:
Property isn't stolen as implied in this article but rather purchased at a fair price (usually and historically more than fair for the homeowner).


What is 'fair' to you may not be acceptable to another. The only 'fair' price is what the current owner is willing to accept. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, but I guess that doesn't apply for our government.

LionFan57 wrote:
Eminent domain seizures "must be in public interest" and it doesn't help anybody to have their home sitting 10 feet from a highway.


In the case of a highway or thoroughfare, I can understand this, but not for strip malls or other private businesses that are NOT in the public interest. Should the local city or governments obtain land and/or homes through the measure of 'eminent domain', that property should then stay in the hands of that body of government for at least twenty or so years, rather than immediately being sold to a private business. That land should be used only for public works.

LionFan57 wrote:
The way this article is written you would think peoples homes are taken without exchange of money and they are cast out into the street. That's not the case at all.


You are confusing financials with what is right. When a person purchases a property and maintains that property to the standards of the surrounding community, no agency should be allowed to seize that property without a damned good reason. Furniture stores and car dealerships don't define good reasons to me. Were it your property that you had lived in for most of your life, what would your feelings be? And giving a person a 'fair and equitable' value for that property when they have refused to sell it is just plain WRONG!! It is just as wrong for the government to 'seize' properties like this as it is for the law to tell you to exit your house instead of defending it against an intruder. What a person has worked for and achieved legally should not be so easily given up. Our country was founded on principles such as this.

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June 24th, 2005, 11:52 am
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Firstly, there is a difference between zoning laws that are dealt with at the local and county level. (IE, deciding where the houses, business and industrial sites go). The laws and powers of emanate domain reside at the state and federal level. (Deciding where the roads, power lines, sewer plants, etc. go).

In either case these government bodies have meetings that can be attended by the people (you, me, Buggs Bunny and the little old lady who won't move). We are allowed to speak our mind at these meetings. Furthermore we are allowed to vote for the people sitting on all these boards conducting these meetings and ultimately making these decisions. In fact our vote empowered them to make these decisions for us.

My point being that the masses (all of us) ultimately decide these things and they are done in the public interest (not necessarily an individuals) and it's a laborious process to change anything on purpose. And all of us don't always get our own way - the majority does - with respect to the rights of the minority. Our country, M2K, was founded on THAT principal.

Secondly, Both of you - M2K and BS2053, did exactly the same thing. When it's sewers or roads that help YOU - emanate domain is fine. When it's a shopping mall or strip mall that some developer wants to put in it doesn't help you directly so now emanate domain is wrong and the little old lady should keep her house. The reality is that developer is likely a member of your community too and indirectly that mall drives up your property value and helps the community flourish.

Without all this growth the community dies - it's that simple. Growth or death - pick one. Stagnant is not an option it's just slower death.

Thirdly, (and case in point) That 80 year old lady was born in 1925 and started driving around age 15 or so (around 1940). Highways where scarce and the road system as we now know it was almost non existent. Along the way - from then until now - you would be naieve to think that someone's home or farm was not gobbled up for a road, school, railway, power line, airport, sewer plant, etc. She didn't mind when it happened to someone else - she enjoyed the road, the school her kids went to, the electricity and running water, etc. Because of that progress people moved to her community and increased the tax base so more progress could happen.

At some point bad city management made the town slide backwards and people moved to neighboring towns. As that happened her property value fell and the state and other municipalities decided to construct a sewer plant in her backyard. They could have voted not to; but they masses decided it was more important to not have raw sewage back up into their basements. Those people voted - via probably a tax increase and by NOT going to the appropriate meetings to protect her home. Her home was no longer viable - the masses wanted the sewer. The people didn't want the sewer near the $400K plus houses - they wanted it near the 60 and 70 year old homes in the not - so - nice areas where the property values for a house are only $50 - 70K.

Forth. When someone is offered money for their house it's not 1.5 times the value it's more likely to be 2 - 2.5 times the value. Now, I hope you realize a woman with a house valued at $65 is never going to get anyone else on the planet to offer $130 - 160K for it.

I'm understanding of the fact that selling the house she's always lived in and raised her children in is traumatic for her. I'm confident it's very unsettling. But I'm equally confident her kids want her out of the neighborhood anyway. Wouldn't you want your parents or grandparents out of such an environment regardless of the financial issues? The money is indented to make the move easier and compensate her for her memories.

And don't forget there could be a young family struggling to make ends meet right next door and this is a golden opportunity to get out of the area and get their kids in better schools. A life changing event for all of them.

Now I'm using the sewer plant as an example - but it really doesn't matter what it is - the principal and the cycle is the same. It all contributes to helping the community grow and prosper. It's called progress.

It started about 300 years ago when we began taking land from the Indians - only we didn't give them a chance to vote about it.


June 24th, 2005, 8:13 pm
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My sentiment is that a road or a public works facility is for the good of the community and the property remains in the hands of the public. It doesn't get sold to a private business owner for a profit. Eminent domain should ONLY be attributed to such cases. That is my point. The case where a community used eminent domain to 'seize' a person's property under the premise that the land was to be used for a new sewer treatment plant, and then sold that land to a developer is a fine example of a misappropriation of governmental power. Just because an official is voted into office doesn't guarantee that what they do is for the good of the majority. Too often we find that they will manipulate the system in their own best interests. To think that a great deal of these politicians will always 'do the right thing' is being naive on your part. I may have voted for the official in question, but it doesn't mean that I like what he/she is doing in that instance.

Yes, there are meetings that can be attended to discuss such matters. But unless we have an extraordinary amount of spare time on our hands, too few of us are aware of these measures until they are reported after the fact. And as for us being allowed to speak at those meetings, that is true. However, many times I have witnessed people with dissenting opinions being removed from the building because the elected officials don't want to deal with them. I have also seen instances where the majority of a community were against an action, only to have their voices fall on the deaf ears of a small group of elected officials who 'acted in the communities best interest.' So don't try and pass off the idea that the 'majority rules' all the time. It doesn't always work that way. The community isn't a bunch of uneducated children, and instances like this often don't get too much media attention on a large scale. Ultimately the real losers are the community, because the actions taken usually can't be undone without a huge legal undertaking that lasts for years.

Don't try and make this out to be that I am only interested in what best suits me. I am interested in what best suits the citizens and their rights, not what best suits the government. Our government is supposed to be 'we the people'. However, there are entirely too many government officials who take the office for granted, and who abuse that faith of the people for their own selfish ambitions and self serving ideals. THOSE are the individuals who should have their homes and property seized from them, not the individuals who have rightfully purchased and made a home for themselves. Speak not to me of us having the final decision on such matters. We don't make those decisions, the people elected into office do. As individuals, our only rights that matter are to vote and give our opinions afterward. We have no decision making ability in government.

I don't have a problem with the natural growth of a community. And while it is true that adding business and new developments helps property values, too much can damage those values just as quickly.

As I stated before, what would you do if you were on the receiving end of this action? What would you do if you had spent 50 years developing and making a home for yourself and other wanted you to simply 'go away' so that a business could be placed where you spent the better part of your life? People like that have been active parts of that community for longer than most have been alive, and have earned the right to live out there years where they are most comfortable.

Remember one thing LF57. Every time, throughout history, that a governing body of people have been given too much power it has lead to tragedy. One of the reasons our Founding Fathers included the second article in the Bill of Rights was to ensure that our government never became more powerful than the citizens it oversaw. That if the military ever decided to take over this country, 'we the people' would have the ability to fight back with a pretty good chance of doing so successfully. Allowing the government on any level to do what was outlined in that particular article is just plain wrong. This was an article speaking about how cities, not states or the federal government, can now enact 'eminent domain' for the development of private business.

You can say whatever you want LF57, you are entitled. But I am not speaking for myself, I am speaking for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people across this country that will suffer for this bungled decision. I am speaking for those people who will be overlooked by their local officials who are too busy staring at dollar signs and are thinking of themselves more than 'the community'. I am thinking about that little old lady, who spent a lifetime becoming comfortable in her home and planned to live her last days there, instead of being uprooted by a bunch of greedy mongrels thinking only of themselves. There is always an alternative. If you can't get the woman to sell her house, go build somewhere else. She's earned the right to stay put, nobody has earned the right to make her leave against her will. And how can you possibly put a price on memories? Do you really think a woman or man that old is interested in the money aspect of all this. You speak so frivolously of how such a move would be 'unsettling and traumatic'. Would you want to be looking for a new residence in your old age. And while you may be confident her children want her to move, I am not so confident. They may like her right where she's at and support her decision to stay and not sell. Besides, it's her house, not the childrens. Therefore, it's her decision. And her decision should be respected by all, including the city.

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June 24th, 2005, 10:12 pm
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This issue of emanate domain has recently come into the media because of the supreme court case this last week. No home or property has EVER been seized for anything other than public works. (sewer plants, roads, etc.). Last week the supreme court (in a 5 - 4 decision) allowed emanate domain to extend to private business.

The case involved the drug company Pfizer who wants to purchase a city block (somewhere in the New England area - Groton, Massachusetts - I suspect) in order to built an enormous manufacturing plant and office facility. The block they targeted is an old, run down, dilapidated, no longer within code, combination of homes, apartments, and small business. Everyone but 15 people accepted the offer to move. I don't know what numbers are involved with "everyone" (obviously many) and I don't know the incentive to stay for the 15 (most likely sentimental for some, financial for others).

Pfizer won. It's now indisputable law. Case closed. The people have to move. Period!

Pfizer had 3 choices:

1) Build the facility overseas. This obviously takes valuable jobs away from the American public.

2) Find virgin land to build on. Thereby destroying forest and / or wetlands and hurting wildlife and environment.

3) The avenue they pursued.


m2karateman wrote:
And how can you possibly put a price on memories?


That's pathetic!

The memories are in her head - they go where she goes. Example: My mother is dead - I am capable of thinking about her without going back to the house where I grew up.

The offering price for the house where the memories took place is several times the value of a piece of property. Take it - it's a good deal! No one else will ever offer close to that. It's financial value is now virtually obsolete. The wiring and plumbing is shot. Roofs need replacing, again. Crack houses. Crime. Rats. All live in a place that was once maybe beautiful - 60 plus years ago. If the place burned down people would be screaming that it should have been brought up to code. At a cost that is more than the property itself. In another 20 years the building will crumble to the ground anyway. The place is an eyesore and a hazard.

No one is asking for her to give up her memories; they're asking her to move. You either fail to see the difference or are using the same ridiculous 'feel - sorry - for - her' argument that failed in court.

And obviously YOU are able to put a price on American jobs and forest land. It's easy to read the paper and feel sorry for the little old lady when you don't see the whole picture and no one asks you to think about the alternatives.

What about the unemployed guy that desperately needs that job to get his kids thru school if not clothe and feed them? What about the business that will still be in the community and will thrive off of the workers at the new facility? What about the taxes that will be paid by both Pfizer and the employees that will go to improve the entire community and state? Whether it was a power plant or an office building - some contractor somewhere is going to build it. He's not going to do it for free. That's more jobs, more supplies bought from yet another company. God forbid the American businessman make a dollar or two. The ripple effect in the economy is far outreaching the value of the property today.

m2karateman wrote:
You speak so frivolously of how such a move would be 'unsettling and traumatic'.


Your comment offends me and angers me. I CAN SEE her side of it and I do feel bad for her. She is afraid of change - many elderly people are. But I choose to go with the other side of the argument for the greater good of the masses. You apply emotion to the discussion without considering the whole issue and don't even know what side of the argument you want to be on.

Two weeks ago you where posting about American auto company jobs going overseas! Here's a company trying to keep the jobs in the U.S. and it's still not good enough for you. Detroit, for example, has block after block of rundown houses and buildings along with unemployment and crime. I for one, would love it if Pfizer chose to bulldoze those areas and rebuild there giving many hundreds of jobs to a community that desperately needs it.

m2karateman wrote:
I am speaking for those people who will be overlooked by their local officials who are too busy staring at dollar signs and are thinking of themselves more than 'the community'. I am thinking about that little old lady, who spent a lifetime becoming comfortable in her home and planned to live her last days there, instead of being uprooted by a bunch of greedy mongrels thinking only of themselves.


You imply that with emanate domain laws available to business' like Pfizer and not public works will cause corruption in local government. Maybe it will - but there are checks and balances. And it can be delt with in the appropriate manner if it happens. If I apply your way of thinking - why don't we just get rid of the police force. After all, every once in a while we find out a cop is on the take.

m2karateman wrote:
I have also seen instances where the majority of a community were against an action, only to have their voices fall on the deaf ears of a small group of elected officials who 'acted in the communities best interest.


I don't believe you've seen that. I believe you saw a room full of angry people that are a minuet percentage of the community. The rest of the community either didn't care or where voting their opinion by NOT being there. If someone got removed it's because they couldn't control their emotions and their demeanor not because they had a different opinion.

You prove this to me with this statement...

m2karateman wrote:
I am not speaking for myself, I am speaking for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people across this country that will suffer for this bungled decision.


Here's a flash. There's 270 Million people in this country. "Hundred or perhaps thousands" is a tiny percentage.

Your argument is entirely focused on you and your emotion not on the facts, the big picture or the needs of the community.

m2karateman wrote:
One of the reasons our Founding Fathers included the second article in the Bill of Rights was to ensure that our government never became more powerful than the citizens it oversaw.


Our Founding Fathers didn't have a problem with the laws of emanate domain either and they provided in the constitution that governments powers could be added to or subtracted from depending on changing circumstances. These laws exist to override emotional responses to the legitimate needs of the community.

Oh, And they are laws. If you don't like them... run for office and change them.


June 26th, 2005, 4:06 pm
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June 26th, 2005, 5:20 pm
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LionFan57 wrote:
No home or property has EVER been seized for anything other than public works.





Quote:
A city in Kansas took a used-car lot and turned it over to the new-car dealer next door, who had failed in his efforts to buy the site from the previous owner.

:?

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June 26th, 2005, 5:42 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
:
I am not speaking for myself, I am speaking for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people across this country that will suffer for this bungled decision.



Here's a flash. There's 270 Million people in this country. "Hundred or perhaps thousands" is a tiny percentage.



Its not a tiny percentage when you are the one who is kicked out of your house.

You don't seem to get that it is so easy for the people with money to take advantage of this kind of thing. Your list of 3 options is a little simplistic. This site that you were talking about could not have been the only place Pfizer could use/afford. God knows they charge enough for their product.

The fact that this is Pfizer is the whole issue. They are such a large company, and they have much more influence than you or I have. I don't want to be thrown out of my house because a multi-billion dollar corporation paid their way to the politican's ears and threatened to pull campaign money. This system lends itself to being maniulated by the rich, see Donald Trump's casino example.

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June 26th, 2005, 8:48 pm
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