Skip to comments.We’re From the Government and We’re Here to Build a Bike Path. Municipal officials are using eminent domain to take private property for recreational uses.
Posted on 02/15/2020 4:48:38 AM PST by karpov
The practice of government taking land for recreational usestypically bike lanes, hiking paths and fashionable rail trails and greenwaysis spreading across the country, marking a sharp and troubling expansion of eminent domain. The Takings Clause of the Constitutions Fifth Amendment grants government the authority to seize property to be used for the public good, as long as government pays just compensation to the owner. Over the years, the Supreme Court has consistently expanded what is considered a public good to justify government seizures. In 2005, for instance, the high court upheld the taking of Susette Kelos waterfront home by the city of New London, Conn., so that a local development corporation could build high-end condos and a hotel. The redevelopment was intended to boost property values and increase municipal tax revenues.
Meanwhile, cities and towns across America have in recent years developed an appetite for different types of lengthy, sometimes intrusive hiking and bike paths. Advocates contend that such recreational amenities are vital because they promote alternative forms of transportation. Bike trails are increasingly being used as a nonrecreational means of transportation, particularly by lower-income residents without access to a motor vehicle, testified Jason Segedy, director of planning and urban development for Akron, Ohio, in opposition to Rep. Mannings bill.
Municipal land grabs often result in bitter confrontations. Officials in Sioux City, Iowa, sought to complete a riverfront recreation trail in 2017 by offering Brad Lepper half of what an independent county commission had ruled his property was worth. Rather than pay up in full, the city invoked eminent domain, prompting Mr. Lepper to wage a two-year legal battle. He represented himself for much of the time.
It can be an intimidating process for a small-business owner to fight this, and many people probably wouldnt risk it,
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...
I fought the law and the law won...
Militant bikers are a scourge everywhere.
In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the city wanted to widen a road. They used Eminent Domain to take three contiguous lots from the owner of a local bicycle shop. Gave him pennies on the dollar.
After they were done, they offered two of the lots back to the owner at five times what they had paid. When he balked, the city told him off the record that they would offer them to his competition before putting on the market.
They did that technique up and down the road, and used the proceeds to help pay for the roadwork.
In NY, the codified law requires developers to give property to the municipality for public use in exchange for planning board approval of the development. That’s whats called a “quid pro quo.”
"Just compensation" means that the government should have to pay the full value of the property that the government used to assess property tax upon the owner.
From the article:
It can be an intimidating process for a small-business owner to fight this, and many people probably wouldnt risk it, Mr. Lepper says. I took this on myself because I couldnt afford to run up big legal bills, but I knew the property was worth much more. Hiring his own appraiser and planning expert, Mr. Lepper ultimately won an $82,500 settlement. Still, it was an uncomfortable experience. Im a local businessman. I have to do business here. I didnt want to fight the city.
Not exactly a happy ending, but a just one.
That is really nasty!
the critical mass folks aren’t content to just logjam traffic once a month now, they impose empty special lanes to congest traffic further.
Statists hate private property (Point 1 in the communist manifesto is the abolition of private property) and plan to take as much of it as possible.
What they can’t take, they burden with laws that prevent the owner from using his property as he sees fit.
all of that is legal now that your land can be seized for higher tax dollar business owners
Typically, if the benefits of a project exceed the costs people will build the project without government involvement, in a mysterious process called the free market, but more accurately referred to as freedom.
That leaves the government with nothing to do, unless they can dream up a lot of projects whose costs outweigh the benefits. But people wouldn’t vote for those projects unless the politicians lie and claim the benefits are much greater than they really are and also underplay (and, where possible, underpay) the costs.
In Seattle years back Seattle used emanate domain to take this old lady’s house for something, forgot, anyway they didn’t build on it and later sold it to a car dealer so she’s out of her house, was torn down, wasn’t used and then sold.
Not to mention that some politician grow wealthy somehow in the process.
Here they built a wide path for miles along the roadway but separate from it by a 4 to 6 foot landscape. Of course the bike pests still use the road.
The author uses a pretty poor example to make his case here. He may not like bike paths, but a public park is a legitimate public use for an eminent domain acquisition. Blurring the line between a Kelo situation and a bike path doesnt help his cause at all.
In the kelo case, I dont believe they ever built it. Not as of a few years ago.
They didn't, AND, the pharmaceutical company research facility (Pfizer) that was supposed to be an anchor/draw for the hotel moved to MA. Eminent domain should rarely, if ever, be used, and then only for definitely crucial purposes - not for bike paths, hiking trails, or a road that some developer wants so that his/her development will have better accessibility.
The good news is that the property is now a dump (literally) generating no tax revenue for the city of New London.
I have a bad feeling about our property, our whole neighborhood. Last year our city released something they call the 20 year plan. It has the “city center” in a large commercial area just across the highway to the west and a “neighborhood center” just across the highway to the north (we live where two highways cross) lots of city stuff is all around us, big library, city hall. City recreation center, senior center, etc. And they are making noise about a city fine arts center and park....then in October we got our tax valuation for the year, for the first time in 13 years it went down. Looks like bastards are plotting to buy our neighborhood on the cheap.
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