Sunday, May 07, 2006

Session Results 2: Over - restrictive eminent domain bill passes

The legislature passed a grossly over-restrictive eminent domain bill. Here's the link. It will generally require a condemning authority to hold property for 10 years before conveying it to a private party or entity.

Even worse - it purports to prevent the use of eminent domain to acquire blighted properties (OK, anti-CRA) and holdst that the use of eminent domain to abate a public nuisance is not a valid public purpose.

Given the court cases out there that hold that over-restrictive nuisance abatement actions (like shutting down a motel for a year without first giving the owner a fair chance to abate nuisances) constitute a taking - inverse condemnation - this legislative holding is patently ridiculous. The essence of the injunctive power of courts to order a private party to cease a zoning violation is that such violations are public nuisances. If there is no valid public purpose in buying property to abate a nuisance, how can there be a valid public purpose in ordering a person to abate it?

Can't wait to see THAT as a defense.

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