Eminent Domain Battles, Part III

My Cat 5 tantrum continues. Here is what a person writing to another blog had to say about eminent domain.

“I’ve been of two minds about these cases from the start. And I’ve been hoping my ambivalence isn’t just because it would be nice to be able to shop at Crate and Barrel without driving to Chicago.”

Two minds? The Constitution is of one mind on this issue.

 

My Cat 5 tantrum continues.  Here is what   a person writing to another blog had to say about eminent  domain.

"I’ve been of two minds about these cases from the start.  And I’ve been hoping my ambivalence isn’t just because it would be nice to be able to shop at Crate and Barrel without driving to Chicago."

Two minds?  The Constitution is of one mind on this issue.  Americans have been given certain rights to own property.   What is really important? Another big box store or an older couple keeping the home they worked and paid for? 

"And of course I would not like to be forced to sell my home to a developer."

Well put.  But isn’t that exactly what the Saleets  were saying? 

"On the other hand…" 

Uh, oh.

"Might the public good sometimes include the economic good of our cities?  Why not?  Houses are of great  sentimental value, but they are fundamentally just a big  piece of stuff that someone took from someone, who took from someone… who took from the animals, etc."

But didn’t the Saleets have a recorded deed?  They had exchanged  hard cash  for the property and had the deed recorded properly, according to law, to prove it. 

That’s all Jim Saleet needed to keep his homestead.  There was no larceny involved except it you consider  the city trying to take it from him.

"Who took from the animals"..

I live on an acre lot in the heart of Nashville and there are lots of birds, squirrels, a couple of  rabbit families, an opossum or two,  and an old stray black cat living there right along with us.  They haven’t gone anywhere.  Whoops.  I almost forgot to mention the coyote.  And coyotes are not even native to our area.  Or at least they weren’t until some wildlife "experts"  introduced them here  a few years ago.

The person writes more.

"Recently, a city waterworks crew foreman told me that I should check my deed because the city’s right of way may extend much farther than just over the sidewalk but perhaps halfway up my yard– meaning that the city won’t even have to pay to repair any damage to landscaping  they cause if they need to go that far into the property.  I was indignant."

Hello.  Real world to disgruntled [tag-tec]property owner[/tag-tec].  Now I guess you kind of feel like Jim Saleet did, huh?  On a much smaller scale, of course.  They were going to take all of his property. 

"Last summer a similar thing happened when they replaced the gas mains and ripped into everyone’s  yard.  My lawn is still a mess but the privately held Fortune 500  gas company raised their rates anyhow.  And every month I have to let them into my house to read the meters in my basement because they have decided that is is cheaper(for them)  than installing remotely readable meters.  The lesson is that our houses are only mostly ours to begin with."

So the Fortune 500 company can  just come in and take a few feet here and there all for the purpose of making more profit at your expense?  And you’re going to give it to them?  

"If one thing seems obvious to me, it is that once inititated eminent domain battles are lose-lose situations for both the sell-outs and the hold-outs.  If the city and the developer, and the sell-outs win, someone gets forced off  their  property…  There has to be a better system "

There is a better system and you can read about it in The [tag-ice]Contstitution[/tag-ice]. 

We’ve stilll got a great big country  out there from Maine to Montana.  There’s still a lot of vacant land ripe for development.   With more people working on The Internet now they can choose to live anywhere they want.  Are the developers listening?  We  don’t have to live in a crowded smog-ingesting traffic congested metropolis anymore. 

As for shopping at Crate and Barrel.    They’re online now.  http://www.crateandbarrel.com  

 

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