Yesterday we talked about the eminent domain battle that is just beginning to heat up in Nashville. This battle involves the huge corporation, Lionstone Group, vs. the tiny little next door neighbor, Joy Ford.
Ford is standing in the way of progress, according to some. Get rid of her miniature, dollhouse sized building and plop down that large office/condo complex.
But there’s a much greater issue at stake here. Property rights. If you don’t believe your property is safe from seizure, you really can’t invest in real estate.
Wait a minute. What about the new office/condo? Don’t they have a right to invest also? Won’t they be paying a whole lot more property taxes than Ford?
That’s not the point. Ford got there first. If they want her land so badly, they’ll have to pay big bucks to convince her to give up the sentimental value of her building; a building where country music hits of the past were created. (Isn’t this the main theme in most Westerns?)
Here’s where it gets interesting.
As we discussed yesterday, Ford has a new ally, The Institute of Justice. They’re in the process of convincing her to stay out of court.
Shouldn’t she have her day in court to receive justice?
No. It’s too expensive and the court will most likely side with Lionstone.
The Institute of Justice thinks there’s a better way, and here’s today’s lesson. Try your case in public.
Organize people to get involved on a grassroots level.
Does Lionstone really want that? Probably not.
More importantly, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency doesn’t want that. Could it be the MDHA is very aware of what the public thinks? Does the MDHA really want to beat this woman down in public while appearing to side with Lionstone- all for the benefit of more tax dollars?
Here’s the problem for them. Eminent domain is not popular with the public. It never has been.
Most people don’t like seeing the little guy or gal thrown off his or her land. It’s the deep American dream of owning your own house, business and land that they’re tinkering with. And just like the theme of almost every Western you’ve ever watched, it’s as passionate today as it ever was. Proceed with extreme caution.
Other Interesting Discussions About Eminent Domain: