|Woman in eminent domain
case reaches deal to move
(Note: The power brokers had to work a little harder in order to separate Susette Kelo from her property, and in the end had to forego their lust to use the wrecking ball on her lovely home. She 'gets' to have it moved to another piece of land. It's a victory for property rights in the sense that the name Kelo -- as in Kelo v. New London Development Corporation -- has become a household word. Most people in America equate "Kelo" with the specter of eminent domain gone awry. The Supreme Court decision on June 23rd, 2005, to 'rule' on the side of 'redevelopment' as a "public use" was, in reality, an excellent wake-up call to Americans that property rights could impact anyone, including each of them. It is highly recommended that you also read the succinct and well-written article titled "Overcoming an Infamous Day for Property Owners' Rights" by Anne Keller of the American Farm Bureau Federation [email protected] or 202-406-3659 located here: http://www.fb.org/views/focus/fo2006/fo0703.html.)
Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times
Under an agreement announced Friday, Kelo's quaint, peach-colored house will be moved to another location. Kelo, 49, can remain in the 19th Century cottage at its present waterfront location for up to a year, until a new site is selected.
No financial details of a transaction that was weeks in the making were released.
"I am not happy about giving up my property, but I am very glad that my home, which means so much to me, will not be demolished and I will remain living in it," Kelo said Friday.
In the waterfront district of Ft. Trumbull, Kelo and fellow homeowner Pasquale Cristofaro were the final plaintiffs in the landmark case of Kelo vs. New London to reach an accord with the city. The Cristofaro home will be razed, but the family will be able to buy a new home in the area at an undisclosed fixed price.
The case pitted seven property owners in a working-class area close to where the Thames River flows into Long Island Sound against state and local officials who wanted to revitalize the area with a commercial project. The goal was to generate increased tax revenue and expand employment opportunities in a tired, old city.
In a 5-4 decision last June, the Supreme Court gave governments the right to seize private property and transfer it to another private owner in the interest of economic development.
Specifically, the court held that the use of eminent domain for economic development was not in conflict with the public use clauses of the state and federal Constitutions.
The expanded interpretation of the ancient practice known as eminent domain prompted legislators in nearly every state to draft measures to protect private property owners. Eminent domain usually had been employed when governments wanted to build highways, bridges or public buildings -- not office parks, townhouses, and hotels, as have been proposed for the New London site.
in eminent domain case reaches deal to move