Dispatches from the Creation Wars

And So It Begins…

The inevitable result of the Kelo decision:


With Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, Freeport officials instructed attorneys to begin preparing legal documents to seize three pieces of waterfront property along the Old Brazos River from two seafood companies for construction of an $8 million private boat marina.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that cities may bulldoze people’s homes or businesses to make way for shopping malls or other private development. The decision gives local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.

“This is the last little piece of the puzzle to put the project together,” Freeport Mayor Jim Phillips said of the project designed to inject new life in the Brazoria County city’s depressed downtown area.

Expect a flood of such stories.

Comments

  1. #1 KipEsquire
    June 27, 2005

    Keep in mind though that many municipalities put their eminent domain plans on hold pending the outcome In Kelo. So any initial bump in activity might be attributable to backlog / pent-up demand.

  2. #2 carpundit
    June 27, 2005

    Yes, here in Boston the city govenment is already talking about using Kelo to justify the existence of the city’s redevelopment authority, and a city councilman has already invoked it to support his plan to seize some waterfront from the Pritzkers.

  3. #3 raj
    June 27, 2005

    Carpundit, I’m a resident of Wellesley, a western suburb of Boston. The Boston city government destroyed the West End, a nice community, in the name of “urban renewal,” in the 1960s and 1970s. It was disastrous.

    The city government is talking about continuing their destruction?

  4. #4 Donny
    June 28, 2005

    Does anyone know the party affliations of the various players in the Freeport saga? “Liberals” seem to be taking the heat over Kelo, but I suspect that there are plenty of conservative Republican interests that will have no compunctions about taking advantage of the decision.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    June 28, 2005

    Donny wrote:

    Does anyone know the party affliations of the various players in the Freeport saga? “Liberals” seem to be taking the heat over Kelo, but I suspect that there are plenty of conservative Republican interests that will have no compunctions about taking advantage of the decision.

    Oh, no question about that. When Bush’s press secretary was asked about the decision the other day, he gave a total non-answer. You know why? Because Bush himself has benefited from the use of eminent domain laws to seize private property. As owner of the Texas Rangers in 1991, the city of Arlington used eminent domain to seize property for the building of a new stadium for the team to play at, declaring that a stadium was a “public use”. That new stadium increased the profitability of the team enormously, helping Bush turn his initial $600,000 investment into a $15 million profit when the team was sold in 1999.

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