Category: National Eminent Domain

Texas Limiting Eminent Domain Power

The Dallas News, Thursday, May 3, 2007

Protections for older, run-down or impoverished neighborhoods and stronger leverage for property owners whose land is targeted for development were endorsed by the House on Wednesday, with more restrictions on eminent-domain moving through legislature.

New legislation would require that governmental entities would have to meet a stiffer criteria before they can declare a property "blighted." The entities could only declare one property "blighted" at a time, instead of entire areas.

The legislation is sending a strong message to the city of Dallas and the Foundation for Community Development which a few months ago was considering a push for stronger eminent-domain powers including declaring entire areas "blighted."

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-While this goes through the Legislature, be not shocked if nothing comes out to protect individual rights.  The Strength of the lobbying organizations in the Legislature can be so great that the protection of individual rights will all to often be trampled.  However, some states have truly been serious about the process and have legislative fair protection for owners.  Hopefully Texas will follow the course!

Atlantic Coast Line

Charleston Post, November 5, 2007

The governors of South Carolina and Georgia are set to unveil a plan this month to create a new maritime agency to build a port along the Savannah River in Jasper County.

The agreement between the states would put an end to a long-running legal tussle over rights to develop the 1,800-acre property, regarded as one of the last available sites on the East Coast where a major container terminal could be built from scratch.

The announcement by Gov. Mark Sanford and Gov. Sonny Perdue could come as soon as next week. The Commerce Department in Columbia said Friday that negotiations had been finalized.

"I think it’s an agreement the ports authority’s board will approve," he said. .

People familiar with its findings but who are unauthorized to discuss them publicly said the task force is recommending:
–A new dual-state agency to build and operate the port.
–A six-member agency board, with two members from the S.C. State Ports Authority, two from the Georgia Ports Authority and one member appointed by each of the governors.
–Equal ownership of the site.
–An end to any efforts to acquire the land through government condemnation.
–Unwinding a deal that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use the property as a dredge- disposal site.

-This article resolves the substantial issue of a State controlling property within its own State. Georgia and South Carolina have been fighting for years over the ownership of a property to be condemned in the other State. Finally, they are reaching a position of working this out.