In the Huffington Post, Christine Walsh of the Institute for Justice tells the story of home owners in Mount Laurel who have been harassed and threatened by their town council. 200 homes have been torn down, leaving the Gardens neighborhood in rubble. Bulldozers are parked in front of those who have refused to leave as a stark reminder of the threat to these homes. The town intends to give the remaining homes to Keating Urban Developers, a Philadelphia company.This story was covered by Free Talk Live on Monday.
More than ten years ago, Vera Coking won the right to keep her Atlantic City home in her suit against Donald Trump. Now Senate President, Steve Sweeney, has stated his desire to take the property along Pacific Avenue and turn it over to the casino industry.
In Kearny, the town council has taken land owned by Ozzi Khubani and given it to DVL Kearny Holdings, LLC for redevelopment.
As we previously reported, Campbell Soup is still trying to use eminent domain to steal the property of Ilan Zaken. After dragging its feet for months the city as approved Mr. Zaken's plans to rejuvenate the building. However a hearing to stop Campbell's attempt to take the building is scheduled for January 11th.
S1451 to be considered by the Senate on Thursday. S1451 provides some protections to homeowners, however does not stop government entities from taking property for redevelopment. In fact it allows for the taking of "non-blighted" areas under the threat of force after all other peaceful and non-coercive methods have been tried.
When a non-blighted property is included in a condemnation redevelopment area, the property shall not be condemned unless the condemnor is able to certify in its condemnation complaint that it has exhausted all avenues to acquire the property, that acquisition of the property cannot be negotiated despite its best efforts, and that the property is necessary to the viability of the redevelopment project.
There has been some good news when it comes to private property rights. Last year Long Branch gave up on its eminent domain proceedings and passed a resolution banning the practice of eminent domain for redevelopment. This long battle in Long Branch has finally been won, however the neighborhood has been devastated.
Last month, the East Greenwhich Township has relented and given up on its efforts to sieze the property of Bill and Linda Small. The libertarian Institute for Justice was instrumental in getting the township to give up on their plans. Similar victories were had in Bridgeton and Spring Lake.