Eminent Domain

Discussion in 'Front Porch Chat' started by Weedygarden, Dec 22, 2018.

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  1. Dec 22, 2018 #1

    Weedygarden

    Weedygarden

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    I think that this kind of thing is going to happen more and more in the future.

    At the end of the article, via the link, are several stories about eminent domain being used by and for big money.

    https://www.blacklistednews.com/art...ent-domain-to-take-small-business-owners.html

    LOCAL GOV'T SAYS MERRY CHRISTMAS BY USING EMINENT DOMAIN TO TAKE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER’S BUILDING

    By Brittany Hunter

    For more than two decades, John Monem’s furniture store has been a staple of downtown Brockton, Massachusetts. But a week ago, city officials gave Monem an early Christmas present: a notice to vacate his property.

    Brockton Furniture is currently located on the first floor of the tallest building in the city, 93 Centre Street. But in four months, Monem will be forced to relocate his business because the local government doesn’t think he has made enough of an effort to revitalize his own property.

    Brockton officials have insisted they can do a better job at updating the 113-year-old building and have already struck a deal with a private developer. And thanks to a shady government tactic known as eminent domain, Monem will have no choice but to move out and find somewhere else to set up shop.

    WHAT IS EMINENT DOMAIN?
    Eminent domain gives governments the legal authority to confiscate property from private owners or have it condemned so long as it can be justified that doing so is in the public’s best interest. Often times, the property is taken under the guise that it will help stimulate the local economy. And in this particular instance, modernizing the space and morphing it into a luxurious apartment building is more important than respecting Monem’s property rights.


    Unfortunately, this appalling practice was upheld by the Supreme Court in a narrow ruling brought down in the 2005 case of Kelo v. City of New London. But even worse, Kelo actually broadened eminent domain powers. Prior to the ruling, governments were required to prove that the property in question was being taken for “public use.” This could include the expansion or construction of roads and highways, waterways, or power and pipelines.

    After the Kelo ruling, this requirement was changed to “public purpose.” The public purpose requirement allows governments to take property so long as they can prove that by doing so, they will help stimulate the economy or generate revenue through increased taxation.

    In the aftermath of Kelo, 44 states have put limitations on eminent domain powers. Massachusetts, however, is one of six states without any substantial legal protections available to property owners. Brockton hasn’t used eminent domain in decades, according to media reports, but the practice is now being resurrected and used against this local business owner.

    City officials, including the mayor, have stood by their decision and condemned Monem for failing to innovate the eight-story building he took ownership of more than 20 years ago. However, it’s not their property. Thus, it’s not really their business what he chooses to do with it. But the Brockton Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which straddles the line between being a public and a private entity, has decided it can do more with the property than Monem has and has partnered with the city in order to use all the legal tools available to them to make this happen.

    Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter called the building at 93 Center Street a “linchpin piece to the revitalization of downtown.” He also attempted to justify the city’s repulsive actions by trying to blame Monem, saying:

    Eminent domain is only used as a last resort. We don’t want to use it. What it’s designed to be is an incentive for the property owner to realize, if they don’t go forward with some type of viable redevelopment plan, this could happen.

    Eminent domain does require the government to compensate property owners for their land. Oftentimes, the state entity doing the taking gets to determine what price they think is fair, making the situation ripe for abuse.

    The city has agreed to pay Monem $1.02 million for the building, which they say is well above its actual market value, but that doesn’t justify their actions. For starters, this is taxpayer money they are using, so the residents of Brockton are the ones who are actually on the hook for revitalizing the downtown area. The city is also justifying this land grab by claiming that Monem made no attempt to redevelop his property on his own, which is not entirely true.

    BRA sneakily colluded with government to work out a plan to use eminent domain in order to gain ownership of the building. As soon as the deal was complete, it immediately turned the property over to a recently-formed developer, appropriately named “93 Centre LLC.” But the story only gets murkier from here.

    Prior to the formation of 93 Centre, LLC Monem was working with Ted Carman, who was then with Concord Square Development. Monem and Carman had actually joined forces to revitalize the historic building in 2016. Unfortunately, the partnership went south, resulting in a loss of hundreds of thousands worth of dollars on predevelopment costs for Monem. After the partnership dissolved, Carman began working on 93 Centre, LLC, thus playing a direct role in its confiscation from Monem. This isn’t just a conflict of interest, it is downright cronyism. These private developers are using the government to take a piece of property that doesn’t belong to them.

    The new plan is to take the old building and turn it into 55 separate apartments. However, the developers plan on reserving the first floor for commercial space to be made available for local businesses—just not Monem’s.

    The mayor has insisted that this is a done deal and that Monem has no legal recourse available to him, but Brockton Furniture isn’t relocating without a fight.

    NOT BACKING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT
    The official eviction notice was delivered to Monem in early December, but the wheels have been in motion for some time. Luckily, Monem was smart and hired Joseph Zoppo, a real estate attorney, who filed a motion with the Brockton Superior Court in an attempt to halt the 93 Centre, LLC project from happening.

    “The lawsuit continues,” Zoppo said last week. “We don’t believe that the city can take the property in the manner that they’ve done it. There have been some (settlement) talks that have happened in the last few months that haven’t borne fruit. We don’t believe that we are the reason for that. But we are certainly not giving up the struggle, in keeping the city from sending this off to a different developer. We don’t think the city is a kingmaker in who decides to develop property in the city of Brockton because they feel someone else would do a better job.”

    Unfortunately, Monem is not the sole victim of eminent domain.

    Just a few years ago, Elberton, Georgia, made threats to take away a family-owned office building from its owners, Bob and Rina Thomas, who ran their small business out of the 567 square foot office building. After a $5 million hotel was built just next door, the city tried to use its eminent domain powers to take the Thomas’ building and turn it into a pedestrian walkway for the hotel.

    After the couple refused to sell their building to the city, officials used a type of eminent domain called a “quick take,” which is intended specifically for the construction of highways, not walkways for private hotels. To make matters worse, a similar walkway already existed only 100 feet from the couple’s business, making the city’s demand for the Thomas’ property even more absurd. Luckily, once the couple sought the help of the nonprofit law firm Institute for Justice, the city backed down.

    Private property ownership is a staple of our American way of life and the cornerstone of peace and prosperity. It is the manifestation of individual rights, and no one, whether government entity or private, has the right to what someone else already owns. Hopefully, Monem’s case against Brockton will end well and the courts will put his property rights ahead of the city’s selfish desire to bring in more revenue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
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  2. Dec 22, 2018 #2

    Meerkat

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    Weedy like Mr.Nasty Mouth G.Carlon [RIP] said " its a club and you ain't in it ".
    55 apt.s and business on bottom floor but not for Mr.Monem ,huh?
    Well Elberton is home of the most famous NWO 3 pillow obeleist. :D
    Georgia Guidestone,


    [​IMG]

    http://www.n-georgia.com/georgia-guidestones.html
     
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  3. Dec 23, 2018 #3

    CrackbottomLouis

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    Western society was built on the sanctity of privately owned property. Emminent domain is unamerican.
     
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  4. Dec 23, 2018 #4

    timmie

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    My hubby is a land surveyor. He tells me eminent domain is supposed to be for the greater good. I personally don't see that being for the greater good. And walmart can do the same thing claiming greater good. Sorry ,I get angry about the eminent domain issue.
     
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  5. Dec 23, 2018 #5

    Meerkat

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    I think it was said only for ports, forts and courts. I may be wrong but seems only for nessesary structures.
     
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  6. Dec 23, 2018 #6

    Meerkat

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    The law is ignored and I think I should have added highways to my last post,is legal ?
     
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  7. Dec 23, 2018 #7

    timmie

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    Supposed to be but that doesn't stop them from taking mom & pop places if they want them.
     
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  8. Dec 23, 2018 #8

    Weedygarden

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    I think that big guys are going to keep pushing out little guys.

    In the late 50s and early 1960', many farmers and ranchers in South Dakota had their land taken by eminent domain for the building of dams for power. I was very young and unaware of the struggle with that, but later knew people who had lost their family land because of it. That would be for the common good, but land that is homesteaded has special meaning in families.
     
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  9. Dec 24, 2018 #9

    joel

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    Voters need to act now or they will get the town they ask for not the one they need.
    Only the voter can protest the City official.
    Can anyone say Boston Tea Party.
     
  10. Dec 24, 2018 #10

    Woody

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    I believe Eminent Domain started out with good intentions, but as with any Govt program, it gets taken over and makes new goals.

    As far as my old memory goes, it was for actual good of the community projects, Highways and yes, dams also. Projects where there might not be a wide range of options in the path of something. A highway is going to need to displace SOME private land ownership for the good overall. A dam is going to do the same. Highways and reservoirs are difficult to move around to accommodate all. They would not plan it to go straight through a major downtown area, displacing thousands, so they move it out from the highly populated areas where it affects fewer individuals.

    What it turned into is a good for the tax base program. They will use it to take a small business so that a larger business can move in, provide more employment and more tax revenue. This is wrong. That is private enterprise NOT an eminent Domain project.
     
  11. Dec 24, 2018 #11

    CrackbottomLouis

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    Quoted for truth.
     
  12. Dec 24, 2018 #12

    bkt

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    Taking from one private owner to give to another private owner is entirely unamerican and not at all what the Founders intended.

    We tried that. The Tea Party of the last decade was a nationwide effort of everyday people coming together to demand change from government overreach and abuse. The rallies have slowed significantly, but the prepper mentality and paying close attention to goings-on world wide are prevalent. We're still plenty angry, but swaying the sheep didn't work too well, mostly because so-called comedians and politicians kept denigrating us. Sheep are sheep. Sheep dogs are sheep dogs. Wolves are wolves. Decide who you are.
     
  13. Dec 25, 2018 #13

    Meerkat

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    Lots of homes were taken in the 50s or 60s for 1000s of miles for Interstate 75 by Eisenhower I think it was. I think that kind of eminent domain is in the constitution though.
     
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  14. Dec 25, 2018 #14

    Meerkat

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    We've been to a couple commish meetings and it not pretty. The citizens were as bad as the leaders. Only a few were there for legitimate reasons, rest [ what few there were of us since nobody goes to them ] were only interested in selfish agendas. We stopped going about 12 years ago.
     
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  15. Dec 25, 2018 #15

    Meerkat

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    :I agree::thumbs:
     
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  16. Dec 25, 2018 #16

    Meerkat

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    " A nation of sheep will be ruled by wolves" .forgot who said it.
     
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  17. Dec 25, 2018 #17

    Patchouli

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    That's too bad, Meer. Our local government and open meetings are usually well attended by the community. Not sure about the county government though. Hopefully someone else with a good conscience has stepped up in your community.
     
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  18. Dec 25, 2018 #18

    Meerkat

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    I think this county vote democrat mostly so that may be why.
     
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  19. Dec 25, 2018 #19

    Weedygarden

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    I believe that lots of properties across the nation was taken by eminent domain for the interstate system. An uncle lived in a city and when I asked where his office had been, he told me it was not longer there because of the interstate ~ freeway system going through. Lots of prime real estate was taken to get the road close to the heart of cities.
     
  20. Dec 25, 2018 #20

    Meerkat

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    Yes some were right in the middle of it.
     
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  21. Dec 26, 2018 #21

    The Lazy L

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    This story doesn't pass my smell test. Little notice to the Property Owner to move out?!?!

    A government entity (GE) wants my property. By law the GE is required to have my property appraised, so they hire an Appraiser that the GE believes will give them a low appraisal. This is the price the GE offers me. I tell the GE my property isn't for sale. GE says they will take it by Eminent Domain so I have no choice. OK then the price they are offering me is too low. I hire a Appraiser (One I believe will give me a higher price) and tell the GE this is the price. Since we are in disagreement a court or a court appointed moderator will set a price, usually an average of the two appraisals. Attorneys prepare and review the paper work, signatures and money passes hands. In the paper work is an agreed vacate date. This process takes more then a year.

    So when the article implies a "surprise" a week before Christmas is incorrect, head attention grabbing or just plain false news.
     
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  22. Dec 26, 2018 #22

    Weedygarden

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    Thank you for being aware and thinking this through. I had thought the same thing. My guess is that he had known for a while this was in the works, he was just in denial.
     
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