Monday, November 21, 2005

Eminent Domain Redux

The Times has an interesting article this morning about the New London eminent domain case. It appears that the project that lead to the controversy has been stalled by a number of unforeseen problems, some that are no doubt due to the delay caused by the legal challenge brought by Kelo.

The Times also discusses some of the legislative backlash caused by the case, including the federal legislation that has been sent to the Senate. In a related Op-Ed piece in the Daily News, Dean William Treanor of the Fordham Law School worries about this legislative effort which he describes as a "blunderbuss" that would deprive officials of "an invaluable urban planning tool..."

Treanor does feel, however, that ED needs to be done with great care. He points to the Robert Moses-instigated urban renewal of the Lincoln Square area as an example of a wonderful planning effort that, at the same time, "involved real costs."

This is the point that we have been making. As Treanor admits, "Some urban renewal projects do more harm than good." The key is openness, transparency and accountable development because "the psychological loss of a home [or a business] is not compensated."