Is the Eminent Domain Process Fair?

Monday, September 28, 2009

As Mayor Bloomberg campaigns for a third term largely on his record of economic development, his Democratic opponent Bill Thompson says ordinary New Yorkers have been left out of the decision-making process. Whether the city's use of eminent domain for economic development is unfair was up for debate today as part of the Brian Lehrer Show's 30 Issues in Thirty Days series. Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, says people have many opportunities to raise objections to urban renewal plans.

Nobody wants to knock out business. Nobody wants to knock out homes unnecessarily, and I saw time and time again that there were compromises and negotiations made that ended up making the projects and the application of eminent domain very much in the public interest.

But Dana Berliner, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, says New York is the worst state in the nation for people objecting to eminent domain.

No one listens to them, no changes are made and then the only opportunities for legal challenge are hidden in the middle of the process so that you're required in New York to challenge the use of eminent domain before if you even know if your property is going to be taken.

Berliner says the courts in New York tend to side with government agencies when lawsuits are filed.


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Comments [1]

Henry from Brooklyn

If you indeed talk about clean streets, I have a pet peeve. During election time, politician post their signs, banners etc. on light poles, and other street structures. They know, or should know, that this is illegal. Worse still, candidates never come back after the election to take down the sign. Invariably, the streets are a mess.

Today, I voted for Liu and Green, in large part because they did not have any signs. Yasskey had 2 6-foot plus signs on one block, attached to light poles by plastic cable ties. Luckily, there was a cop, with wire cutters taking them down.

So, please candidates, do not use my tax dollars that partially fund your campaigns, to deface the neighborhoods while breaking the law.

Sep. 29 2009 07:52 PM

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