Thursday, March 02, 2006

NC Doesn't Need Constitutional Change To Protect Your Land From Eminent Domain Abuse

Who says so, politicians of course.

North Carolina doesn't need a constitutional amendment to prevent the use of eminent domain for private economic-development projects because its landowner-protection laws already are strong, several members of a House committee said yesterday.

Instead, the House Select Committee on Eminent Domain Powers considered draft legislation to clarify statutes to reinforce that local governments are limited to condemning private land only for purposes now set in the law.

The panel was formed in response to a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that allowed a Connecticut town to take homes that would be used for a hotel and convention center.

"I don't think there's a need for a constitutional change," said Rep. Bruce Goforth, D-Buncombe, a committee leader. "We have (already) got laws that protect our state."

Eminent domain gives government the authority to take private property for public use, usually in exchange for compensation to the property owner. The U.S. and state constitutions provide for eminent domain.

In a case involving the town of New London, Conn., the Supreme Court ruled that governments are permitted to use eminent-domain authority to seize homes for the purpose of economic development, even if the property is not broken down or hazardous to the public.

The public outcry prompted at least five states to pass laws restricting eminent domain on such projects.

The South Carolina Senate last month passed a constitutional amendment limiting government power to take private land. Goforth and the other committee leader said that North Carolina law already prevents the taking of land for private development.

The draft legislation that the committee debated yesterday would make it clear that as of July 1, eminent domain is limited exclusively to public uses already set out in law.

I'm reading through our state constitution to see if this is true or not. The John Locke Foundation (NC think tank) has already stated that changes are needed.

posted by David at 3:45 PM :: Permalink ::

Comments on "NC Doesn't Need Constitutional Change To Protect Your Land From Eminent Domain Abuse"


Blogger Longstreet said ... (04 March, 2006 19:12) : 

Good Blog, David.

I know Columbus County well. Drop by, sometime.


Blogger David said ... (06 March, 2006 17:29) : 

Thanks for the compliment. I'll definitely stop by.


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