Brian Blair, My Hero!
Raise a glass to Brian Blair, Hillsborough County Commissioner. According to the radio, my noble statesmen (countymen?) have informed 'the state' that eminent domain requests will not be considered unless they're for genuine public use, such as roads and schools, and requests for economic development will be right out. You go, Killer Bee!
According to the Orlando Business Journal, Florida's fair legislatures and governor aren't best pleased about Kelo either.
A blog entitled The Matrix Has You, but apparently run by a business called Florida Homestead Services, links to the amendment proposed by the Florida House to tighten definition of public use, but in my view it doesn't go far enough. Under no circumstances should the government transfer property from one private party to another, whether it's for economic development or not. What if the stealing party wants to use it protect spotted owls or something? It's still theft.
The following is from the Orland Business Journal Article, which also states that Florida is among the eight toughest states for eminent domain:
"Locally, the decision and Florida's law could be tested soon in places such as the Home Acres neighborhood near Winter Park, where developer Dan Bellows has bought up 51 acres in the community with the plan to redevelop it into a mixed-use project.
Not everyone in Home Acres, however, wants to be a part of the project, and Bellows has asked the Winter Park City Council to create a Community Redevelopment District and use its power of eminent domain to help with the project.
That would completely transform the blighted area, says Bellows.
The likelihood of the project happening seems slim, though, as city officials are not even sure if they would use eminent domain for such projects.
'I'm not comfortable at all with eminent domain being used for a private development, especially when it runs to the advantage of one developer," says Winter Park Mayor Kip Marchman. "Blight, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and we need to be careful that any project is truly for a public purpose, meaning literally everybody benefits from it."
If Florida is among the eight toughest states, citizens of 42 states are really screwed. There appears to be nothing standing between the Home Acres folks and the Robber Barons but one mayor's good sense and decency.