Good news on the eminent domain front
BB&T Corporation today said it will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.
The commercial lending policy change comes in the wake of Kelo v. City of New London, a controversial Supreme Court decision in June that said governments can seize personal property to make room for private development projects.
The court’s ruling cleared the way for an expansion of eminent domain authority historically used primarily for utilities, rights of way and other public facilities.
“The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong,” said BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison.
“One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.”
Reward good behavior. Seriously. I may just have to switch my banking needs to BB&T. That is awesome. Hats off to them.
In a move supported by Gov. Don Carcieri, the state Economic Development Corporation will discontinue using eminent domain to take people’s property and give them to private developers for economic development.
The policy change came in a vote by the EDC’s board on Monday.
“We’re trying to send a clear message that when it’s owner-occupied we’re respecting those rights,” said Carcieri, who’s chairman of the EDC. He asked the agency last year to revise its eminent domain policy that would protect Rhode Islanders’ homes from eminent domain condemnations for office buildings, hotels and other private uses. Carcieri said earlier this month that he plans to introduce legislation to prevent the use of eminent domain for economic development statewide.