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News on the Eminent Domain Front

An anti-eminent domain bill was overwhelmingly defeated in Missouri:

The House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have banned the use of eminent domain for taxpayer-funded developments by private developers.

By a vote of 129-26, the House rejected the amendment, which had been offered to a broader bill imposing restrictions on a program that provides tax breaks for private developers, called tax increment financing.

Such a bill may be useful in defeating land grabs like this one:

Lawsuits were filed Tuesday aimed at stopping an affluent suburban village from using the legal concept of eminent domain to take over a privately owned golf course.

“This proposed condemnation may be the most extreme abuse of eminent domain in the country,” said John Wilson, a Deepdale Golf Club member named as a plaintiff.

The village’s mayor said the federal and state lawsuit were a “pre-emptive strike” and no decision has been made on whether to proceed with a takeover of Deepdale, considered one of the finest golf courses in the country.


But in North Hills _ a 2.8 square mile community of 1,800 residents on Long Island’s “gold coast,” where housing prices begin in the millions _ members of the Deepdale Club are rallying to save their 175-acre facility from being taken by village officials.

The federal suit questions the village’s right to seize the property through eminent domain; the state case challenges the village’s alleged abuse of zoning law to cut secret deals with private developers.

I tend to doubt a golf course where houses sell in the millions could be considered blighted under any reasonable measure.

One Response to “News on the Eminent Domain Front”

  1. Marc Says:

    Now is the time for MO legislators to step up to the plate and vote on a statement that expresses the lawmakers disapproval of eminent-domain abuse but does not actually do anything. Oh, and maybe mention that it’s “for the children” or something.

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