Thursday, March 09, 2006

"The government wants their land and doesn't have to be nice about it."

Voters Take Stand On Eminent Domain

Mar 9, 2006

Mary Stewart Reporting

Dallas-Fort Worth
Copyright 2006

(CBS 11 News) FORT WORTH Texans voting in the republican primary this week sent a clear message to state lawmakers. 94% supported a constitutional amendment preventing the government from taking private property through eminent domain for economic purposes.

Several projects in North Texas have infuriated private property owners who feel that the government wants their land and doesn't have to be nice about it.

The upcoming Dallas Cowboys’ stadium is one of those projects. It has claimed many houses that stood in its way.

The Trinity River Vision in Fort Worth is next. Plans call for flooding the locations of several northside businesses to make way for a bypass channel.

Many people are opposed to the project. Stephen Hollern is with the Tarrant County Republican Party. He said, "The Tarrant County Water Control District is couching this as a flood control measure when only $10 million of the $435 million is going to flood control.”

An overwhelming majority of those who voted in the republican primary want a constitutional guarantee protecting private land from government takeover for economic uses.

But properties in New London, Connecticut will also face the bulldozers to make room for offices and condos. Homeowners took their case to the United States Supreme Court and lost.

New London city leaders claim the decision will benefit all residents by producing new taxes.

In that Supreme Court case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor issued a stinging dissent, saying the court’s decision will favor those with "disproportionate influence and power ...including large corporations and development firms."

© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.