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Eminent Domain Is Wrong

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Eminent Domain Is Wrong

By Kevin Gubelman

Eminent Domain what is it? What does it mean? Eminent Domain is a concept that could affect anyone who owns property, rents property, or just has an interest in a particular location. Eminent Domain was a foreign concept to me until, the possibility of it becoming a reality to my grandparents. It was then that I started to notice newspaper articles, local and national radio and television reports.

Okay, so exactly what is this Eminent Domain and how could it affect my grandparents? Eminent Domain is defined as the right of power to take private property for public use. More precisely, it is the right of those to whom the power is lawfully delegated, such as railroads and public utility compinies to appropriate by due process of law, and for which the owner is paid just compensation.

According to the definition and explanation of Eminent Domain the property to be sized is for the public good and not for the private developer's profit.

In the past positive uses for eminent domain has been the development of railroads permitting the construction of otherwise impossible connections. In the twentyith century it was used to construct defense installations.

Other, understandable uses for Eminent Domain would be to construct highways, airports, harbors, the interstate and even government buildings. These uses seem to benefit the majority.

The term "public use" has become a most contested term, as it provides the only real limitation of the governments takings power. Over the years the definition of "public use" ha expanded to include so called economic redevelopment projects that use Eminent Domain seizures to enable new commercial development or redevelopment for the purpose of improving the community. Even successful redevelopment revives only limited areas, leaving other city areas in decline. More recently, Eminent Domain has come to be used for private purposes such as shopping malls which have led to the current controversy.

One of the more published and controversial cases in New Jersey are in Long Branch. Pier Village is part of the Twelve-acre beach front projects. In order to replace Victorian and beach bungalows currently on the site with condominiums and town houses. One hundred and forty of these properties were condemned and the city hopes to condemn 63 more in order to complete this project. The problem is that the people that own and live on these properties are suffering a tremendous loss. They are



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