The mayor of Riviera Beach, Florida has decided he knows what's best for the homeowners of a local community and has decided that throwing them out of their homes and onto their asses is the best course of action. It's time for citizens to take a stand against this ridiculous attack upon private property owners.
"This is a community that's in dire need of jobs, which has a median income of less than $19,000 a year," said Riviera Beach Mayor Michael Brown.
He defends the use of eminent domain by saying the city is "using tools that have been available to governments for years to bring communities like ours out of the economic doldrums and the trauma centers."
Mr. Brown said Riviera Beach is doing what the city of New London, Conn., is trying to do and what the U.S. Supreme Court said is proper in its ruling June 23 in Kelo v. City of New London. That decision upheld the right of government to seize private properties for use by private developers for projects designed to generate jobs and increase the tax base.
"Now eminent domain is affecting people who never had to deal with it before and who have political connections," Mr. Brown said. "But if we don't use this power, cities will die."
Cities have survived for centuries without having to use eminent domain Mr. Brown. For you to decide the fate of 6,000 residents because you want to seem to come out looking like a hero is disgusting.
Jacqui Loriol insists she and her husband will fight the loss of their 80-year-old home in Riviera Beach.
"This is a very [racially] mixed area that's also very stable," she said. "But no one seems to care ... Riviera Beach needs economic redevelopment. But there's got to be another way."
Dana Berliner, senior lawyer with the Institute for Justice, which represented homeowners in the Kelo case, said "pie in the sky" expectations like those expressed by Mr. Brown are routine in all these cases.
"They always think economic redevelopment will bring more joy than what is there now," she said. "Once someone can be replaced so something more expensive can go where they were, every home and business in the country is subject to taking by someone else."
"Pie in the sky" indeed. There are numerous examples of failed attempt at redeveloping an area after throwing out people using eminent domain. This is no guarantee that the city will be revived and if it doesn't work you have dislocated 6,000 residents and ended up with a slum and a ton of tax dollars spent.
Last week, the Riviera Beach City Council tapped the New Jersey-based Viking Inlet Harbor Properties LLC to oversee the mammoth 400-acre redevelopment project.
"More than 2,000 homes could be eligible for confiscation," said H. Adams Weaver, a local lawyer who is assisting protesting homeowners.
Viking spokesman Peter Frederiksen said the plan "is to create a working waterfront," adding that the project could take 15 years and that "we would only use condemnation as a last resort."
Viking has said it will pay at least the assessed values of homes and businesses it buys.
Other plans for the project include creation of a basin for megayachts with high-end housing, retail and office space, a multilevel garage for boats, a 96,000-square-foot aquarium and a manmade lagoon.
Yes, I would trust the word of this business that is using an appalling action to confiscate land that they would only use condemnation as a last resort. A last resort would be if someone refuses to accept their deal. They'll be offering the residents only the assessed value of their home, not taking into account the costs of moving. Sure they say they could pay more, but I highly doubt it when they could just kick them out and not have to offer them anything extra.
Tipped by: Seth at Say Anything who is just as pissed as I am.
Not really enough information here to get "Pissed" about . . . For over 50 years, cities with Urban Renewal Entities have been using the Right of Eminent Domain to "rebuild" blighted sections of their cities . . . the greatest part of this was in the mid and late 60's.
I've done a little research on the "Kelo" decision, and it appears Ms. Kelo was one of only a couple of actual residents in the area that New London coveted for Pfizer . . . Most were rentals and 2 were owned by Absentee Landlords, not even citizens of New London . . thus making them essentially "Commercial" properties . . had all 15 been residences of the owners, the decision might have been different . . at least that's an opinion shared by some of my Legal Eagle friends . . .
As far as Riveria Beach . . dunno, depends a lot upon the Due Process followed by the mayor and the city . .as well as the total of the properties involved.
That, actually was the crux of the "Kelo" case . .as to whether Due process had been exercised by New London . . not whether the property owners were being dispossesed illegally . . that was a secondary in the case, I believe . . .
Some of the High Profile "Urban renewal Projects" have been targeted by activists and will have several small property owners hold out, tying up several Millions of dollars in Urban Renwal funds, for no other reason than to create a high profile of "Poor Homeowners being dispossesed by the Government" . . . and to put their agendas in front of a bank of Microphones . . .
Posted by: large on October 4, 2005 02:36 PM