Friday, June 24, 2005

Wonderful, Wonderful Utah

We need to convince more states to follow Utah's lead in banning eminent domain abuse:

The U.S. Supreme Court's pro-city decision Thursday has no implication for Utah landowners.

That's because the state never has opened the door to cities to use condemnation purely for economic development (as in the Connecticut case), and Utah lawmakers recently approved a prohibition against cities wielding that power in so-called "blighted" areas.

Utah cities had resorted to eminent domain in the past within redevelopment agencies to buy land from unwilling sellers for economic development purposes.

When the Legislature passed the ban in March, Ogden was in the middle of a fight with a handful of downtown homeowners whose refusal to sell was blocking city plans to see a Super Wal-Mart built on the 21-acre site. The bill blocked the RDA condemnation and set up Utah to be unaffected by Thursday's decision.