Not so Eminent
The Constitution limits government’s ability to take private property without due process and compensation. But a number of recent — and proposed — high-profile property seizures are raising questions about whether the city is going too far and overstepping the proper limits on “public use.”
The Facts You Need to Know
Insider Rules: New York City seized an entire neighborhood near downtown Brooklyn in order to let a politically connected developer build a stadium and housing, though the finished project doesn’t resemble what was promised. Read more.
Taking Brooklyn: The city is proposing to seize several vacant lots in Coney Island to build amusements and a boulevard after the property owners declined the city’s offer to buy the land. Read more.
Housing Business: Several leading members of the City Council have endorsed a proposal for the city to use eminent domain to bail out the borrowers who can’t pay their mortgages. Read more.
The Past is Present
“Pundits both Left and Right condemned the Supreme Court’s Kelo v.City of New London ruling last June as an unjust, even un-American, abuse of state power. And surely it’s hard to defend a decision that lets government take well-kept property away from one private individual or business to give it to another who might make it more upscale. But what critics haven’t noticed is that the decision simply expands the Court’s approval of a practice that state and local governments have long used to bring about urban renewal or economic development.”
On The Calendar
Harry Siegel and Heather Mac Donald will take a look at the performance of the NYPD. Harry Siegel is a columnist for the New York Daily News and a member of its editorial board. Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. More details here.
And in other news...
“Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the largest apartment complex in Manhattan, is expected to be sold for more than $5.3 billion, an agreement that will preserve nearly half the 11,232-unit complex for middle-class families, according to officials involved in the negotiations.”