The Ridgewood development proposal is in the news as one woman does not want to give up a private road which will provide one of four necessary accesses to the subdivision.  Some in the comments section are asking whether the condemnation for the benefit of a private developer is allowed by the 5th Amendment, and for better or worse, the US Supreme Court has answered “yea.” 

Kelo vs. the City of New London basically defines “public benefit” broadly, as incorporated that which is deemed by the applicable government body to be of economic benefit to the entire community – whether the public in general will actually use the property.  Therefor, yes, a local government may force a purchase of the property under rules of eminent domain – for a private developer.  It’s been done for decades to create malls and such.  It’s pretty much local government’s call, with very little court scrutiny.

More later.

About these ads