February 9, 2010

Safety and the use of eminent domain - Part 3

I do believe that eminent domain is useful in terms of safety. If an unwise 10-story building owner in downtown Indianapolis refuses to protect their building from falling, therein endangering the adjacent owners and visitors...common sense tells us that this is a perfect reason to condemn and take the building.

Imagine the scenerio and the ramifications of a local populace approaching a building owner who refuses to protect their surroundings. Imagine the dozer crew, and the blocking off of city streets, and the tearing down of that nuisance building. The building owner, instead of taking responsibility for protecting his building, would quickly hire a lawyer and sue the gathering of community "protectors".

For this reason, eminent domain must remain an option...for now.

On the flip side, if eminent domain must remain legal, there will always be family members or friends or neighbors who will be affected by it. And it's because we, as a nation, are always chasing the next "economic whatchamacallit". Take a minute to review the current cases online. Most deal with an "economic whatchamacallit" project being built and a property owner who wants to keep their property. Of course the property owner has little community defense on his side because of the promise of economic prosperity posed by the government officials. And this gets back to a much larger issue, where most folks never get involved in another's property fight because they are being promised more cash in their pocket. Economy trumps morality. I think that is so unfortunate.

Not until we see property owners gaining the support of the community, will we see changes in how eminent domain is applied.

A little more to come.

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