Monday, April 17, 2006

The Kelo Backlash So Far

Timothy Sandefur:
"This is done primarily by leaving open loopholes which allow government officials to seize “blighted” property. Of course, “blighted” property is property that doesn’t perform economically to a standard that bureaucrats would like. Consider the new West Virginia law, for example. It allows government to seize property that is in a “blighted area,” and it defines this term as

an area, other than a slum area, which by reason of the predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness, insanitary [sic] or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site improvement, diversity of ownership, tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land, defective or unusual conditions of title, improper subdivision or obsolete platting, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the community, retards the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use.

Under such vague standards, West Virginia’s property owners have virtually no protection from Kelo-style condemnations."
You just can't trust those politicians.

[Hat tip: Property Prof Blog]