Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Big Night for Small Town

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An interesting evening at the city council meeting tonight. The above photo shows the unanimous vote towards creating an anti-eminent domain ordinance, the first city in the US to do so. Jerome Stocks, as you probably know by now, is the man behind the idea. It's kind of amazing really. This sort of idea is starting to spread across the country. Stocks even beat San Diego's Donna Frye to the punch.

Stock's has really thrown the usual city watchers for a loop. He is widely regarded as very pro developer. Many people are still skeptical and some of the praise was tepid but for the most part people are very appreciative and I think Stocks scored some style points. The actual language of the ordinance will be important. The 2/3rds vote idea sounds solid but it scares me a bit personally. For example I could easily see the majority of our new population voting in a Wal*Mart in the old neighborhood I grew up in.

4 comments:

  1. If Stocks sent out campaign mailers 3 times to voters, it could cost $30,000. He parlayed a court decision into a $30,000 press political campaign without spending a dime. Under what other issue could he get "good" publicity county wide. Stocks is still pro, pro developer.

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  2. We could get 2/3 of the voters to eminent domain Mike Andreen's house and replace it with a park.

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  3. Everyone is so upset about the New London deal, but in recent times we have seen very similar things here in San Diego.

    We need the Council to make this more than a "gesture." Make it flat out illegal to use eminent domain to transfer to OR benefit individual entities and private projects.

    We should also include language that articulates when, why, and how eminent domain can be used for standard public purposes.

    My view is that eminent domain should never be used to correct poor planning. We as voters blew it by not electing good planners, we should have to buy our way out of the mess at open market prices, not force the cost of the poor planning onto the backs of a few unfortunate landowners.

    I know that the above view differs from many, but most should agree with the following.

    We should get an ordinance that restricts eminent domain to only those situations that provide very BROAD public benefit, period, and are not a result of poor planning We should properly compensate the landowners for the loss. I don't think the Council is heading in that direction.

    Kevin

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  4. I've been out of town, just catching up on Coast News, NCT, &, best of all, this fantastic blog.

    Kevin, right on, here & with your letter in Union Tribune. I don't read that paper, so I'm glad for the link.

    Yes, Stocks got a lot of publicity. This ordinance should pass, but even better would be the current proposal by our State legislators, Tom????, that would prohibit all eminent domain where planned use is for private development. I saw this, while out of town, in LA Times. This way small areas would not be subjected to the "tyranny of the majority" with a 2/3 vote of people who don't really appreciate the pre-existing neighborhoods.

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