Skip to comments.Four Years After New London, Conn. Stole Land via Eminent Domain, the Land Lies Barren and Useless
Posted on 07/30/2009 6:27:19 AM PDT by myrage
Four years ago, on June 23, 2005, a 6-3 Supreme Court majority ruled in Kelo v. New London that the New London, Connecticut government could condemn houses in that city's Fort Trumbull area in the name of redevelopment. A bit over a year later, the city settled with the area's final two holdouts, the Cristofaro family and Susette Kelo.
Since then the city has without success tried to engage a developer to build a hotel on part of the now-leveled area, and to put apartments or condos on the rest. Yes, you read that right; they're building residences where residences used to be.
The idea behind the hotel was that it would serve as lodging for visitors to the anticipated U.S. Coast Guard Museum.
Now, as reported in last Friday's New London Day, it seems that even the Museum's ultimate presence in Fort Trumbull is in serious doubt: Story Continues Below Ad ↓
Coast Guard museum plan on hold Shelving of project disappoints city officials still looking for Fort Trumbull springboard
Plans for a Coast Guard museum, which city officials have long hoped would be the impetus for economic development at Fort Trumbull, have been put on hold.
Citing lackluster fundraising figures and a stagnant economy, the National Coast Guard Museum Association and the Coast Guard Foundation voted unanimously Thursday to postpone the $65 million project.
Jerry Ostermiller will step down as president of the Museum Association, a job he has held since January.
This doesn't mean we've given up on the project, it means we'll put it on the shelf until the economic climate improves, said Anne Brengle, foundation president.
Most of the rest of the article consists of city officials and politicians absurdly pretending that the news is no big deal. But a Day editorial punctured that nonsense:
New game plan
It would be hard to come up with more deflating news for the prospects of economic development in Fort Trumbull than the announcement Thursday that the Coast Guard Foundation is suspending its effort to raise funds for the construction of the National Coast Guard Museum.
.... Whether the revival of the museum project is possible when the economy improves is questionable at best. Association leaders say it will be at least a year before they are in a position to try. Many people donated generously to get this far. They will not jump back in easily.
The New London Development Corp. was counting on the museum and construction of an adjacent hotel as the linchpin for Fort Trumbull redevelopment. This newspaper has previously expressed concerns that the NLDC's plans were too dependent on this one project. NLDC mentions the museum a dozen times in its development plan, to the exclusion of almost anything else.
The city must be open to other development possibilities on the 90-acre tract. Commiserating about the museum serves no purpose. The Fort Trumbull peninsula is prime waterfront land with significant potential when the economy improves.
The "New Game Plan" title of the Day's editorial is an admission that there is currently "no game plan."
This situation is especially infuriating because a primary underpinning of the Supreme Court's decision twisting the 5th Amendment's "public use" clause and allowing the city's condemnation and takeover of the area was the judicial majority's confidence that city elders knew what they were doing, as noted in this paragraph from the ruling itself(bolds are mine):
The citys determination that the area at issue was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to deference. The city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue. As with other exercises in urban planning and development, the city is trying to coordinate a variety of commercial, residential, and recreational land uses, with the hope that they will form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. To effectuate this plan, the city has invoked a state statute that specifically authorizes the use of eminent domain to promote economic development. Given the plans comprehensive character, the thorough deliberation that preceded its adoption, and the limited scope of this Courts review in such cases, it is appropriate here . to resolve the challenges of the individual owners, not on a piecemeal basis, but rather in light of the entire plan. Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the Fifth Amendment.
With nothing but barren land and no prospects for improvement four years later, how much more foolish can the Court majority possibly look?
One should also not forget that the high-powered, politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club was outrageously spared from the wrecking ball in a blatant act of city favoritism. As was ruefully stated as this sad process unfolded, "The Italian Dramatic Club can stay, but the Italians have to go."
Despite all of the attention the original case commanded, the decision's inactive aftermath has been virtually ignored by the establishment press. The news of the Coast Guard Museum's suspension is no different. A Google News Search on ["New London" Coast Guard Museum] (typed as indicated between brackets) has four listings, all from Nutmeg State media outlets.
Why is this continued monument to judicial malfeasance and government ineptitude not getting more attention? I would suggest that the known biases present in the establishment media cause that question to answer itself.
I can’t blame a private developer for not wanting to come near this. If the government could steal the land once, who knows how many times it could be stolen again?
I wonder how much tax revenue this vacant land is generating now..........
I’m being very serious when I say that any project put up on stolen land should suffer an “accident”. Or two. Or forty. Government theft like this cannot be allowed to be profitable. You want to take it? You’ll have the land, but you’ll be missing your shorts when you’re done.
Meanwhile, the elected city officials behind this theft (probably) are still in their elected city political office cooking up another failed scheme to rob the people!!
Ain’t government wunnerful????
I wouldn’t go that far. I would, however, spend the rest of my life boycotting the project, just as I will spend the rest of my life boycotting the TARP/Bailout thieves. I will NEVER spend even a dollar on whatever is built on the stolen Kelo land. Similarly, I will never buy a GM or Chrysler product built after the bailout or do business with a TARP bank. I even reject TARP checks and request cash from those whose accounts are still with the TARP crooks.
Cause an “accident” on the property of a thief? No. Intentionally make sure they lose everything they have through free and legal choices such as a boycott? You betcha!
Private property is private property, It's one of the most solid columns of freedom. Any interference with that should always draw a violent, scorched earth response, IMO.
We disagree. We can work to reverse the theft through legal means, and I would not be surprised to see the land returned to the original owners with an apology after the thieves leave their positions. I cannot support the violent, scorched earth option in this situation, although some of obama’s proposals come pretty close to justifying that level of opposition.
I understand. A blacksmith doesn’t start pounding on a steel bar just after putting it into the fire. He has to wait until it gets hot enough. If you’re a man (or woman) concerned about your freedom, you’ll be hot enough before too long. Then you and I will be of like mind.
Land stolen from it’s owner in order to provide tax revenue for Big Brother when new, wealthier owners build on the land and sell the homes/offices/apartments/condos. The Kelo decision—arguably the worst, most dangerous decision ever reached by a Supreme Court—must remain a closely guarded secret. Not wise to let the American people know that the property they foolishly believe to be their own, is in actuality only being RENTED from the state.
Out of all the outrageous acts of government excess that I can think of, only the Kelo decision is worthy of second Ammendment action.
Waco, Ruby Ridge and others were single instances, and recourse is available for repeat offenses. However, there is no recourse on the Kelo decision except the second Ammendment.
Two points come to mind here.
One is that the supposed supremacy of Supreme Court decisions has been shown to be subject to an even greater law, Murphy’s Law.
The second is that people in the main are better at economics than the most poised and polished of politicians. They know that good cannot come of evil, and the result is now apparent to all.
The politicians may say that “the ends justify the means”, but history and public obstinance says that “the end is determined by the means”.