Skip to comments.Ruling Lets Atlantic Yards Seize Land
Posted on 11/25/2009 10:50:01 AM PST by BGHater
After enduring three years of delays, several lawsuits and the collapse of the real estate market, the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn took a major step forward on Tuesday when New Yorks highest court ruled that the state can seize private property for the 22-acre development.
The Court of Appeals ruled 6 to 1 that the state could exercise eminent domain in claiming businesses, public property and private homes for economic development projects like Atlantic Yards. In doing so, the court backed the states assessment that the area in question where some holdouts had refused to sell their property fit the legal definition of being blighted.
The ruling also had broader implications reaffirming New Yorks use of eminent domain even as many state legislatures seek to curb governments power to condemn private property.
The projects opponents had argued that eminent domain on behalf of the private developer, Bruce C. Ratner, was improper and unconstitutional. They vowed to continue their battle, but there was no question that a cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Atlantic Yards for more than a year had lifted.
Mr. Ratner called the courts ruling a light-switch kind of decision for the long-stalled project. I look at this as the last major hurdle; now we can proceed as weve wanted to for the last three years, he said on Tuesday. The courts have made it clear that this project represents a significant public benefit for the people of Brooklyn and the entire city.
The Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn has been delayed for three years by a flurry of lawsuits, the collapse of the credit and real estate markets and a glut of luxury housing.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I have to agree, in the sense that this is a State issue, and not a Federal one; therefore, it should be up to the state legislatures to prevent it.
1. The market for any new real estate development has collapsed.
2. Part of the Atlantic Yards project included an arena for the New Jersey Nets -- who were owned by Ratner and were supposed to move to Brooklyn. But that move has been delayed indefinitely -- and they aren't going to draw any fans there anyway. The team is now something like 0-14 this season and would probably lose to some NYC high school teams.
3. In a twist of irony, the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Kelo case in New London, Connecticut is now coming back to bite eminent-domain supporters in the @ss. The city of New London forced a bunch of residents and business owners to vacate a "blighted" area to make way for a major new development. Within the last two months the largest occupant of the proposed new development (Pfizer) announced that not only was it going to back out of any expansion plans -- but they are also closing down another New London facility. So the place still sits vacant and isn't even generating the tax revenue and jobs it did before.
Kelo decision (SUSETTE KELO, et al., PETITIONERS v. CITY OF NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT) redux - FYI: the New London site is deserted because the pharmaceutical company that New London was trying to attract decided against it. Now we will see if NYC can do any better. When it comes to bad decisions by the US Supreme Court, Kelo is right up there.
I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it’s a problem that neither the Fed, nor judges should fix. It should be fixed by the people, through their governmental representation...the legislature of each state.
No taxation without limitation.
I’m agreeing with you that eminent domain is a poisonous and dangerous concept, but I’m submitting that the Supreme Court, in this case, made the correct decision...assuming that anybody actually cares about that thing called the “Constitution” anymore.
I wonder how much money Mr. Ratner, et al contributed to the various political war chests?
Have you actually read the decision?
Kelo was and is an affront to the freedoms we all allegedly enjoy in this country. Property rights are fundamental in a free society. Imminent Domain should be used sparingly and only for those public purposes that can't be handled any other way. That the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city because the land in question would supposedly generate higher taxes is a direct attack by governmental/corporate interests against private property. A given piece of land will almost always generate more taxes as a strip mall or big box store as opposed to private residences. The ruling essentially said, that the government can take your property for any reason just because the needs of the almighty state always overcomes the rights of those of us who apparently exist merely to feed the leviathan.
I was mistaken in my unerstanding of the reasoning behind their decision. I mistakenly believed that they had decided that it was up to the States based on the 9th amendment. I heard it somewhere. I was wrong. After reading the decision, I am left more disturbed than every by our government.
I think Sandra Day O’Connor summed up very well why you and I are against eminent domain seizures of property... “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.”
The impression you had was probably because of media accounts. That's why I strongly encourage folks to read the decisions for themselves. Sometimes they are quite eye-opening. Kudos to you for taking the time to check it out for yourself, and for commenting here about it.
I think Sandra Day OConnor summed up very well why you and I are against eminent domain seizures of property... Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.
Quite true, and well worth repeating. The implications of this decision are truely frightening when you think about it. Apparently the (allegedly conservative) supreme court now thinks we exist for the sole benefit of government.
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