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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:38 PM
Original message
Property owned for 34 years is being taken from a middle class family...
... to be given to a rich developer in Hollywood, FL.

Katalin Mach, 57, is trying to keep the city from taking a building her family has owned for 34 years and giving it to a private developer.

Still grieving the husband she lost to leukemia almost eight weeks ago, she visited a doctor Thursday because of chest pains and is taking anti-anxiety medicine to deal with stress, said her son, David Mach.

.....

Despite an impassioned plea from the family, the City Commission voted Tuesday to put its legal muscle behind efforts to acquire the building so a developer can put a 19-story condo and retail complex on property that includes the nearby Great Southern Hotel.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl...

I expect we will see much more of this kind of situation following the SCOTUS ruling....





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Technowitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm also thinking that we're going to see a ton of legislation...
...to stop this. I've been surprised to see just how unpopular the SCOTUS decision's been, on both the left and the right.

I'm of the opinion that this was a terrible ruling...but good may come of it, in the form of new laws to prevent these sorts of abuses of Eminent Domain.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I hope so

but the corporations will fight it.

I think a lot of corporate executives are licking their lips....think of the deals that will be hammered out on the golf course between the local businessmen and the city politicians.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Corporate money only works to a point
If 90%+ of your constituents are pissed at you, you're going to be losing your job even if you get $50 million in campaign money.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. 90% of the constituents might support the spanking new mall....
Think of all of the jobs and tax revenues! And the 80 year old widow's house is old and ugly anyway. So let's evict her. The mall developer makes money, jobs are created, the city councilmen have wide public support, everybody wins! (except for the old lady).

But that doesn't make it right.

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DS9Voy Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. Oh we will?
And which republican will be leading the charge? Delay perhaps?

If anything the republican controlled states and congress will be taking HUGE cash pay offs to make sure corporations can have whatever land they want.
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Bring on the lawsuits to debate "just compensation!"
Just compensation is what that property may be worth, long term, to that owner, not just CURRENT market value, IMO!
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. And then pass the ammunition and lock and load!
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ollie79 Donating Member (106 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. sucks
I am all into property rights, and if that lumps me with conservatives I don't care. We need to protect the working families who are hurt by this issue far more than some rich person.
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DS9Voy Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Yes it lump you with "conservatives"
the very people like delay who make sure we are run by the corporations. Surely republicans such as he are strongly opposed to this.
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Whatever happened to "Ain't that America?"
"Ain't that America?
for you and me
Ain't that America
something to see
Little pink houses
for you and me"

John Mellencamp
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Jokerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. If your little pink house is on land a rich developer wants...
you're screwed.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think we should change the name of the country to Americorp
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BRLIB Donating Member (347 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. more from the article
Edited on Fri Jun-24-05 02:56 PM by BRLIB
...

Bartender Colin Brown, at Kelly's Pub across the street, said the city shouldn't take property for a private purpose.

"I would think differently if they were going to build a public building," Brown said.

....

Seems like bartenders have a sense of fairness and can distinguish between private greed and public need, unlike SCOTUS.

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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. Where are the pro-corporation SCOTUS apologists on this one?
How does this serve the "public good" in anything other than a contortionists attempt to show it?
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Wilber_Stool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. This is a state issue.
The Federal government has no business telling the states how to administer there eminent domain statutes. That is all the SCOTUS said. The feds are the guys that can't even write a flag burning amendment and get it right.
A better fight here might be to reassess the "fair market price" that is paid for the land. If this property will be worth more in some others hands, they damn well better pay for it. And pay through the nose.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. The SCOTUS effectively nullified the takings clause of the 5th amendment
Read it. It specifies public USE, not some nebulous "public good". The land must have a public use for eminent domain to be in effect.

How is a private condominium complex public use? It isn't, it's PRIVATE use. This takes real property from A and gives it to B solely for the enrichment of B while arguing some nebulous "public good" as the reason eminent domain kicks in. That violates the takings clause and its extension to the local governments under the 14th amendment.

Unfortunately, the SCOTUS has nullified the takings clause with this stupid ruling.
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #14
28. Precisely
This is precisely why I am so against this ruling. It is a taking, not for public use, but for private gain that has as well a purported public good (like increased taxes).

It paves the way for abuses by the powerful against the powerless. A poorer neighborhood borders the land of McMansions and Range Rovers. Want to increase the value of the homes along the border? Team up with a developer who promises to build McMansions across the street. Lobby your city council (like that's never happened before!). Hire Gonzalez-like lawyers that can argue any case, even make tha case for torture -- in this case have them say that real estate taxes will double. Kick out the poorer folk who have to fight over a dwindling affordable housing stock. Bulldoze down history. Construct the artless McMansions. Take out an equity loan on your increased housing value. Pour yourself a perfect Scotch and light up an expensive cigar, because you -- the powerful -- have pushed your advantage and profit still further over the ill fortunes of the less powerful.

What a nation we've become!
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I'd say fair market price should be DOUBLE the appraised value
of the property. That would make city councils think twice about what they were doing and would force developers to put their money where their mouths are.
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. The owner should sue the city for liquidated damages
Liquidated damages are the amount of what she is losing, which is beyond the current market value. It's the profit she would have made, had she sat on the property and let it appreciate or repositioned the property herself, either through a renovation or a development. Her property is worth MORE than just the current market value, as a long term investment.

The city has to justify "just compensation" and IMO, just compensation includes potential value, not just current market value of the property. She is being FORCED to sell prematurely.

What is that property worth to that developer? How much profit will he yeild by stealing her property? MAKE THEM PAY! Bastards.
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atre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #21
29. Huh?
Liquidated damages is another term for stipulated damages: the amount of damages stipulated by the parties in advance as a reasonable forecast of the damages arising under the contract and justified by the difficulty of quantify the innocent party's losses.

Since there is no real contract between the city and the homeowner, let alone one in which they stipulated the homeowner's damages, there are no liquidated damages.

Maybe you're thinking of consequential damages, like lost profits?
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bohemianguy Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. this issue crosses all lines
There is a huge opportunity for politicians to gain a lot of political capital on this issue. I've been just amazed at how hated and despised this atrocious decision has been across the board. When you have a dyed-in-the-wool republican Bush voting coworker rant about "greedy corporations screwing the little guy" due to the SC decision, that's definately not something to ignore. I've also had no less than 6 friends of mine who normally totally ignore politics, tell me they'll be writing senators and represenatives about this atrocity.
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MidwestTransplant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. How do they work out the price she is paid for the land?
Is it what it's worth as is or it's value to the developer?
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friesianrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
33. Sadly...
Edited on Sat Jun-25-05 01:19 AM by friesianrider
(someone please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm only going on what I've heard)

I *think* that whoever wants the land gives a price they think is "fair" and you basically have to accept it. From my understanding, if you want $345,000 for your property and could get that by selling your home yourself, but the company or whoever that wants your property only wants to pay $300,000 I think you're obligated to sell it for pretty much however much the company who wants it thinks is "fair". Very, very scary stuff.
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rkc3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. If she were only on a feeding tube - Jeb would step in to help.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. The only business "success" George W. Bush had was from eminent domain
Edited on Fri Jun-24-05 03:33 PM by PurityOfEssence
He never could have gotten funding for his business ventures had it not been for daddy's connections, and much of that support came from Saudis. Still, ALL of his ventures were COMPLETE failures except for the Texas Rangers swindling. The only deal that made any money was the Texas Rangers baseball franchise, in which he used family muscle to force people through eminent domain to give up their land for a tenth of what it was worth.

The kicker is this: they bought up MUCH more land than they needed for the project, and sold the remaining land for a huge profit after they'd built the stadium. Bush hates little people, but he can't fuck them hard enough without the help of daddy and friends.

This is the ONLY deal he ever did that wasn't a massive failure, and it was a fraud and only possible through gangsterism.

He's the most powerful nobody since Louis the sixteenth, and hasn't as much character.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Well Said! * is pleased with this ruling make no mistake about that!
:grr:
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yankeedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. This isn't new
Ever heard of Title I slum clearance? "Slums" were condemned to make way for housing projects, with private developers building and managing the properties.

Here is a page about Asbury Park, NJ-- it is a VERY run down former resort on the Jersey Shore, where most of the ocean front blocks were leveled to put condos on the property.

http://emdo.blogspot.com/2005/03/eminent-domain-use-cat...
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. In the Ashbury Park case
The owners were not forced to sell to the city. It's not an eminent domain situation. They sold to private developers themselves. Of course this has been happening. Investors buy up property and do developments. But with the new ruling, the owners can be FORCED to sell to the city who in turn, sells the property to private developers for PRIVATE USE.

Tearing down public housing projects and having private builders build new PUBLIC buildings, is also not the same situation that is now allowed by the new ruling. The gov always uses private builders.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. The difference: that was condemned as "blighted" land
As Kevin Drum's excellent blog (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20... ) explains, "local redevelopment agencies have been allowed to condemn "blighted" land for urban renewal purposes for decades".

The new Kelo decision allows private property to be compulsorily purchased and given to a corporation regardless of whether it is "blighted", condemned, or a slum. It could be a perfectly fine piece of property in a respectable neighborhood.
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. Bush wants the feds to control eminent domain
Beware...if this year's energy bill is similar to last year, Bush has written in a clause giving the Feds control of eminent domain. For new power lines dontcha know. It's tough enough fighting city politicians when eminent domain comes into effect. Imagine what it would be like to fight the Feds.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
26. How awful
:cry:
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
31. basically the Supreme Court has ruled that we are all fucked
It's time to get out of America I guess. Or for some Divine intervention.LOL!!!!Seriously, How can people do this to one another?

Darwin was so fucking right. Survival of the fittest has become our national policy. Fuck religion. These rightwing zealots aren't selling morality. They are setting us all up for their eventual oligarchy. Notice in the article they never mention the developer's name?

Fuck that developer anyhoo... x(
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friesianrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
32. I think this is absolutely deplorable...
It is difficult enough when the gov't seizes land for roads or schools or whatever...but for condos, health clubs, and retail complexes? I can't believe this is happening in the United States.

It is beyond scary to think that Wal-Mart can come in and seize your land because they want to build a Supercenter.
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