Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Eminent Domain Leads to Blackmail

So did the Supreme Court Justices who voted for Kelo forsee this consequence of their decision? Yet, in some sense it is not much of a different outcome than the power to tax.

Bart Didden wanted to put a CVS pharmacy on his property in Port Chester, N.Y. He even obtained approvals from the local planning board.
But because a portion of the CVS site was in a blighted redevelopment zone, Mr. Didden was told that planning board approval wasn't enough. He'd have to reach an understanding with a private company that had been selected by Port Chester officials to control all construction inside the renewal zone.

The developer, Gregg Wasser of G&S Port Chester, told Didden he'd have to pay $800,000 or give G&S a 50 percent stake in the CVS business. If Didden refused, Mr. Wasser said, he would have Port Chester condemn and seize his property and instead of a CVS he'd put a Walgreens drugstore on the site.

Didden refused. The next day, the Village of Port Chester began legal proceedings to seize Didden's land by eminent domain.. . . . .

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