Rushing to blight in Baldwin Park

City officials in Baldwin Park, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, are well aware that Californians will have a chance to vote on two eminent domain reform ballot initiatives in June. Due that upcoming vote, they have admitted to pushing through a new redevelopment plan before that vote happens. As you might imagine, local residents are not happy with the situation.

On March 15, more than 200 home and small business owners attended a rally hosted by the Community Alliance for Redevelopment Accountability, a citizens’ group formed to oppose the city’s use of eminent domain in its redevelopment plan.

IJ attorney Jeff Rowes spoke to the rally attendees and let them know limited ways California laws allows them to protest and challenge the redevelopment plan.

Rowes told property owners: “What Baldwin Park wants to do is replace people of modest means with rich people because rich people have more money. I think the only realistic chance to save these neighborhoods is through a lawsuit.”

The city would like to see the diverse communities in the 125-acre area replaced by a new hotel, charter school and thousands of luxury residential properties most of the area’s current residents would not be able to afford.

The Pasadena Star-News has the full story.