Mid-week Headlines

California: The Project Area Committee, a citizens advisory group that was selected at the beginning of the year, voted 7-1 against the city of Seaside’s attempt to renew its eminent domain power in the area affected by Reggie Jackson’s hotel project. The city council will vote on whether to renew the authority in the first week of June. Most of the nearly six-acre area would be threatened by eminent domain, as Jackson owns just a half an acre.

In Pittsburg, the redevelopment agency has filed suit against an industrial company, Marine Express, which plans to fight the city’s suit. The company has plans for developing and cleaning it up the site, while the city has no plans but has indicated it would like another industrial business on the site.

A bit on the competing ballot initiatives in California from Debra Saunders, Ilya Somin, and Timothy Sandefur. IJ hasn’t and doesn’t plan on endorsing either measure; however, our analysis of both Prop. 98 & Prop. 99 can be found at the end of California Scheming.

Colorado: In an effort to inject some revenue into a costly light-rail project, the RTD in the Denver metro area has been condemning more land than needed for the light-rail so that the land can be sold for commercial development. The Independent Institute’s Property Rights Project has more.

New Jersey: The Asbury Park Press says it’s time for the legislature to do something about eminent domain in the state and stop letting the courts do the legislators’ job.

Pennsylvania: Redevelopment officials in Reading and Berks County are getting impatient using legitimate means on acquiring private property and now they want city officials to expedite the process for them, that is condemn the rest of the properties they want.

Virginia: The town of Smithfield wants to buy the Windsor Castle Farm–they’ll let the property owners keep the house, but officials want the surrounding property. Although officials say they want it to “preserve” the land from development, there’s some evidence that the city itself has visions of development on the property. The owners, however, seem to have the support of much of the community.