The Borough Council of Spring Lake Heights took a step towards protecting the property rights of their citizens a few weeks ago in the absence of statewide eminent domain reform. Council members passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of eminent domain for private economic development in any future redevelopment zones. Unfortunately, Mayor Frances Enright did not appreciate their efforts, and vetoed the ordinance, deeming it “unnecessary.” (You can see how “unnecessary” eminent domain reform is in New Jersey here and here.)
Council members did not let the mayor’s veto discourage them, resolving instead to override the veto at the next opportunity.
At the council’s meeting this past Monday, property owners from across New Jersey came to show their support for the ordinance, as well as share their own stories of fighting eminent domain abuse. At the end of the meeting, the council voted 5-1 to override the Mayor Enright’s veto.
This simple ordinance will ensure property owners in Spring Lake Heights keep the homes and businesses they rightfully own. Moreover, such legislation only serves to bolster the local economy by encouraging private investment, because residents know they will not be forced to sell their property to a developer the government prefers.
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