Although eminent domain is ultimate act of government tyranny on property rights, it usually takes several stages of government intervention to get to that point. Two new publications in the Castle Coalition’s Perspectives series take a look at the ways local government makes redevelopment and revitalization more difficult through its frequent and usually heavy-handed intervention.
Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance is a case study of the purported success of Baltimore’s redevelopment efforts. Proponents of eminent domain almost always point to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as an example of successful government redevelopment, but visitors to Charm City know that the Inner Harbor (and Camden Yards) is an island of activity amidst blocks of urban blight. Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance shows how the city’s redevelopment efforts have actually helped stifle redevelopment efforts and have only decreased the opportunities to invest in improving Maryland’s largest city.
Simplify, Don’t Subsidize tells the nightmarish tale of a developer trying to build one building in Capitola, Calif. Doug Kaplan takes readers through the bureaucratic labyrinth of reports, fees, and permits that make organic revitalization so difficult. Kaplan’s experience demonstrates that much of the difficulty in development that cities cite when they result to eminent domain for enormous projects is largely a self-created problem.
There’s more info in the press release.
Or you can download from the links above.