Eminent Domain: A Cautionary Tale

An eminent domain story from the New Jersey coast illustrates the complexity of the controversial issue.
February 7, 2006, 8am PST | David Gest
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"Today...Long Branch [New Jersey] is on the brink of a rebirth. Young people with wads of disposable income are flocking to it; upscale businesses--trendy coffee shops and hip designer boutiques--are back. These victories are the fruits of 12 years of planning done by the mayor, city council, and a consortium of local businesses. It is a testament to the power of eminent domain, as blighted old neighborhoods were bought up and cleared to make way for the new developments. But, while Long Branch may look like a success story, it is actually a cautionary tale."

"In many ways, Long Branch is the perfect storm of the Kelo era: a misleading master plan, an unprecedented exception from state environmental regulation, shifting redevelopment zones, a developer jailed for corruption, a lawyer working both sides of the deal. New Jersey residents are particularly vulnerable to this kind of forced redevelopment."

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Published on Monday, February 13, 2006 in The Weekly Standard
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