Ramesh Ponnuru: 'This Land Is Costco's Land'

Why are cities "stealing" land and giving it to Costco? Ramesh Ponnuru examines the economic-development justification given by cities for seizing property.

"Costco, the big warehouse chain, took a minor p.r. hit last year when the city council of Cypress, California, tried to kick a church off its land in order to give it to the company. But this case does not appear to be an isolated incident....Cities engaging in such property seizures typically claim that they are necessary to promote economic development. Members of the city council in Cypress, and the council's defenders, noted that Costco would generate more tax revenue for the city than a church would (not surprising, considering that churches are tax-exempt). But as Berliner notes, that's a dangerously far-reaching justification...The economic-development justification for property seizure is a license for abuse. "

Thanks to Vance Pomeroy

Full Story: This Land is Costco's Land


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95