Friday, June 09, 2006
Protecting Private Property Rights: Eminent Domain
The state House unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that prohibits local governments from using condemnation procedures to take land for economic development purposes. The bill (HB 1965), which I co-sponsored, was approved 116-0 on Tuesday and would repeal at least nine limited uses of condemnation for economic development granted to local governments by previous legislatures. It would only allow eminent domain to be used under circumstances already prescribed by law – the construction of government buildings and roads, easements for railroads, creation of parks and the building of water and sewer lines. A House study committee, which was chaired by Reps. Bruce Goforth (D-Buncombe) and Wilma Sherrill (R-Buncombe), met earlier this year to examine the state’s eminent domain laws in response to a decision last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court ruling allowed the town of
New London, , to take property that was to be used for a hotel and convention center. The authorizing resolution now goes to the Senate for debate.