Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eminent Domain Initiative Announcement

Land-transfer issue on ballot
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, January 17, 2008

An initiative that would prohibit governments from using eminent domain to transfer property to private developers qualified for the June ballot Wednesday.

The measure would still allow state and local governments to condemn land for traditional public uses, such as roads and parks, though the owner must receive "just compensation."

In 2006, another initiative, Proposition 90, fell short with 48 percent of the vote. It would have barred governments from using eminent domain to take property for use by a private developer.

But it also contained a more controversial provision requiring governments to compensate property owners when regulations and laws resulted in "substantial" economic losses.

Signatures are still being verified for a competing initiative sponsored by local governments. It would prohibit taking an "owner-occupied residence" for private purposes.

– John Hill, Bee Capitol Bureau