Bill to limit eminent domain advances — for now

“For the first time in more than a decade, a Connecticut legislative committee approved a bill to restrict public taking of private land for economic development purposes.

But the bill — which cleared the Planning and Development Committee Friday by a vote of 15-6 — faces an uncertain future.

Crafted by the Republican minority, the measure drew criticism from Democratic leaders of the panel, including one who backed it temporarily but is openly skeptical the measure is ready to advance further.

“I’m not certain that this will continue forward past today,” said Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, D-Fairfield, co-chairwoman of the committee. “There are some valid legal concerns. We do need to make sure we’re properly balancing our need to provide economic development” against personal property rights.

The bill essentially would prohibit state and municipal redevelopment agencies from using eminent domain to take property to be used as part of a private development project.

In the 2005 landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the city’s taking via eminent domain of private property for public use — even though it was to be made available for a private development featuring condominiums, offices, a hotel and conference center.”
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Phaneuf, Keith. The CT Mirror 29 March 2019.