06 May 2008

Props 98 & 99 - Competing Eminent Domain Measures

On June 3, two propositions will be on the ballot. They are Propositions 98 and 99, a pair of competing initiatives. Both claim the same main goal: to ban state and local governments from using eminent domain to acquire land for private uses.

The differences are in "protections." Prop 98 also seeks to phase out rent controls in California. Prop 99 does not, but it also bans only eminent domain seizures of owner-occupied homes, not apartments or rental homes, or other private property. Prop 99 also contains a provision in which it would supersede Prop 98 if both passed but 99 had a greater number of votes. There have been a large number of attacks from both sides. Prop 98 supporters point out that the state's Legislative Analyst says that passage of Prop 99 will have little fiscal impact on state and local governments, which means they'd continue to operate status quo. Prop 99 supporters say that Prop 98 is a sneaky way to include anti-consumer rent control changes into legislation.

Does either proposition accomplish what you think should be done to protect property owners from eminent domain? Read for yourself and decide. For more info on these confusing propositions, check out the following links:
The use of eminent domain has been and always will be controversial. It has been used to create massive redevelopment districts in many cities. Eminent domain has allowed many stadia and arenas to be built, as well as numerous private developments. It was used to acquire land for the Oakland Uptown project, HP Pavilion (née San Jose Arena), and for the new ballparks in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

The campaigns have been overshadowed by national coverage of the Democratic Presidential Primaries, but the issue still resonates. Thankfully, Cisco Field and the baseball village are to be built on land that wasn't acquired via eminent domain, but rather through normal negotiations.


Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that Cisco Field is going to be built? And what difference does it make if land is obtained via ED or negotiations? My view; some decrepit shack of a property shouldn't hold up a development for the greater good..."Get the hell out of our way!"

Marine Layer said...

If only ED were that simple. Not only would land acquisition be more difficult, you'd need a group of pols that would show the cajones needed to actually start eminent domain proceedings. We wouldn't even be at the delayed EIR step that Cisco Field is on right now if that ED were being used.