Anderson Initiative Goes to Extraordinary Lengths to Limit Eminent Domain


The L.A. Daily Journal has an article today (unfortunately, subscribers only) regarding Prop. 90, the Protect Our Homes Initiative. Excerpt:

Anderson Initiative supporters argue that eminent domain for redevelopment purposes does not work. Author Steven Greenhut, in his 2004 book "Abuse of Power" reports that the city of Garden Grove racked up a $2.2 million deficit in 2000 in part due to nonperforming redevelopment projects. He also reports the city of North Hollywood's lagging economic recovery after an investment of $117 million in public funds for a massive redevelopment project.

Redevelopment opponents ask, If redevelopment did work consistently to revitalize poor areas, why do developers need government assistance? If a project is financially viable only with government help, is it likely the type to land agencies in financial trouble?

Also, some observe that government redevelopment projects often disproportionately targeted poor and minority neighborhoods. The notorious Chavez Ravine evictions involved an older but established Mexican-American community. The city cited "improper use of land" and "poor street patterns" among other things to justify the blight findings. Greenhut. Los Angeles ultimately sold the land to the Dodgers.