Ballot measure seeks to rein in cities' land grabs


The Orange County Register has this editorial on the ballot initiative in California to try to restrict eminent domain abuse.

[S]upporters of a more traditional, constitutional view of private property are back again with the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act. Its backers earlier this month turned in more than 1 million signatures to the California Secretary of State, which must certify 694,354 valid signatures to secure it a spot on the June 2008 ballot. The measure is similar to Prop. 90, but it doesn't include any restrictions on regulatory takings. The most controversial provision is one that stops the government from setting "the price at which property owners sell or lease their property." In a free society, that shouldn't be controversial at all. The measure would not end current rent-control statutes, but would simply allow property owners to set their rents at the market rate once a vacancy opens up.

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