Eminent Domain A Step Too Far


The Chicago Daily Herald complains in this editorial that officials in Arlington Heights are going too far when they consider condemning a shopping center to make way for a Super Target. Excerpt:

The International Plaza is not the most vibrant shopping district in the suburbs, but neither is it the most dilapidated. It clearly is not, as the village board declared for legal purposes four years ago, blighted.

Blighted? Oh for goodness sake, does anyone genuinely believe that? Blighted describes parts of Cicero, parts of Gary. Blighted describes the riverfronts some communities have tried to re-energize with casinos. Blighted does not describe Arlington Heights, and it does not describe this plaza.

There are several healthy businesses in the shopping district, not thriving perhaps but not dying. Dozens of merchants have invested their savings and their hearts into it. Many of us believe that rather than being a detriment, the plaza adds flavor and texture to the community.

"For half a century," the Institute for Justice declares on its Web site, "unrestrained local and state governments have taken private property not for 'public uses' such as for bridges or public buildings as permitted by the Constitution, but for private businesses in the name of ‘economic development.'"

This may be another example.

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