National trend suggests coulee susceptible to private eminent domain takings


This letter to the editor warns people in Grand Coulee, Colorado about the danger of eminent domain abuse.

[L]et me toss out a scenario. Assume a wealthy yuppie from the west side with dollars to invest visits the GCD area. He notes the two nice, uncrowded lakes within spitting distance of Electric City and Grand Coulee. He also notes SunBanks Resort is knocking down $250 a night renting out upscale rooms.

Since both towns are pushing their cleanup campaigns, the yuppie tells the towns and the county he can clean up a certain area and also increase tax revenues with a proposed development of vacation condos. If citizens complain about losing houses, both city and county governments can suggest eminent domain to kill two birds with one stone…clean up the "eyesore" and provide much needed tax revenue for water lines or road improvements.

When it comes to making money by an entrepreneur, there's always a path to get one's way. Recently, eminent domain seems to have become the shortest path between points.