Rio Rancho Places Limits on Eminent Domain
by Timothy Sandefur
Rio Rancho City Council voted last week to uphold a previous resolution never to use eminent domain to forcibly take a home or business from an existing owner to make land available for commercial development. But, they say, it's okay to take undeveloped, private property if it's needed for redevelopment plans that improve the greater common good.
Now, wait a second. The bureaucrats tell us that eminent domain is necessary to clean up bad neighborhoods, and protect us from hazardous buildings, and so forth. But now they’re going to condemn undeveloped property for the benefit of developers? So undeveloped land is blighted? I thought they only did that in California.
What to read next
PLF asks the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that there is no “legislative exception” to the unconstitutional conditions doctrine
It seems that some governments and courts prefer to treat Supreme Court precedent as an option, rather than a requirement. The Supreme Court has ruled—twice—that it’s unconstitutional for government to … ›