Restrictions on eminent domain considered: The Connecticut Post, 8/2/05

By Frank Washkuch Jr

[Stratford CT] Town Council Republicans are pressing for an ordinance that would restrict the town's use of eminent domain to seize property for private commercial ventures.

Jennifer Hillgen-Santa, R-1, and Michael F. Henrick, R-10, each drafted proposals that bar the town from taking property and turning it over to developers.

But Council Chairman Joseph G. Crudo, R-at-large, said that he won't add either proposal to next Monday's council agenda unless it has the body's full backing. The council meets at 8 p.m. in Town Hall.

"I would prefer that this have full unanimous support," said Crudo, noting that Hillgen-Santa approached him first with the idea. "If this would be a 6-to-5 vote or a 7-to-4 vote, we would end up splitting the town again." Numerous communities are considering ordinances in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, which upheld the city's right to seize homes to make way for a private office park.

Hillgen-Santa's proposed ordinance is based on one recently approved in Milford limiting seizure of land for economic development projects,

The Connecticut Post: www.connpost.com