Leaders Push for Eminent Domain Limit in Georgia: WTOC-TV (Savannah GA), 9/27/05

By Michelle Paynter

Homeowners and land owners are getting some support from Georgia lawmakers. The US Supreme Court recently ruled that cities can take over private property if they can find another use for the land that will help the economy or create jobs. But many of Georgia's state, county and local officials say that's taking it too far.

They are trying to pass Senate Bill 86 to limit the scope of eminent domain. There was a meeting about it today at the Coastal Georgia Center, where Savannah mayor pro tem Edna Jackson was one of the speakers who said eminent domain should not be allowed for economic purposes. She says it should only be allowed if it's for the betterment of the community.

Jackson used the revitalization of the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood as an example. "If you are going to change the quality of life in your city, then you need to make sure everyone has a chance of living in decent housing," she said. "And we have areas of blight and dilapidated houses and we want to improve neighborhoods. We need to be more proactive and put our residents in a decent city."

There will be several more meetings like today's across the state. Lawmakers plan to present Senate Bill 86 during next year's legislative session.

WTOC-TV: www.wtoctv.com