Rangel wants eminent domain bill reworked: New York (NY) Business.com, 12/5/05

By Erik Engquist

The bill to restrict the use of eminent domain that overwhelmingly passed the House should be revised in the Senate, said Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-Manhattan.

Speaking at a Crain’s New York Business forum today, Rep. Rangel said the bill should clarify the conditions for eminent domain usage rather than leave the question to courts. He would allow eminent domain if it were used to produce affordable housing, he said. The bill seems to allow for that, though it isn't mentioned specifically in the text, his office said.

Reps. Anthony Weiner, D-Queens, and Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan, who appeared with Rangel at the forum and who also voted for the House bill, remain opposed to any use of eminent domain to benefit a private developer. “Eminent domain is one of the most awesome powers of government and should only be used for public good,” said Rep. Maloney. They didn’t mention the affordable housing issue.

Rep. Weiner said he supports the Atlantic Yards project proposed for Brooklyn by Forest City Ratner Cos. He predicted the company will be able to purchase all the needed property without using eminent domain.

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