Eminent Domain Takes a Hit in Town of North Hempstead : The Northender (Oyster Bay NY), 7/14/06

The [New York] State Senate has this week passed legislation (S. 7358-A) sponsored by State Senator Michael Balboni (R-East Williston) that would prohibit municipalities within the Town of North Hempstead from invoking eminent domain to seize private recreational facilities and open them to the public. Senator Balboni’s office says that the measure resulted from a proposal by an unspecified municipality to seize a private golf club for use as a residents-only municipal golf club.

“Eminent domain has its roots in the feudal lords of Great Britain, who used that power to seize whatever land they wished,” Senator Balboni said. “Here in America, while governments may utilize the power of eminent domain for legitimate and important public uses, this local example pushes that power too far. That’s one of the reasons I sponsored this legislation which will not curtail the traditional rights of municipalities. Enactment of this legislation will also help protect school districts and property taxpayers who would have to shoulder the burden if the private golf facility were taken off the tax rolls and safeguard the environment because the facility in question is located in a special groundwater protection area.”

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