Norwich council to consider ... eminent domain policy reform: Norwich CT Bulletin, 9/16/06

By Dorothy Schneider

The consideration of eminent domain policy reform, proposed by [Norwich CT] Alderman John Crooks and co-sponsored by Alderman Jackie Caron, could become contentious. The city’s Redevelopment Agency voted 8-1 last week to send a letter of opposition to the council on the issue.

The proposed ordinance would strengthen the existing eminent domain statute by requiring a super-majority vote and a review by the Administrative, Planning and Economic Development committee to approve any action on residential property.

RDA Chairman Tom Marien called the proposal flawed and unnecessary, because eminent domain has not been, and is not now, a cause for concern in Norwich. Member Brian Curtin said Crook’s sponsored the ordinance with political motivations, because Crooks is challenging incumbent state Rep. Jack Malone, D-Norwich, this fall.

Crooks responded to the RDA Thursday defending his proposal as protection for the “little guy” and an important step to take in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London ruling last year that the city could transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development.

Norwich CT Bulletin: http://www.norwichbulletin.com