Irvine eminent domain rule passes: Orange County CA Register, 11/29/06

Irvine measure keeping private property owners' land from being seized for use by another private party wins first approval

By Sonya Smith

[Irvine CA] city officials are on the way to making it more difficult to seize private property.

The ordinance unanimously approved by the council Tuesday night would prohibit the city and redevelopment agency from acquiring private property to give to a private party without the landowner's consent.

The ordinance does not prohibit the city and redevelopment agency from acquiring land for government projects such as parks, streets or sewers.

"Property rights are the cornerstones of democracy in the United States and should be protected," Councilman Sukhee Kang said.

The ordinance will need a second approval by the council to become law.

Several Orange County cities have adopted eminent domain measures. In the Nov. 7 election, voters in cities including Anaheim, Newport Beach and Dana Point widened restrictions on eminent domain.

But the statewide Proposition 90, which would have restricted eminent domain, failed.

Some groups said it would have given developers too much control over local agencies.

The Irvine City Council asked for the eminent domain measure at the same time as it voted to take a "no" stance on Prop. 90.

Orange County CA Register: http://www.ocregister.com