Eminent Domain Bill’s Loopholes Contribute to ACA 8’s Defeat: Californians for Property Rights Protection, 9/12/06

Press release

Redevelopment Industry Sponsored Alternative Measure Far Worse

Due to what eminent domain experts identified as flaws and loopholes, the redevelopment industry sponsored ACA 8 (Assemblyman De La Torre), was defeated in the California State Assembly last night.

Despite the League’s [The League of California Cities] to wage one the most aggressive and expensive lobbying efforts to move legislation that the Institute for Justice, the organization that represented Susette Kelo before the U.S. Supreme Court, said would “do little to prevent the actual taking of property in California,” a coalition of property owners, taxpayers, small business, family farms and faith based institutions scored a major victory for California private property rights last night.

“The legislature simply didn’t buy ACA 8 as a genuine effort to reform eminent domain abuse,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “Since it would have empowered government by granting Constitutional protections for existing eminent domain practices, passing ACA 8 would have been worse than doing nothing at all.”

In addition to sponsoring ACA 8, the League of Cities is circulating a fundamentally flawed initiative also designed to prevent real reform of eminent domain abuse. The League’s ballot measure does not protect businesses, family farms or places of worship, and provides only limited protection for primary residences. Moreover, like ACA 8, the ballot measure does not limit or address broad definitions of “blight” that allow property to be seized under conditions such as, “adjacent to” blight, “lacks parking” or “existence of subdivided lots of irregular form or shape.”

The measure also includes a poison pill provision that is intended to undermine the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, a Californians for Property Rights Protection sponsored measure slated for the June ballot that provides real Kelo reforms. With the defeat of ACA 8, the taxpayer financed League of California Cities will be required to spend millions of dollars to qualifying their ballot measure version through collecting signatures.

“It will be difficult to raise funds for the League’s measure since it actually provides even fewer protections than ACA 8,” said Coupal. “The only constituency that would have any interest in financing the League’s measure are those who benefit from existing practices of eminent domain abuse. Simply put, the League’s ballot measure was drafted by redevelopment interests for those who profit from the status quo.”

The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFOA) is sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. The CPOFPA will prohibit government from seizing private property for private purposes, while allowing government to use eminent domain for all legitimate public projects. The measure does not include any regulatory takings that limit land use or zoning restrictions.

Californians for Property Rights Protection: www.yesonpropertyrights.com