One of the big political issues in Washington state for 2006 will surely be an Oregon style “takings” initiative, that requires state and local governments to compensate property owners for potential value lost due to land-use restrictions. On a somewhat related topic, today a divided US Supreme Court broadly reaffirmed the Fifth Amendment power of eminent domain.
In a closely watched decision the court ruled 5-4 that local governments have the right to seize private property for private development in the interest of the common good. The court said that local officials, not federal judges, are best capable of determining whether a development project benefits the community.
“The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including