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Eminent Domain

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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2011
After several hearings and hours of public testimony, the Howard County Council tabled a resolution Monday that would weaken the county's ability to seize private property. Instead, the measure to limit the county's ability to use eminent domain will go before the charter review commission, the 15-member panel that is required to review the county's charter every eight years. The commission will make recommendations to the council. Councilman Greg Fox introduced the resolution in response to a continuing dispute in Clarksville, where several business owners feared the county would use eminent domain to build a road parallel to Route 108 to create access for a county-owned property.
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NEWS
June 23, 2014
Committed to leaving no one behind, Democrats Heather Mizeur and Delman Coates present goals and pathways that far outshine those of their opponents. Delegate Mizeur and Mr. Coates both have track records of bringing people together around priorities that will improve lives and outcomes. This team also has a unique determination to halt foreclosures until there is a determination that the homeowner was not swindled. Maryland has one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the country and foreclosed homes can remain vacant for years.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2011
Returning from a monthlong break, the Howard County Council will begin discussing new legislation on Tuesday, including a bid to restrict the county's authority to seize private property through eminent domain. A bill introduced by Greg Fox, a Fulton Republican, would change the county charter to limit the county's ability to take land for nonpublic uses. It is in response to a continuing battle over where to put an access road for a county-owned property that was slated to be a mixed-use development before the developer backed out in July.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | April 8, 2014
State lawmakers approved a bill Monday that bars the state from using eminent domain to seize mortgages or deeds of trust for a two-year period. The move, sponsored by State Senator Joan Carter Conway, pre-emptively blocks municipalities from enacting a program pioneered in Richmond, Calif. designed to spur refinancing of underwater mortgages, in which a home is worth less than the original loan.  Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, who is campaigning for Conway's seat, had asked the city last year to look at the idea, which would establish a municipal authority to offer to buy underwater loans from lenders and, if refused, seize them for refinancing using the home's current value.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2013
A California city's controversial plan to use eminent domain to help its residents burdened with mortgages worth more than their homes has caught the eye of some Baltimore leaders, who say the city might benefit from the program. There are thousands of such underwater mortgages in Baltimore, so 4th District Councilman Bill Henry has asked the City Council to explore the possibility of using the city's power to take mortgages from banks and then work with a private firm to refinance the loans based on current property value.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,sun reporter | April 3, 2007
Property owners whose land or buildings are taken through eminent domain could reap more compensation from governments under legislation approved yesterday by the Maryland Senate. The bill, which passed unanimously, would allow for higher compensation packages for property owners, including relocation expenses. For instance, the bill lifts a $10,000 cap on costs to re-establish a farm, small business or nonprofit group, raising it to $60,000. The bill also forces state and local governments to move forward with eminent domain proceedings within three years of initiating the process.
NEWS
By CLARENCE PAGE | October 5, 2007
A father and son who operate a nonprofit boxing gym for kids in suburban San Diego are fighting their town for the right to stay where they are. Ultimately, their battle to hold onto their property could help decide your right to hold onto yours. Carlos Barragan and his son, Carlos Jr., who turned an old gun store into the gym, filed suit in September to challenge the "blighted" certification given to the property and its adjacent neighborhood by the suburb of National City. That designation gives the city the power under California law to seize the property, once a fair price is determined, through the constitutional right of eminent domain any time in the next 10 years for private development.
NEWS
By LARRY CARSON | March 5, 2006
Not only has the touchy national issue of eminent domain failed to ignite a controversy in Howard County, the county's state legislators defeated a local bill last week attempting to tighten restrictions on the government's right to seize private property. A national uproar erupted last year over a Supreme Court decision affirming the ability of government to take private property for private, economic development projects. Governments typically use the power to acquire land from unwilling sellers for direct public projects, such as highways, schools or parks.
NEWS
By STEVE CHAPMAN | November 28, 2005
CHICAGO -- Local governments that want to use their power of eminent domain to promote economic development won a huge victory last June when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with them that seizing private property for such purposes does not violate the Constitution. But that triumph brings to mind Oscar Wilde's remark: "In this life there are two great tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst." You would expect that winning in the Supreme Court would mean local and state governments would have a much easier time using their condemnation authority in the name of creating jobs and revenue.
NEWS
By TIM JONES and TIM JONES,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | November 28, 2005
SUNSET HILLS, Mo. -- The goodbyes are posted in front yards up and down Floralea Place, declaring in bright orange-and-white lettering, "We're ready to go." But except for a few people like Christopher McGee - who, regrettably, moved out and is paying four mortgages on two homes - no one is going anywhere because the plan to bulldoze about 250 homes in this tattered neighborhood and build a shopping mall has fallen apart. "It's an ugly situation," McGee said. The bitter aftermath of a deal gone sour in this St. Louis suburb has added to the rapidly growing national backlash against the decades-old, local government practice of eminent domain - condemning homes to make way for new development.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
Eminent domain is one of those governmental attributes that has a fair amount in common with taxes. Both are inherent powers of any government, dating to the earliest days of government. Both can seem particularly onerous to the people who end up having to cede money or property to the government. And, like it or not, both are necessary to the functioning of government. Taxes are relatively easy to understand. If no one pays taxes, there is no government, which means everything from no national defense to no youth league athletic fields.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2014
A West Virginia-based gas company is suing dozens of landowners in Baltimore and Harford counties to gain use of portions of their properties for a $180 million pipeline project. In three federal lawsuits filed since January, Columbia Gas Transmission seeks to invoke eminent domain to obtain temporary or permanent easements on more than 400 acres for its 21-mile pipeline extension. The project, which gained approval from federal regulators last November, has sparked concern among neighbors about safety, environmental issues and property values.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2013
A California city's controversial plan to use eminent domain to help its residents burdened with mortgages worth more than their homes has caught the eye of some Baltimore leaders, who say the city might benefit from the program. There are thousands of such underwater mortgages in Baltimore, so 4th District Councilman Bill Henry has asked the City Council to explore the possibility of using the city's power to take mortgages from banks and then work with a private firm to refinance the loans based on current property value.
NEWS
Lionel Foster | March 28, 2013
Five years ago, I thought I might have to leave Baltimore. Not because I wanted to but because I thought I needed to. It was 2008. Like many employers, Urbanite magazine, where I worked, was feeling the effects of the Great Recession, so I would soon have only half a job. The cut gave me a chance to rethink a few things. Just a few years earlier, I was at the London School of Economics sharing hallways with one of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi's sons and the crown prince of Norway.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2011
After several hearings and hours of public testimony, the Howard County Council tabled a resolution Monday that would weaken the county's ability to seize private property. Instead, the measure to limit the county's ability to use eminent domain will go before the charter review commission, the 15-member panel that is required to review the county's charter every eight years. The commission will make recommendations to the council. Councilman Greg Fox introduced the resolution in response to a continuing dispute in Clarksville, where several business owners feared the county would use eminent domain to build a road parallel to Route 108 to create access for a county-owned property.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2011
Returning from a monthlong break, the Howard County Council will begin discussing new legislation on Tuesday, including a bid to restrict the county's authority to seize private property through eminent domain. A bill introduced by Greg Fox, a Fulton Republican, would change the county charter to limit the county's ability to take land for nonpublic uses. It is in response to a continuing battle over where to put an access road for a county-owned property that was slated to be a mixed-use development before the developer backed out in July.
NEWS
By Joe Mathews and Joe Mathews,SUN STAFF | October 1, 1998
Attempting to break a stalemate in negotiations over a buyout of their homes, residents of tiny Wagner's Point have told city and state officials in writing that the neighborhood is willing to back off some of its demands.The residents' position is detailed in a letter distributed late Monday to advisers to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Gov. Parris N. Glendening, and a handful of local elected officials.The city and residents have met for three negotiation sessions; the most recent, on Sept. 17, ended with angry words and a walkout by residents.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,Sun Reporter | June 24, 2008
Baltimore's heavy-handed use of eminent domain and persistently high property taxes have forced residents and businesses to flee the city in the last half-century and contributed to the decline of neighborhoods, a Loyola College economist argues in a report published yesterday. Stephen J.K. Walters, in "Baltimore's Flawed Renaissance," writes that the city's pervasive poverty, high crime rate and decaying housing is a direct result of "hostility to private property rights and a resulting flight of capital that has largely drained the city of its economic lifeblood."
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,andrea.walker@baltsun.com | January 6, 2010
Magna Entertainment Corp. agreed in bankruptcy court Tuesday to postpone the sale of two Maryland horse tracks as it works with bidders to provide reassurance that the Preakness would remain in the state. A Delaware bankruptcy judge also allowed Magna to end a profit-sharing agreement with Joseph A. De Francis and other former owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, who had a previous agreement to split any potential proceeds from slot machine gambling. The auction, which was scheduled for Friday, will now be held Jan. 21, according to attorneys who attended the hearing.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com | May 10, 2009
Market House, the nearly vacant property at City Dock that has entangled the city of Annapolis in a legal battle since 2007, has been returned to the city. Market House Ventures, the private company that has been managing the property for three years, agreed Thursday to return control of it to the city. The company had been working with the city for several months to resolve litigation that was scheduled to go before a judge in June. In the lawsuit, the city contended that Market House Ventures did not make good-faith efforts to fill the property's empty stalls.
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