Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Private Property Rights Implementation Act, 2006"

The “Private Property Rights Implementation Act,” authored & introduced in the House of Representatives by Steve Chabot back in mid-February, is stirring up a little bit of a whirlwind in Congress and around some of the states these days.

An article in last Sunday’s Enquirer says opponents of the bill “—including environmentalists, city planners, and 36 state attorney generals including Ohio’s Jim Petro—say the bills would eviscerate local control over land use, allowing big land developers bulldoze local zoning laws to build what they want, where they want.” Indeed, a major portion of the bill is the opportunity to contest eminent domain actions either in state or federal court, where a judge could throw out local zoning & land use regulations, requiring that those regulations “be proportional to the impact a development might have on the surrounding community,” according to Mr. Chabot. But where many are likening the bill as part of a “national backlash against Kelo v. New London last year, Chabot says it’s more in response to the 2004 Supreme Court case, San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco in which the plaintiff party relied on a holding that “takings claims were not ripe until a state failed to provide adequate compensation for the taking,” and that unless courts disregarded the full faith & credit statute, plaintiffs would be forced to litigate their claims in state courts without any realistic possibility of ever obtaining federal review. The Court in San Remo refused to disregard the full faith & credit statute.

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