Out of Control Policy Blog

GA Legislation Targets Eminent Domain Abuse

Georgia's legislature is considering legislation to restrict the (ab)use of eminent domain:

    "The Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted unanimously to pass legislation restricting the use eminent domain powers. Senate Bill 86, authored by Sen. Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick), prohibits the exercise of the power of eminent domain for the purpose of transferring the condemned property to a private developer, corporation or any other private entity for the purpose of expanding the tax base or for economic development.

    "This bill should help to set property owners' minds at ease that their property can not be condemned by a local government and then turned over to a private developer," Chapman said.

    The intent of the bill is that the private rights of residents and businesses should be protected over the interests of private developers and corporations. If passed, it will not restrict local governments' current powers of eminent domain. However, the power of eminent domain should be used sparingly, and such laws should be strictly and narrowly construed for the sole use of legitimate redevelopment projects, Chapman said. The Committee, chaired by Sen. Preston Smith (R-Rome), approved the bill after a brief discussion period with a bi-partisan vote of 10 to 0."

The article is here, and the proposed bill is here.

On the surface, this appears to be encouraging news, though I'd like to get more clarity on how they actually define "legitimate redevelopment projects." Seems a little fuzzy at this point.

(Hat tip: Eminent Domain Watch)

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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