Chula Vista, CA residents took to the streets to protect their property rights:
- A community group has submitted about 14,000 signatures to put a measure on the June ballot that would limit the city's eminent domain authority.
Chula Vistans for Private Property Protection, a group that began its effort in mid-December, filed its ballot petition with the City Clerk's Office on Monday.
The group contends that laws protecting citizens against eminent domain are too lax and heavily favor the government. Eminent domain allows government officials to acquire land to complete a public project or redevelop blighted properties. In recent years, officials across the country have used eminent domain to seize land and sell it to private developers to generate more tax revenue.
The proposed ballot initiative in Chula Vista would require the city to use eminent domain only for a strictly defined public use, such as building a road. The petition also states that if eminent domain is used, the city must keep the acquired property for at least 10 years before selling it.
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For more than a month, signature collectors have stood outside grocery stores and public buildings decrying eminent domain. The group has also sent mailers to residents that read "This Christmas The Grinch Can Steal Your Entire House!"
With clever marketing like that, it's no wonder they got 14,000 signatures in 6 weeks time. Nice going Chula Vistans!