General Assembly May Set Eminent Domain Guidelines

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

When can the government take your property and use it for public projects?

It's a question cities across the country are wrestling with, and now the General Assembly may step into the debate.

The House Judiciary Committee met this week to consider legislation that would set firm guidelines and limits on when the government can use eminent domain to take private property.

At least 2 Bowling Green City Commissioners have said they will only vote to use eminent domain for projects like schools and water lines......but others say the question should be asked on a case-by-case basis.

"Sometimes it's a win-win for everybody, but sometimes there may be some abuse. Like I said, it needs to be looked at to make sure it's best for everybody involved," said State Rep. Jim DeCesare (R-21st District).

"Establishing some guidelines to ensure that it is not used improperly would be welcome," Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker said.

The Supreme Court may have the final say in the eminent domain debate. The court is set to hear arguments this summer on a Conneticut case that could determine whether it is legal to use eminent domain for private developer projects.


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