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 Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation

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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation   Thu May 07, 2009 11:06 am

Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation
Meanwhile in Raleigh, municipal leaders make case to tweak, not overhaul, current law.

By Benjamin Niolet
ben.niolet@newsobserver.com
Posted: Thursday, May. 07, 2009

RALEIGH Opponents and supporters of the state's policy that allows cities to annex property owners against their will brought their case to the legislature Wednesday.

Both groups were seeking action on the nearly 50 bills that have been filed dealing with the issue.

A host of bills have been filed covering the spectrum of possible changes to the current law. Legislators insist that changes are likely to be made this year, but so far the bills have sat idle in committees.

State law allows cities and towns to annex property without the consent of property owners, a practice that didn't sit well with about 100 demonstrators who set up camp Wednesday on the grassy mall outside the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh.

“Stop the Tyranny,” read a typical sign.

“The people who are being annexed need to have the vote. It's called due process,” said Phil Busby, 60, a Chatham County computer consultant and entrepreneur.

While opponents of forced annexation rallied outside the legislature, municipal officials inside the building made the case for tweaking the procedures for annexation. Supporters say involuntary annexation has allowed the state's municipalities to grow and maintain a healthy tax base while avoiding the decay plaguing cities in other states.

People who live just outside a city's limits enjoy the amenities of the city without having to pay for it, they say.

“It boils down to a fairness issue,” said Kelli Kukura, a lobbyist for the N.C. League of Municipalities.

Sen. Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat, has sponsored a bill that would tweak – not overhaul – the state's annexation law. Rand, the Senate majority leader, said he expects his bill to move forward this session.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/709431.html
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Damocles
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PostSubject: Re: Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation   Thu May 07, 2009 11:34 am

Quote :
People who live just outside a city's limits enjoy the amenities of the city without having to pay for it, they say.

Actually, people living anywhere outside the city limits have access to the amenities within the city boundaries, not only those "just outside". Does this mean that expansion of jurisdictional limits of the city can continue unrestricted so long as the governing body within the city deems it necessary, regardless of the wishes of the land owners? It would seem so based on current law and the rationalization used above.

The reality is such that if laws are not changed to protect the rights of property ownership, all land will one day be under the governance of some municipality other than the remotest reaches of undeveloped wilderness and State or Federal land.

Imminent domain MUST have limits or property rights are nothing more than an expensive illusion.
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
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PostSubject: Re: Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation   Thu May 07, 2009 12:18 pm

I have feeling that we only enjoy any property rights because of the goodwill of taxing entities. I have been ticked at the Supreme Court for a long time after the Kelo vs. New London, CT, 2005 case, where it ruled that the city had the right to take property through eminent domain and then turn around and sell it to a private developer, who now appears not to be able to finish his nifty development because of the market.
Cato Institute did a good video on this:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N1svadJQ40
Eminent domain used to be pulled when roads needed to be widened or schools and firehouses needed to be built.
Annexation and takings through eminent domain are the same animals with different stripes. Evil or Very Mad
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March Mellow



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PostSubject: [b]Government to condemn land for Flight 93 memorial[/b]   Thu May 07, 2009 10:34 pm

Government to condemn land for Flight 93 memorial
By DAN NEPHIN – 4 hours ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) — One man inherited property that his grandfather bought during the Depression. A Lutheran pastor owns a cottage where he planned to retire with his wife. Two others own businesses.

But they and other property owners in rural southwestern Pennsylvania knew things would change in the aftermath of United Flight 93's crash on Sept. 11, 2001, which killed 40 passengers and crew and four terrorist hijackers. Plans were soon in the works for a memorial to honor the victims. Property owners say they realized that and were willing to cooperate and help make it happen.

But now that the government intends to take their land by eminent domain so the Flight 93 memorial can be built by the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, property owners say they're disappointed and surprised by the plan.

They also disputed that negotiations have taken place and said they've either not been made offers, or were only provided offers within the past week.

The park service "apologized about the way it's come together, but what's sad is they had all these years to put this together and they haven't," said Randall Musser, who owns about 62 acres that the park service wants to acquire.

"They haven't ever really gotten officially started with negotiations," he said Thursday. Appraisers were just at his land on Tuesday.

Musser served on the committee that helped establish the park's boundaries and said landowners were promised in 2002 that eminent domain would not be used.

While landowner Tim Lambert knew that eminent domain, or condemnation, was a possibility, he thought it was unlikely and that the park service and a victim's family group working to acquire land wanted to buy larger parcels before dealing with owners of smaller properties.

"It's absolutely a surprise. I'm shocked by it. I'm disappointed by it," said Lambert, who owns nearly 164 acres that his grandfather bought in the 1930s. The park service plans to condemn two parcels totaling about five acres — land he said he had always intended to donate for the memorial.

"To the best of my knowledge and my lawyer, absolutely no negotiations have taken place with the park service where we've sat down and discussed this," Lambert said.

Lambert said he had mainly dealt with the Families of Flight 93 and said he's provided the group all the information it's asked for, including an appraisal.

Larry Hoover, a Lutheran pastor who owns two parcels, including one that has a cottage where he and his wife planned to retire to, said a number of appraisals had been done, "but I've never sat down with the park service and done any negotiations.

"I can't say that we have ever got to the place where we've had a figure on the table," he said Thursday. It's been about three years since he's talked with the park service and about a year since he talked to the family group, he said.

The park service defended its plans.

"We had a group of people who took some very heroic actions. It's just fitting and right that we get this done in time for the 10th anniversary," said spokesman Phil Sheridan.

The park service had teamed up with the Families of Flight 93 to work with landowners since before 2005 to acquire the land. "But with few exceptions, these negotiations have been unsuccessful," the park service said in a statement.

Sheridan said he did not want to characterize any individual landowner as unwilling to negotiate, but, "Basically, at this point, we have not been able to acquire all the land we need," he said.

Even with willing sellers, Sheridan said title questions, liens and other claims can arise that would have to be worked out and could delay the project.

The seven property owners own about 500 acres still needed for what will ultimately be a $58 million, 2,200-acre permanent memorial and national park at the crash site near Shanksville, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Patrick White, vice president of the families' group, said: "The families continue to support dedication of the permanent memorial by the 10th anniversary and that we are equally committed to working within the process with those landowners who are willing to sell."

"The thing to appreciate about the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution is that it provides for just compensation," he said.

The next step will be for the U.S. Justice Department to file a complaint in federal court. A court would have to decide the matter and would set a value on the land.

Condemnation is rarely used. The last time the park service used it, Sheriden said, was to acquire a tower at the Gettysburg battlefield. The tower wad demolished to return the battlefield to the way it looked in 1863.

In February, government officials and representatives of the 33 passengers and seven crew members killed when the plane crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, pledged to dedicate a memorial on the site by the 10th anniversary.

United Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was diverted by hijackers with the likely goal of crashing it into the White House or Capitol. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to wrest control of the cockpit.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g6VDpPx3zLxo6gOQ90dfY8Qdl5IgD981KA2O1
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lyniebell

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PostSubject: Re: Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation   Fri May 08, 2009 11:57 am

What right does the Government (Park Service) have to condem a person's property? That's just wrong. I wonder what makes a Land property eligable for condeming? My first house that I bought was my Aunt's old house, and we were living in it while trying to get financing. Well the bank came out to look at it, and they condemed it! Of course we fixed what was wrong right away so it didn't cause a further problem. It was just because the bathroom floor was about to cave in! Shocked

It sounds like the Park Service didn't work on getting the offer's settled in a timely manner so now they are in a rush, they decided to just condem it! That is not fair! I'm glad the owners got a lawyer.

I noticed in the Chatham News last night the back pages had several pages of impending property take overs for non payment of taxes. Luckily ours wasn't on there this time.
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PostSubject: More land take overs, only closer to home here in NC!   Fri May 08, 2009 12:37 pm

For a long time now, people in Chatham County have been concerned with ensuring the right type of growth occurs in the right places. There are many reasons for this and it is a noble goal. However, the definition of "right" is highly subjective and a comprehensive solution that encourages growth, preserves Chatham County, and statisfies everyone has been very difficult to find.

The latest plan on the block goes by many names. At the Chatham County web site, you can find the official documents on a page labeled Proposed Plan for Major Corridors. Some of us refer to this plan with the nickname Land Grab.

Dr Michael Sanera from the John Locke Foundation has done extensive research into this proposal. Following are two articles he has written along with links to more information.

Chatham County’s Land Grab: A selfish elite is trying to take over 23,000 acres for their personal benefit
Chatham County’s proposed Corridor Overlay District ordinance, if adopted, represents a radical land-use plan that would allow county government to take control of over 23,000 acres of private land without financial compensation.

The “Scenic Overlay” part of the ordinance would transfer over 23,000 acres of private property from private control by landowners to political control by planners and the most powerful interest group in the county.

The “Overlay Nodes” that the ordinance would establish would restrict most retail business to ten specific areas of the county, which would severely limit the supply of land for commercial and retail developments to less than 7.5 percent of the county’s land, thereby making a few landowners very rich.

The ordinance would also make starting or expanding a business extremely costly, which would severely limit the ability of Chatham County entrepreneurs to start or expand businesses.

As a direct result of those high costs, if the ordinance were adopted, Chatham County residents should not be surprised if only national chain stores open in the county.

Additionally, such high costs would inhibit competition, driving up prices primarily for rural residents. Businesses outside the county and in the cities in the county would benefit from the higher prices caused by this lack of competition.

The ordinance would give county planners enormous discretionary power to interfere with landowners’ ability to use their land. This arbitrary and capricious rule by planners would provide opportunities for graft and corruption.

Finally, this ordinance would unjustly take private property without financial compensation, thereby imposing costs on some landowners for the benefit of an elite that believes its aesthetic vision justifies the use of governmental force.

Author: Dr. Michael Sanera

Download PDF file: Chatham County’s Land Grab: A selfish elite is trying to take over 23,000 acres for their personal benefit (461 k)



Chatham corridor plan would hurt most affected landowners
RALEIGH -- Chatham County landowners would bear the costs of a "radical" land-use plan designed to benefit a small, politically connected elite. That's the conclusion of a new John Locke Foundation Regional Brief.

Click here to view and here to listen to Michael Sanera discussing this Regional Brief.

"Chatham County's proposed Corridor Overlay District would impose dramatic restrictions on people's freedoms and property rights," said report author Dr. Michael Sanera, JLF Research Director and Local Government Analyst. "The ordinance would result in a large-scale coercive wealth transfer. Whether intended or not, it would have a 'Robin Hood in reverse' effect, benefiting the rich at the expense of the poor."

County commissioners are considering the Corridor Overlay District plan, which is billed as a tool for maintaining Chatham's rural character, protecting open space, promoting economic development, and improving property values. It would "strictly control" use of privately owned land along 60 miles of the county's major roadways, Sanera said.

"The proposed district ordinance would allow county government to take control of more than 23,000 acres of private land without having to pay the land's owners," he said. "It would also force most, if not all, new commercial and retail development into 10 designated intersections along major county roadways. These intersections, or nodes, contain little more than 7 percent of the county land outside existing cities and natural areas."

The new ordinance would do more than just limit the location of future development, Sanera said. "The county would also prescribe the type of development acceptable in these designated nodes," he said. "Regulations would control the size, location, and proportion of new buildings, along with the location of sidewalks, parking, and landscaping. The rules would even limit the heights and widths of windows and doors and specify the types of trees and shrubs permitted for mandatory landscaped buffers."

Property owners would face even more restrictions in the 60 miles of major roadway covered by a 3,000-foot-wide scenic overlay district, Sanera said. "These new rules would create severe restrictions of the supply of land," he said. "Land prices in the nodes would skyrocket, benefiting a lucky few landowners. Meanwhile, landowners along the major corridors who sit outside the nodes would suffer a large loss of land value. A cash-poor, land-rich property owner would suffer the most damage."

Property owners in the nodes or within the areas covered by the scenic overlay district would be forced to get a conditional-use permit from the county for all new nonresidential development, large subdivisions, and mixed-use projects, he added.

"This provision places a great deal of discretionary power in the hands of county planners and commissioners," Sanera said. "It sets up a relationship in which landowners who should be free to use what is rightfully theirs in ways they see fit would be forced instead to act like medieval peasants groveling toward the king with hat in hand."

"Ambiguous language would help county officials reject any planned development that they deem to be inconsistent with the county's 'rural character,'" he added. "Commissioners would be free to justify imposing their personal preferences. Given these extremely broad grants of power, it is likely that landowners will face major injustices."

This type of ordinance opens the door for problems, Sanera said. "The process leaves plenty of room for graft and corruption," he said. "Those who control the county commission can benefit fellow members of the Chatham County elite."

One bizarre consequence of the new land-use rules would involve the types of business that would sprout up along Chatham County's major roadways, Sanera said. "Along with high land prices, the nodes would carry so many stringent development requirements that local entrepreneurs and their families would not be able to afford the development costs," he said. "Only a national chain store such as Home Depot or Wal-Mart would have the resources to cover those costs before recouping them through sales."

Chatham County is considering this land-use plan largely to offer a presumed aesthetic benefit to people driving through the county, Sanera said. "This plan would place all of the costs on the property owners and give all of the supposed benefits to those who use the roadways, most of whom would pay no cost."

see the entire article here: http://www.tccv.org/content/view/44/34/
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March Mellow



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PostSubject: Re: Protesters rally against 'tyranny' of annexation   Fri May 08, 2009 4:27 pm

OMG! This needs to be national news! Because, IMO, the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London, it seems like every government is fashioning some sort of land grab.
In Florida, there were a lot of instances: the mitigation bank, where developers could buy credits if they wanted to build in the water table (and FL has its worst drought since 1932) or they would have to restore ecologically sensitive acreage somewhere else. Trailer parks, where owners rented the land, were destroyed for condos during the real estate boom with people being homeless, especially if they owned a trailer built before 1996 as they were not allowed to move them.
Keep us updated, lyniebell, because I am sure we can come up with some innovative suggestions to get the word out.
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