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Task Force Will Recommend Restrictions on Eminent Domain

December 1, 2005
By: Tim Walker
State Capital Bureau

The Governor's Task Force On Eminent Domain has decided Eminent Domain should not be used for private economic redevelopment in all areas.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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The Task Force said the state should never take property from one citizen and give it to another for redevelopment. This decision includes farmland and land in urban areas.

Task Force member Chris Goodson, a St. Louis developer, says the decision is a good one.

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"You can't strictly take a property based on economic conditions, meaning, increased tax revenue, increased tax base. So clearly you can't take a property for those purposes. What you can take it for is when its been blighted."

The Task Force will finalize it's recommendations to the Governor next week.

From the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker

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Missourians may soon have a better way to combat Eminent Domain abuse.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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The Governor's Task Force on Eminent Domain wants to give property owners the right to a hearing that would decide if their property is blighted.

But developers would also be able to request a hearing of their own.

Task Force member Chris Goodson, a St. Louis developer, says the recommendation will benefit everyone.

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"A property owner can have a ruling issued on whether their area is blighted. At the same time a developer, a municipality, or a property owner at the beginning of the process can call for a declaratory judgment and say, hey, is my property really blighted or not."

Currently property owners do not have a right to a hearing.

From the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker.

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The Missouri Task Force on Eminent Domain will recommend steps to limit Eminent Domain abuse.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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In its last scheduled meeting, the Task Force decided the state should never use Eminent Domain on private property for private redevelopment.

This recommendation goes against the U.S. Supreme Court Decision allowing the use of Eminent Domain for private redevelopment.

Task Force member Chris Goodson, a St. Louis developer, says

the new recommendations should make the process more open.

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"Everyone you talk to, in St. Louis, Missouri and America, believes in personal property rights; developers and lawyers too. And so they're glad to see some clarity added to the situation."

Eminent Domain could sill be used for public use or if the property is deemed blighted.

From the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker.