Sunday, June 25, 2006

Long Branch Homeowners Lose In Court

From the Star Ledger:

Homeowners lose round in court
BY MARYANN SPOTO

On the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave wide latitude to municipalities to seize property for redevelopment, New Jersey opponents of the ruling took to the streets Friday night as they lamented their own setback in a court battle to save a Long Branch neighborhood.

Some 300 opponents of eminent domain -- the policy of taking private land for public projects -- held a rally in the Jersey Shore town to protest the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo vs. New London decision last year that granted towns broad authority to take homes and land for private development.

The rally came one day after Superior Court Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson in Freehold delivered a ruling that further stoked the outcry by eminent domain opponents around New Jersey.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Long Branch homeowner Frances DeLuca, who stands to lose her home through eminent domain along with 23 other property owners battling the city in court. "The judge did exactly what I thought he was going to do, because as far as I know, I've never seen him rule in favor of the homeowner."

Carrying signs proclaiming, "This land is my land," "Got greed?" and "Protect our property," those at the rally criticized the Kelo ruling and said the practice of taking people's homes and property for redevelopment must stop.
...
In a project launched a decade ago but under construction only four years, Long Branch is undergoing a $1 billion redevelopment along a mile of its oceanfront to include some retail and 1,200 residential units.
...
In his decision, Lawson chastised the homeowners for failing to file suit sooner. But they contend the city and the developer had no intention of taking their properties until they realized the great demand for the new condominiums and townhouses -- fetching sales prices of anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million -- being constructed just to the south of their neighborhood.
...
Ocean Terrace resident Lou Anzalone, 89, said he doesn't want to live anywhere other than the house he's been in for the past 46 years. He couldn't afford to buy anything like his house a block from the ocean with the $304,000 the city has offered him, he said.

"I don't want a condo," he said. "They look like tenement houses to me.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the people in Long Branch who may lose their homes. Most are elderly and have lived there for many years. It is a disgrace that these people are being forced out of their homes. The seizing of property by "eminent domain" is for the public good not for private development, but I guess in NJ "eminent domain" means something completely different.

6/25/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is pure evil to offer so little to thee people and force them fom their homes.
How wicke to d that to a 90 year old man.

6/25/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right it is pure evil. Do they have no consciences? OH, I forgot, we are talking about politicians.

6/25/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a business, with the help of a government, can legally bully lifelong owners from the homes they love in the pursuit of profits and tax revenues, it becomes painfully obvious that things are extremely f'd up.

6/25/2006 10:00:00 PM  

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