Will There Finally be Some Development on the Land Condemned in Kelo v. City of New London?
The recent release of Justice John Paul Stevens’ papers have attracted new attention to the Supreme Court’s controversial 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, the 5-4 decision in which the justices ruled that the condemnation of homes for “private economic development” is permissible under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which only allows takings that are for a “public use.” Notoriously, the development project that supposedly justified the condemnations fell through, and nothing was actually built on the property where the dispossessed owners’ homes previously stood. Since the last homeowners were forced out and their houses torn down, the only regular users of the condemned land were a colony of feral cats.
That may now be in the process of changing. While I missed the news at the time, in January the Renaissance City Development Association (the private nonprofit development firm formerly known as the New London Development Corporation, which took ownership of the property after it was taken by eminent domain) sold the condemned land to a developer, which may plan to build new housing on it. The New London Day reported some details on January 19:
[A]ll the properties on the Fort Trumbull peninsula are slated for development.
Parcels on the peninsula, which also is home to Fort Trumbull State Park, have been vacant for almost 20 years. The land was cleared for development in a move by the city that led to the landmark 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London, about the use of eminent domain….
The land is owned and marketed by the city’s development arm, the Renaissance City Development Association.
According to a development agreement between RCDA and RJ Development, parcels labeled 1A and 3C were sold for $500,000 and parcel 4A was sold for $1. The developer agreed to pay a $30,000 deposit to show its commitment.
The agreement states the projects on the property will primarily consist of, but will not be limited to, “the construction of residential units to be offered for market rate sale or rent/lease,” with the associated parking and other improvements.
Parcels 3C (formerly part of a larger unit called Parcel 3) and 4A are the former sites of the residential properties condemned in the Kelo litigation. Susette Kelo’s f
Article from Reason.com