Just an amazing story and further evidence that liberal politicians will stop at nothing, not even personal property rights, to grab power and push an agenda.
In SeaTac Washington, the city council has decided to claim a private parking lot under eminent domain laws to pursue their economic development project.
As SeaTac officials introduced their plans during an open house for a city center/entertainment district across from the airport light-rail station, they face serious opposition from commercial property owners and some residents.
The revolt comes from city council decisions to condemn a surface parking lot for use as a public parking garage, to place a moratorium on development in the city center area and to consider major zoning changes.
Here’s the Fox report. Note the response from the Seatac official versus the response from the state AG, and how much SeaTac wants to pay the land owner.
We’ve heard this song before here in Connecticut, when New London condemned homes along a desirable piece of waterfront property in order to clear land for an economic development project that also included shops and a hotel and convention center. The development project never got off the ground, but homeowners lost their homes.
The land grab was challenged by one of those residents, Susette Kelo, but ultimately both the State and Federal Supreme courts ruled that taking property for public use passed the eminent domain test. It was a terrible ruling then, and it’s a terrible precident now.
While this case involves a parking lot and not a home, it still makes a small “l” libertarian’s blood boil. The city of SeaTac is offering the owners of the parking lot $2 million dollars less than what they paid for it. In the private sector this would be called theft at best, extortion at worst. Private property is at the foundation of America’s liberty. Whether it is the 3rd amendment on quartering troops, or the fourth amendment on illegal search, the founding fathers made a point of recognizing and protecting a citizen’s rights to private property and protection from an overbearing government.
Unfortunately today, neither local officials, nor the courts seem to agree and because of that politicians will continue to push the envelope on private property, content in letting the courts sort it out later. The beat goes on.