Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kelo Undone By Free Enterprise

Eminent domain hawks and local government officials from sea to shining sea would do well to read Steven Greenhut's piece in today's Opinion Journal. Greenhut is one of the nation's premier writers on eminent domain abuse (that's his book adorning this post), and his new piece lays out the wrong and the right of the issue.

Greenhut's got a great em-dom lab here in OC, with neighboring cities personifying the guy in the black hat and the guy in the white hat. Garden Grove goes on condemnation sprees in an ongoing effort to find some land use that will suck people and money away from the Disneyland Resort next door. And Anaheim:
Now, the city (population: 328,000) wants to build a new downtown, and the target location is called the Platinum Triangle, an area of one-story warehouses near Angel Stadium. In the typical world of redevelopment, officials would choose a plan and a developer, offer subsidies and exclusive development rights, and exert pressure on existing property owners to leave the area. Instead, Anaheim created a land-value premium by creating an overlay zone that allowed almost any imaginable use of property. Because current owners could now sell to a wider range of buyers, the Platinum Triangle is booming, with billions in private investment, millions of square feet of office, restaurant and retail space, and more than a dozen new high-rises in the works.
Here are some pictures of the area today and some planned lofts -- all created without a single condemnation.

As a guy who basically makes his living out of the land use wars that flare in California, the Platinum Triangle is a model that could put me out of business because it was approved and is being built without a peep of protest.

I couldn't be happier. The amount of time, money and energy burned up on NIMBY and greenie battles in this state is even more appalling than the periodic takings of Grannie's homestead. May our future be platinum.

hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
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