Tuesday, August 2

OAKLAND: City forces out 2 downtown businesses. Autohouse owned by an immigrant

Where are the liberals' outcry over immigrant rights, and for the little guy? Here is what you have to know.

From the SFGATE.com:
The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.

The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last week paved the way for local governments to buy out unwilling property owners, demolish homes and businesses, and turn that land over to new owners for development. Last week's ruling expanded on earlier decisions that allowed agencies to take property only if it is considered "blighted" or run-down.

"The city thinks I cause 'economic blight' because I don't produce enough tax revenue,'' Revelli said. "We thought we'd win, but the Supreme Court took away my last chance."

The two properties, which total 6,500 square feet, were being forced to move or sell because their businesses are on a larger section of land that is slated for the Uptown Project, a city-subsidized real estate development that is expected to include nearly 1,200 apartments and condominiums.
The owner of AutoHouse is an older father, immigrant, who cannot afford to relocate.
Fung, who is in his late 40s and raising his children, said retirement is not an option. "I'm an immigrant from China, and this has been the fulfillment of my American dream," Fung said. "I worked hard. I played by the rules. But now it's all gone. I've got to start all over."
Here is a great analysis worth reading by the Federalist Society.
If private property may be condemned and given to another private individual for private profit, and if the determination of which properties are to be condemned may be delegated to the person benefiting from the condemnation, and if the public purpose of the condemnation project may not be reviewed by the courts, and if the question of the necessity of the condemnation may be delegated to the beneficiary and may not be reviewed by the courts, then are there any limits on the exercise of this government power? In a system that does not require a governing body to weigh the necessity of the condemnation against the harm to be done, this type of analysis will not take place. Without accountability or constitutional constraints, all the incentives promote aggressive, unbridled use of the eminent domain power, regardless of the impact on innocent property owners. It is time to shift the balance away from government power and back to its citizens.