With language that appears to have been custom-written for RhodeMap RI, a 2008 law, when combined with the controversial RhodeMap RI plan, may actually throw open the door for aggressive eminent domain property seizures by the government in order to construct “growth centers” as the plan envisions, according to a policy brief by the Center.
In 2008, in response to the momentous Kelo v. City of New London decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed local governments to seize property from one private person and give it to another, Rhode Island’s legislature passed a law – the RI Home and Business Protection Act of 2008 that ostensibly would limit similar potential abuse in the Ocean State. However, the law specifically allows for eminent domain exceptions when there is a local economic development plan in place.
The 2008 act considers that a “government entity” can utilize eminent domain powers if there is a larger plan in place for the area … a plan like a RhodeMap RI growth center plan. The law also specifies other exceptions when eminent domain powers may be used.
It has been theorized by the Center that beginning around 2005, a coordinated legislative, land-use, transportation, and housing strategy has systematically been put in place in the Ocean State, culminating with RhodeMap RI, a so-called economic development scheme.
Given the entities involved in developing the RhodeMap RI plan, there are four potential government entities that could exploit this eminent domain exception to infringe on the property rights of land owners and seize their land:
- The federal government in Washington, DC, which conceived the RhodeMap RI core principles and funded the plan, with HUD providing funding for the growth centers
- The state of Rhode Island which will adopt the plan
- The regional Urban Redevelopment Authority, to be created by RhodeMap RI, unelected bureaucrats who would implement the plan
- Local municipalities that would aid in planning the growth centers and would raise property taxes to help fund them
Shocking Youtube video – how eminent domain destroyed an entire Illinois neighborhood … seizing private property in order to build new multi-purpose structures.