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Takings law could help property owners

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Ray Ring writes: "Governments use eminent domain occasionally, to condemn property and force the owners to accept a buyout, to make new roads, urban renewal and other projects that benefit the public" (HCN, 7/24/06: Taking Liberties). OK, but who decides if the projects will benefit the public? In New Mexico, Bernalillo County has rezoned so that developers can build future ghetto/cookie cutter neighborhoods in our backyard; the county is turning our semi-rural community into a dump. We are the public and no one asked us if we thought this was in our best interest.

Ring further writes, "If the takings principle becomes law, it would choke off governments’ ability to pass any new land-use protections from now on, affecting millions of property owners." Or, might it keep our local governments from turning our area into something that we don’t want and ruining our property values?

Kathy Skalbeck
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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