Saturday, June 27, 2009

Does Northumberland Court warrant invoking eminent domain

It is not unheard of for local government, in severe cases, to invoke eminent domain. Could the case of Northumberland take the District of Maple Ridge in this direction? There is a strong case for replacing the current owners with a government agency who could tear down the building and replace it with community housing for those families truly in need.

If this approach were used BC-wide it would fit well into the Province's need to care for the any homeless we have somehow managed to create.

Radio Haney

The term "condemnation" is used to describe the formal act of the exercise of the power of eminent domain to transfer title to the property from its private owner to the government. This use of the word should not be confused with its sense of a declaration that real property, generally a building, has become so dilapidated as to be legally unfit for human habitation due to its physical defects. This type of condemnation of buildings (on grounds of health and safety hazards or gross zoning violation) usually does not deprive the owners of the title to the property condemned but requires them to rectify the offending situation or have the government do it for the owner at the latter's expense.

Condemnation via eminent domain indicates the government is taking ownership of the property or a lesser interest in it, such as an easement. In most cases the only thing that remains to be decided when a condemnation action is filed is the amount of just compensation, although in some cases the right to take may be challenged by the property owner on the grounds that the attempted taking is not for a public use, or has not been authorized by the legislature, or because the condemnor has not followed the proper procedure required by law.

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