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Eminent Domain

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NEWS
June 28, 2005
When he was writing the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, Founding Father John Adams inserted the phrase, "a government of laws, and not of men. " But judging from the last week's eminent domain ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, whether or not your house is seized for a "public purpose" will now depend less on the letter of the law and more on the promises of men. Congress must right this wrong, or every time there is a proposal to redevelop...
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | July 24, 2002
scottb@herald-mail.com The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday adopted, by a 4-1 vote, a resolution offering to use its power of eminent domain to forcibly take land to help Washington County Hospital if it chooses a site that would keep it downtown. The downtown site is a two-block area that includes 59 properties that would need to be acquired if the location is selected, Mayor William M. Breichner said after the meeting. Breichner confirmed that the city suggests the hospital be built between East Franklin and East Washington streets, between Mulberry Street and North Cannon Avenue.
NEWS
by RICHARD BELISLE | February 4, 2003
waynesboro@herald-mail.com GREENCASTLE, PA. - Four Greencastle property owners will get official notice this week that they will have to give rights of way through their property for a $1 million storm drain project or face it being taken by eminent domain, the Borough Council ruled Monday night. The project, aimed at eliminating a pond-like problem created during heavy rains on U.S. 11 under a railroad underpass, will require rights of way through nine private properties, Borough Manager Kenneth Myers said.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | August 20, 2013
With negotiations at a stalemate, city officials intend to pursue legal action to reclaim the former Municipal Electric Light Plant property in the East End, the Hagerstown City Council decided Tuesday. The five-member council came to a consensus to begin the process of taking the 2.96-acre property by “eminent domain,” a legal process by which the city can take back private property for public use. The city has been in negotiations with the current owner, David Harshman, for about 28 months now, according to city Director of Utilities Michael Spiker, who updated the  council on the process during a work session at City Hall.
NEWS
by TIM ROWLAND | June 30, 2005
With all this talk about eminent domain, I have just one question: How come the government never wants to seize my house? They want it, they can have it. Especially my furnace. I should be particularly pleased if the government would seize my furnace. Of course, the traditional way for a furnace to act up is for it to go on the fritz in the middle of winter, but not in the Satan House, oh no. Anyone who's considering buying and fixing up an old, historic farmhouse needs to click her heels three times and repeat "There's no place like a new home.
NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | August 27, 2013
The city took its first step Tuesday night to acquire the beleaguered former Municipal Electric Light Plant, when the Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously to draft an “eminent domain” ordinance to take the property. Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire made a motion to introduce an ordinance authorizing legal counsel and city staff to begin eminent domain proceedings. It was seconded by Councilman Donald F. Munson. The five-member council then passed the motion unanimously but made no further comments.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | August 31, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com After removing some words thought to be too harsh, the Washington County Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday stating the county would acquire private property through eminent domain only as a last resort. County Commissioner John C. Munson asked for the resolution in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a government's right to take private property for economic development purposes. The resolution states that the Supreme Court upheld "what the majority maintained is local government's ability to take private property for a vaguely defined 'public good' such as economic development, or increased tax revenues to the local government itself.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | September 17, 2003
scottb@herald-mail.com The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday gave informal support to a proposal that would make it easier for the city to use its eminent domain power to obtain property that is in deteriorated condition. The proposal would require approval from the Maryland General Assembly, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said. Nobody from the council spoke against the proposal, which only would affect property in poor condition. Under the proposal, each case would be reviewed individually and an ordinance would be passed for that specific acquisition, Zimmerman said.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | July 21, 2009
WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Trees that some people say create a visibility problem for motorists have placed the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors on the cusp of a lengthy and costly legal process. The supervisors talked this week about how declaring eminent domain to take the land and cut down the trees is one of their few remaining options. Residents who say they can't see other vehicles at the intersection of Mentzer Gap Road and Hearthwood Drive said they support the board taking the land if negotiations fail.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | August 25, 2005
Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson says he wants county government to keep its hands off private property, for the most part. Munson on Tuesday asked the County Commissioners to approve a resolution that states the county would back away from using eminent domain to acquire private property, except as a last resort. The commissioners plan to place the proposed resolution on next Tuesday's meeting agenda. Munson asked for the resolution's approval in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a government's right to take private property for public purposes.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | August 27, 2013
The city took its first step Tuesday night to acquire the beleaguered former Municipal Electric Light Plant, when the Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously to draft an “eminent domain” ordinance to take the property. Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire made a motion to introduce an ordinance authorizing legal counsel and city staff to begin eminent domain proceedings. It was seconded by Councilman Donald F. Munson. The five-member council then passed the motion unanimously but made no further comments.
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OPINION
August 26, 2013
Only in the most extreme cases do we condone the public taking of private property through the use of eminent domain. But the old MELP power plant in Hagerstown's East End fits the bill. The city has certainly tried to meet the owner halfway as it seeks to demolish the industrial eyesore. It is worth little - the assessed value of the brick monolith is a paltry $176,000 - and it would be wrong for the city to overpay. Whatever plans the owner might have had for the plant have long since gone by the boards, and the owner has done little to keep the property from falling into public-nuisance status.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | August 20, 2013
With negotiations at a stalemate, city officials intend to pursue legal action to reclaim the former Municipal Electric Light Plant property in the East End, the Hagerstown City Council decided Tuesday. The five-member council came to a consensus to begin the process of taking the 2.96-acre property by “eminent domain,” a legal process by which the city can take back private property for public use. The city has been in negotiations with the current owner, David Harshman, for about 28 months now, according to city Director of Utilities Michael Spiker, who updated the  council on the process during a work session at City Hall.
NEWS
July 23, 2009
A different take on moon landing Missing mental health records for Virginia Tech gunman found Allegiant Air suspends service Eastern Regional Jail inmate dies Eminent domain could topple man's trees
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | July 21, 2009
WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Trees that some people say create a visibility problem for motorists have placed the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors on the cusp of a lengthy and costly legal process. The supervisors talked this week about how declaring eminent domain to take the land and cut down the trees is one of their few remaining options. Residents who say they can't see other vehicles at the intersection of Mentzer Gap Road and Hearthwood Drive said they support the board taking the land if negotiations fail.
NEWS
April 14, 2009
ANNAPOLIS (AP) -- The Preakness Stakes horse race would have extra protections to remain in Baltimore under a plan approved Monday by the General Assembly that would allow Maryland to buy the second leg of the Triple Crown to prevent it from being moved. The Maryland House of Delegates voted 93-43 to pass a measure already advanced by the state Senate. Gov. Martin O'Malley, who proposed the emergency legislation last week, is expected to sign it as the legislative session winds down.
NEWS
August 27, 2008
"I think the Federal Little League, I think this fall when they have the Mummers Parade - I think they ought to have a float and have two banners on the float, one state champions and one Mid-Atlantic champions, because I think those little guys deserve it. " - Williamsport area "The simple fact about the MCTC situation is that the DOC bigwigs do not want to say no to the inmates, so they make the employees suffer. Putting up Plexiglas partitions for visits and stopping contact visits and family social nights are needed - not strip searches of employees.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | May 9, 2008
Supervisors seek input on cell towers WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Public input is being sought as the Washington Township Supervisors develop a local law that would determine where cell phone towers can be erected in the future. The supervisors are considering provisions that would allow wireless companies to mask towers by putting them on existing structures. Public comment can be submitted in writing or given verbally at a 7 p.m. meeting June 2 in the township meeting room.
NEWS
January 20, 2008
To the editor: The proposed home rule charter fails Washington County landowners. As a member of the charter board, I was concerned about two items the board failed to include. The proposed charter offers county residents no protection from eminent domain abuse and it offers no broader protections for property owners. Eminent domain allows government to take private property for public use, provided government provides just compensation and obeys due process. But as the infamous 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling made clear, government often abuses its eminent domain power, seizing private land and redistributing it to developers.
NEWS
September 12, 2007
You've had your say; now let hospital build To the editor: I write this letter to those opposed to a new hospital at Robinwood. You have had your day in court. You presented your concerns and you lost! It is now time to allow this much-needed project to move forward. I have read all of the letters on both sides and find that a very small group of people are costing the vast majority of the citizens increasingly high medical expenses because of the delay. (What I fail to understand is why the government agency concerned has not invoked the "right of eminent domain" in this matter.
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