- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
House OKs recourse for private property owners
Question of the Day
The House last night passed a bill that would enable individuals to appeal zoning laws in federal courts, giving private property owners additional protection that opponents say will benefit big developers.
Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, said the bill that passed 231-181 responded to the Supreme Court San Remo Hotel ruling, in which the court denied property owners the ability to appeal state court rulings on zoning laws in federal courts. The hotel is in San Francisco.
“What has been taken from [owners] is the enjoyment of their property,” said Mr. Chabot, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Bart Gordon, Tennessee Democrat. “If I say, ‘That’s your land, but you can’t use it,’ I’m basically taking your property.”
Mr. Chabot said zoning laws fall under the taking clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment and require federal recourse for property owners pursuing compensation when the government takes their property.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, spearheaded the debate from opponents who argued the bill benefited big developers at the expense of others’ property values.
“They basically flunked Property Protection 101,” he said, noting that 35 state attorneys general opposed the bill, including Jim Petro, the attorney general from Mr. Chabot’s state.
Mr. Blumenauer said zoning adequately protects property and argued local governments and state courts can best make decisions about local zoning disputes.
“They’re going to federalize local land decisions anytime a big developer is told no,” he said.
Mr. Blumenauer said most homeowners will not be able to afford lawsuits, and developers will utilize the bill to make money.
“This is a big, expensive proposition,” he said. “Small communities are going to be worn down. They won’t have the firepower to stand up to Wal-Mart or to a big owner of a landfill or to some national company who wants to put up cell towers in people’s back yards.”
Mr. Blumenauer predicted the bill would not become law.
“Luckily, it’s not going to pass the Senate,” he said. “I mean, those people aren’t crazy.”
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world