Friday, March 18, 2005
Eminent Domain in Freeport, Texas
But as philosopher Ayn Rand observed, "there is no such entity as 'the public,' since the public is merely a number of individuals . . . .the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others."In Freeport, Texas, a Brazoria County coastal town has big plans to develop a marina to bring in money to the city... some residents say all that money will go to the developer and not the community, says News2Houston Investigators.
None of "who gets the money" matters. What matters is a local government wants to force two businesses to sell their land to build a private yacht marina, backed with a $6 Million loan from the local government. For 50 years, loads of Texas gulf shrimp have been bagged and stacked at Western Seafood in Freeport. Wright Gore, of Western Seafood, was asked to sell by the developer and refused. So the developer went to the local government and asked them to use their power of eminent domain to force the sale. The city felt that the public interest was served by "best use" of the property. Both Western Seafood and Trico Seafood have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Freeport and the Freeport Economic Development Corp. to stop the land acquisition.
Do you have other examples of Eminent Domain gone amok? (hat tip to T F Stern's Rantings