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Editorial: Don't threaten eminent domain lightly

By   /   Monday, August 9th, 2010  /   Comments Off on Editorial: Don't threaten eminent domain lightly

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Last week’s editorial encouraged the Pacific Oaks Credit Union and the owner of troubled Carriage Square, a retail property in Oxnard, to work out their differences and avoid an eminent domain action by the city.

We’re pleased to see that the parties took our advice — and obviously similar advice given by civic leaders. The landlord and the credit union apparently worked out their differences, a city-enabled land grab has been put on hold and, hopefully, a Lowe’s retail center will move forward.

If threatening eminent domain was enough to get the job done, then hey, that’s great. But cities should be careful about intruding on private property rights with threats of land “nationalization.” Property rights in California are very narrowly drawn and those rights that remain are worth protecting.

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