John Stossel on Eminent Domain Run Amok

Instead of implementing strict zoning rules that would determine what kinds of businesses could be built, Anaheim gave business owners flexibility. Existing businesses don't have to move and if people don't want to sell their property, developers just have to build around them.

Some eminent domain advocates say that developers will refuse to build unless "holdouts" like Kelo are removed. But that's not always the case.

Edith Macefield, of Seattle, refused a $1 million offer for her home and a condo-and-supermarket project went up around her. Darlene Dixon of Baltimore didn't want to sell either, so a university found another way to expand.

"Occasionally, with growth, we need to take people's land," said Benedict. That doesn't mean, he added, that cities should take land for just any reason.

"What this really is about is taking people's homes," and in Kelo's case, he said, "they didn't have to do this."

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