Protect Private Property Owners

Legislators Maisano & Abinanti Propose Legislation to Protect Private Property Owners
Law bans use of County funds for projects using eminent domain Public hearing slated for September 7, 2010
8/24/2010 4:45:29 PM

(White Plains, NY) – Legislation co-sponsored by Westchester County Legislators Tom Abinanti (D- Greenburgh), and James Maisano (R- New Rochelle) giving increased protections for Westchester County private property owners against wrongful use of the power of eminent domain, will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday September 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

“The original beneficial public purpose of eminent domain has been corrupted,” said Abinanti. “We are witnessing distressing instances where eminent domain is used by or for powerful developers and the rights of private citizens are undercut.”

This legislation would limit Westchester County’s power to condemn private property for private use. “Government should not take private property unless it is necessary to meet a real public need, not just because it prefers one use over another or one developer over another,” said Abinanti.

Maisano stated, “I’ve witnessed eminent domain being used against property owners who simply don’t have the financial resources to defend themselves against the power of their local government and developers. Eminent domain should not be used for private developments such as shopping malls and luxury apartments. Our law is an attempt to protect private property owners from the eminent domain abuses we see too often.” Maisano continued, “Too often the power of eminent domain is used by a municipality or economic development agency to give an advantage to a favored developer over private property owners.”

The legislation will also prohibit Westchester County from contributing funds to any development that uses eminent domain to take private property for private use. The proposed legislation would not however, preclude the use of eminent domain for affordable housing projects.

Maisano added, “With this legislation being sponsored by the Majority and Minority Leaders, we hope to put together a bipartisan coalition to pass the law in 2010.”

Abinanti and Maisano serve respectively as Majority and Minority Leader of the Westchester County Board of Legislators

The public hearing will be held Tuesday September 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
8th floor Michaelian Office Building – 148 Martine Avenue White Plains 10601

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