Land condemnation restrictions picking up steam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 5, 2012

RALEIGH (AP) — A long effort at the North Carolina Legislature to amend the state constitution to limit government’s authority in taking private property against an owner’s will is picking up steam.
Members of a Senate subcommittee sounded supportive today of placing a proposed constitutional amendment about eminent domain on the ballot. The panel will make recommendations next month as the General Assembly reconvenes.
The subcommittee reviewed a bill the House approved asking voters in November to decide whether private property condemnation by state or local governments should be barred except for a “public use,” such as highways or government buildings. Similar proposals passed the House in recent years but died in the Senate.
The Legislature changed condemnation laws after a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Amendment supporters say something stronger is needed.