Long Beach, CA RDA Agenda violates Prop 99 Property Rights protection

Prop 99, as passed by the voters in 2008, amended the California Constitution to protect private property owners against government takings of their homes by “eminent domain” police powers when they did not wish to sell. At least that is what the opposition stated in all of their rhetoric as they opposed our Prop 98 full property rights protection Initiative last year.
For all those who voted for Prop 99 may this be a warning of future “takings” of your owner occupied homes. Simply look at residents of Long Beach, California who retained the services of the Institute for Justice to fight to save their homes from their city’s redevelopment agency wrecking ball.

Explain Prop 99 to Victoria Ballesteros, Communications Officer for the Long Beach Redevelopment Services Department. That department also includes the Redevelopment Agency. Ms. Ballesteros was quoted in the Press Telegram article written by Karen Robes where she  said: “I’m sympathetic to someone who doesn’t want to sell their house but at the same time, they do get fair market value.”

 She adds: “It is a process dictated by state law, and they do receive just compensation. They do receive relocation assistance. There’s a mechanism in place to assist, to ensure that property owners are treated fairly.”
Thank you very much Ms. Ballesteros. However, property owners were conned by a false sense of security by approving Prop 99 rather than Prop 98 where they would have been fully protected, including their businesses and other private property.
Perhaps we are not ready or willing to sell or doesn’t that count for anything in this country anymore?

Perhaps the home has been in your family for generations and you want to pass it down to your heirs.

 Some have said that “This is not a question of money for us. We just want to be left alone with what is rightfully ours.”

Perhaps Ms. Ballesteros needs to read Section 19 parts (b) and (e3) of The Amended California Constitution which now reads:
 Text of Section 19: (a) Private property may be taken or damaged for a public use and only when just compensation, ascertained by a jury unless waived, has first been paid to, or into court for, the owner. The Legislature may provide for possession by the condemnor following commencement of eminent domain proceedings upon deposit in court and prompt release to the owner of money determined by the court to be the probable amount of just compensation.

(b) The State and local governments are prohibited from acquiring by eminent domain an owner-occupied residence for the purpose of conveying it to a private person.

(c) Subdivision (b) of this section does not apply when State or local government exercises the power of eminent domain for the purpose of protecting public health and safety; preventing serious, repeated criminal activity; responding to an emergency; or remedying environmental contamination that poses a threat to public health and safety.

(d) Subdivision (b) of this section does not apply when State or local government exercises the power of eminent domain for the purpose of acquiring private property for a public work or improvement.

(e) For the purpose of this section:

1. “Conveyance” means a transfer of real property whether by sale, lease, gift, franchise, or otherwise. 2. “Local government” means any city, including a charter city, county, city and county, school district, special district, authority, regional entity, redevelopment agency, or any other political subdivision within the State. 3. “Owner-occupied residence” means real property that is improved with a single-family residence such as a detached home, condominium, or townhouse and that is the owner or owners’ principal place of residence for at least one year prior to the State or local government’s initial written offer to purchase the property. Owner-occupied residence also includes a residential dwelling unit attached to or detached from such a single-family residence which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons. 4. “Person” means any individual or association, or any business entity, including, but not limited to, a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. 5. “Public work or improvement” means facilities or infrastructure for the delivery of public services such as education, police, fire protection, parks, recreation, emergency medical, public health, libraries, flood protection, streets or highways, public transit, railroad, airports and seaports; utility, common carrier or other similar projects such as energy-related, communication-related, water-related and wastewater-related facilities or infrastructure; projects identified by a State or local government for recovery from natural disasters; and private uses incidental to, or necessary for, the public work or improvement. 6. “State” means the State of California and any of its agencies or departments.  

Ms. Ballesteros. I have some news for you. The property owners of the “Long Beach Citizens Against Eminent Domain Abuse” are not looking for any or your “sympathy.” They only wish to be left alone. Is that too much to ask for?

For those newcomers reading my blog posts on property rights I need to be fully transparent.

I am a member of the Castle Coalition arm of the Institue for Justice, Orange County Co-director of Californians United for Redevelopment Education, CURE, and Board Member of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights, CAPPPR

About Larry Gilbert