A packed State Capitol hearing room was the setting for the second meeting of the Missouri Task Force on Eminent Domain. The public was given its chance to weigh in. Most of those testifying were opponents – people like Elizabeth Langerak of Sunset Hills in St. Louis County. She acknowledges some homes are in need of repair, but says many homes in her community have fallen into disrepair because there’s a threat of an eminent domain takeover spurred on by a developer trying to buy up the land. Other opponents say it’s wrong for developers to buy up homes to tear them down. But St. Louis City Deputy Mayor for Development Barbara Geisman says eminent domain takeovers are sometimes needed. She says that while they are rare, they must remain an option for communities trying to spur economic development. Many opponents acknowledge property must sometimes be taken for the common good, but they insist the building of a department store does not fall into the category of “the common good.” More meetings will be held with an interim report sent to Governor Matt Blunt by October 1st. A final report is due by the end of the year.

Related web sites:
Missouri Task Force on Eminent Domain