Supreme Court ruling too open-ended

Published 7:51 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

By By EMILY DREITZLER / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Supreme Court recently ruled that the government has the right to obtain private property, which includes an individual's house and land, and transfer it to another private owner, such as a large business, as long as the new owner can make "better" use of the land than the previous owner did.
The Supreme Court seems to vaguely use the definition of "better" as promoting the economic development of the area seized.
The 5-to-4 ruling has cleared the way for the first implementation of the law in New London, Conn. The owners of 15 homes in the Fort Tumbull neighborhood are being forced to evacuate their homes, including a woman who has lived in her house for 87 years.
In the neighborhood's place, the developers plan to build an office space, a conference hotel, new residences, and a pedestrian "riverwalk" along the Thames River.
The residences of the Fort Tumbull neighborhood have adamantly resisted the government's offer to "better" their neighborhood and the compensation that would come with it.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against their favor, the citizens will have to pack up their belongings and leave a place they used to call home.
Local residents were recently asked their feelings on the recent decision by the Supreme Court to take private property from landowners and cultivate it into an area that will "better" the community.
Buchanan native, Fred Hirst's feelings on the matter coincide with that of Ray.
Bob Naragon, from Berrien Springs, disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision.
Cassopolis citizen, Willie Booker, finds the Supreme Court's decision unfair.
Booker said, "No, I don't think it is right. People work hard for their land. Sometimes people aren't prepared to go somewhere else and start over."