She was totally joking, but it seemed odd to me that the thought would even cross her mind. The idea just seems wrong to me, but I don't know much about it.
In a case of first impression, a deeply divided panel of the Commonwealth Court ruled that the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia cannot take private property marked as blighted and give it to a private, religious organization.
“In short, nothing in the Constitution authorizes a taking of private property for a private use,” Smith-Ribner said.
Court: Future Developer Matters For Legality of Eminent Domain
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Beth A. Myers today ruled the City of Norwood, Ohio, abused its discretion in finding the Edwards Road neighborhood “blighted,” but went on to find that the area could be called “deteriorating.” Thus the judge ruled that the City was justified in using eminent domain...
Ohio Judge Upholds Use of Eminent Domain In Nice Neighborhood
Eminent Domain Abuse Nationwide
This map plots instances of eminent domain abuse across the United States. Because many condemnations for private gain go entirely unreported, this resource represents only a fraction of the actual number of private takings nationwide.
In a close ruling announced on June 23, 2005 the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that state and local governments could use eminent domain to take private property against the owners' will for use in private development. The decision is expected to have major ramifications for redevelopment and property rights cases around the country.
Kelo v. New London
Property rights purists contend that the words eminent domain appear nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. However, eminent domain law is based on the Fifth Amendment: [no person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In 2004, the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Michigan branch of the ACLU asked the Michigan Supreme Court to "restore the constitutional protections which ensure that private property cannot be taken to benefit powerful interest groups at the expense of the less powerful." The Supreme Court voted unanimously to overturn the Poletown eminent domain ruling — over 20 years after the neighborhood was razed.
Eminent Domain History
After reading a few of these articles, I'm a little more cautious about the issue. The only experience I've had with eminent domain was that my Grandmother's property was resized to allow for a sidewalk to be built. She lived in a small but developing town at the time of the construction. The town has now stabilized into a more active destination for tourists interested in art. I don't how that's benefitted the residents there directly, but I don't see any negatives from that seizure.
Most of these areas have been designated as "blighted" and that can go a long way to justifying the redevelopment of those properties. I doubt wheter those citizens are actually being compensated correctly. Perhaps they should be given cash up front and a percentage of the profits from future real estate assessments.